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March 2019

 Members of CPW’s Adaptive Boy Scout Troop No. 535, Girl Scout Troop No. 1902 and Elks Lodge No. 535 visit the Rye Brook Fire Station. Photo by Eric Nadolny.

Adaptive Scout Troops from Cerebral Palsy of Westchester visit Rye Brook Fire Station with the Support of the Mid-Westchester Elks Lodge

The Rye Brook Fire Department hosted an enlightening tour of their facility on November 30, 2018. Boy Scout Troop No. 535 and Girl Scout Troop No. 1902 from Cerebral Palsy of Westchester’s adaptive scouts program attended the tour, led by firemen Chris Calamari and John Giordano. In attendance with the scouts were members of the Mid-Westchester Elks Lodge No. 535: Jay Singer, Bob Lent, Dana Fiorentino, Rachel Mandel and Melissa Cordone.


The tour of the facility led the scouts to different areas of the fire house where the firemen explained the tools and equipment that they use every day protecting the town from fires. At the first stop, fireman Chris Calamari explained to the Boy and Girl Scouts of CPW the tremendous power and importance of their emergency lift air bags. Compact and light-weight, these inflatable bags can lift thousands of pounds with ease.


Fireman John Giordano quickly became popular as he presented the jaws of life from the fire engine. The Scouts were eager to hold the lifesaving equipment and were amazed by weight of the jaws. They also wanted to try the jaws out on something nearby, but the fireman expressed it was only for emergencies.


 After the tour, the scouts had many questions. The firemen took a few minutes answering questions ranging from how tall the ladder is on the fire truck (75 feet), to what’s the best way to put out a fire, as well as answering why the fire department wouldn’t want things to be on fire.


Cerebral Palsy of Westchester’s mission is to advance the independence, productivity, and full citizenship of people with Cerebral Palsy and other developmental disabilities. The organization provides essential educational services, vocational training, recreation, rehabilitation and advocacy to thousands of children and adults in Westchester and Fairfield. The organization’s motto is: Realizing Tomorrow’s Potential…Today!


Currently led by Jay Singer, Boy Scout Troop No. 535 was established in 2010 by Bob Sollazzo with youth from The Bridge School of Cerebral Palsy of Westchester. Shortly after, Girl Scout Troop No. 1902 was formed. The program allows youth with developmental disabilities of all kinds to participate in scouting programs and let them feel and do things like any young man or woman would do in scouting. The scouts are encouraged to explore and to be bold and adventurous.


The Mid-Westchester Elks Lodge No. 535 was organized in 2009 and meets at the American Legion Post No. 1097 in Armonk. For a number of years now, Lodge No. 535 has adopted CPW as their major community project, including playing a formative and leadership role in CPW’s adaptive boy and girl scout troops. All over the world, Elks’ lodges promote neighbors coming together, families sharing meals, and children grow up. Elks invest in their communities through programs that help children grow up healthy and drug-free, meet the needs of today’s veterans, and improve the quality of life.