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Eagle Scout inspires 5K and scholarship

A Boy Scout Troop from Lackawanna County is honoring the memory of an Eagle Scout who passed away to help others soar.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — People from all over the east coast traveled to Wilkes-Barre to fill the pathways throughout Kirby Park in memory of Brian Swatt.

Swatt, an Eagle Scout and Lackawanna County native, passed away in a car crash near Pittsburgh back in 2019. Swatt's friends and family organized the annual 5K in his memory.

"My brother has been involved in the Boy Scouts and got this event running with some of his close friends as a memorial of their best friend from Boy scouts," said Meagan Rielly, a runner in the 5K.

Swatt's Boy Scout Troop from Mayfield organized the Soaring Eagles 5k Walk and Run to raise money in his memory.

The Brian H Swatt Eagle Scout Scholarship Fund gives scholarships to Eagle Scouts who want to further their education.

"Brian was very educated and just very well poised, and this is a nice way to continue that to honor him and really help kids that need it," added Rielly.

Race coordinator, Donald Stephens, was a Boy Scout with Brian and says this is the perfect way to continue Brian's legacy of scouting and education.

"But I'm glad we could take something so negative and turn it around into something good for the community. Brian's name and memory live on through this scholarship, and that's one of the highlights of my scouting career, being a volunteer with the organization," he said.

Since their first race last year, participation doubled, bringing in more donations for the scholarship fund.

"This year, it really has turned into a community event. There's not only Scouters, but there's runners, both amateur and professional, here; really, all pockets of the community are coming out to this event. And it's great to see a movement start behind Brian's name," added Stephens.

Nearly $4,000 will go toward the Brian H Swatt Eagle Scout Scholarship Fund benefiting Eagle Scouts all throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.

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