Valley Streamer becomes Eagle Scout


Matthew Donoghue spent his summer building a remote controlled car racetrack out of dirt and wood planks for students at Public School 159 in Bayside, Queens as part of his Eagle Scout project. That work paid off on Oct. 8, when he was officially declared an Eagle Scout.

“We’re really proud of him,” said Pat Burke, the committee chairman for Troop 116. “He worked really hard.”

Matthew is now a 17-year-old Valley Stream resident who attends State University of New York Polytechnic Institute in Utica. He said he has always been interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs, so when he found out that students at the Bayside school did not have a place to race the cars they built as part of the school’s STEM program, he decided to help.

Matthew worked with fifth-grade teacher Leonard Scarola, who is also an Eagle Scout, to design the remote controlled car racetrack and a new flowerbox for the school’s adjacent garden. Paul DiDio, the principal for P.S. 159, said that the school’s Daisy troop would plant and care for the flowers in the flowerbox, and students would begin racing their remote controlled cars on the track in the spring.

“It’s good to see years of work result in something,” Matthew said.

He started scouting when he was in first-grade, and has earned 37 different merit badges, ranging from archery to photography skills. “I think it’s a life learning lesson for them more than anything,” said Ed Donoghue, Matthew’s father. Ed said that his older brother, Kevin, also became an Eagle Scout last year and that “they’ve both grown through scouting.”

Matthew seemed to agree. “I would not be who I am today without Boy Scouts,” he said.

For more information about Troop 116, call Pat Burke at (516) 395–5963 or email