Florida's Boca Raton Squadron come to the Rescue (Part 1)

September 12th, 2004  

Topic: Florida's Boca Raton Squadron come to the Rescue (Part 1)

As soon as Hurricane Frances passed, Civil Air Patrol Cadets from the Boca Raton Composite Squadron starting calling 1st Lt Jackie Zarrilli asking what can they do to help. When the United Way made a plea for volunteers, 1st Lt. Zarrilli called and they told her that their South County Civic Center Distribution Center would welcome the cadets. The squadron's cadet 1st Sergeant C/CMSgt Christina Zarrilli called cadets, asking for them to help on Thursday September 8 at 1 pm to relieve the exhausted workers. Unfortunately she was unable to reach all as many still do not have phone service. Cadet Captain Christopher Ziebarth was the first to show up and soon got cadets Airman Josh Klein, Staff Sergeant Badenhorst and Chief Master Sergeant Christina Zarrilli to work loading ice and meals to the needy storm victims. Members of the Civil Air Patrol, several without power themselves, were pleased to serve their community. Senior members of the Boca squadron were there too, 2d Lt Christine Ziebarth, 1st Lt Jackie Zarrilli and new recruit SM Pat Archer.

When MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) ran out, volunteers distributed boxes of pizza meant to feed them to family cars loaded with hungry kids. As Hurricane Frances victims drove off, they shouted THANK YOU and GOD BLESS YOU. The United Way asked if the cadets could return Thursday morning, and to a person they said YES.

Cadet Captain Christopher Ziebarth had recently returned from a Hurricane Charley mission with the Patrol. He and other Civil Air Patrol members were assigned to turn off ELTs (Emergency Locater Transmitters) from beacons on aircraft and boats. Colonel Bruce Smith, Group 6 Commander (which consist of squadrons from Palm Beach and Broward Counties), says Cadet Ziebarth, who has his private pilot's license, is a very reliable, capable young man and proud to have him in his group. At the Boca Raton Cadet Meeting prior to the storm, Captain Ziebarth and Squadron Cadet Commander, Captain Roman Pietris conducted a lesson on Hurricane Preparedness so that the cadets could properly safeguard their families. Major Michael Harding and Cadet Captain Ziebarth certified in Emergency Service have conducted Field Training Exercise Weekends to teach the squadron cadets skills necessary to perform duties required in these unusual circumstances.

The Civil Air Patrol, the auxiliary of the United State Air Force, was founded during World War II. Its three missions are Emergency Services, Aerospace Education and Cadet Programs. Cadets between 12 and 21 years of age and Seniors, 21 and up receive extensive training while serving their communities and country. The Boca Raton Composite Squadron Commander William Morden invites anyone interested in becoming a member of the Civil Air Patrol to come to the Boca Raton Airport to learn more. Cadets meet every Tuesday from 6:30 pm to 9:30, call Lt Zarrilli at 561-394-7758. Seniors meet on the 1st & 3rd Thursdays of the month starting at 7:00 pm, call Phil Lotter at 954-816-8173. Email inquiries should be directed to Captain William Morden at bmorden@bellsouth.net. For more info about the Civil Air Patrol please check out their website:www.cap.gov.