Family creating Boy Scout scholarship

Published 10:39 am Saturday, October 25, 2014

The family and friends of the late Eric V. Henderson, who died on Jan. 1 this year, are working to remember his life by establishing a scholarship fund for deserving Boy Scouts.

In his own time as a member of Boy Scout Troop 28 in Franklin, Henderson had earned his Eagle Scout Badge and Order of the Arrow. Theresa Henderson, his mother, said that even while her son was studying at Virginia Tech, he was also involved in supporting the scouting program in Blacksburg.

The Eric V. Henderson Memorial Scholarship will annually benefit a Franklin or Southampton high school senior who is involved in the Boy Scouts, has a 3.0 GPA or higher, and is in good standing in the community. He must be nominated by a scoutmaster. The choice of college is not relevant to the decision. The nominee must also write an essay on the topic of “What have you done for somebody in our community that has helped them and also made a big impact on your own life?”

“Eric was all about family, community and friends,” Theresa said. “We’re reaching out to family and friends.”

They have responded in kind by contributing $6,693 so far to the original $5,000 goal of seed money; $1,000 will be awarded to a chosen Boy Scout.

In addition, custom T-shirts designed by a cousin, Scott Henderson, are being sold. The design features an eagle in flight surrounded by the phrase, “It is so hard to forget someone who gave us so much to remember.”

As another fundraiser, Angela Cavuoto — one of his sisters — is in training to run the Richmond Half Marathon on Nov. 15, which is also the week of what would be Henderson’s 34th birthday on Nov. 19.

“We didn’t dream we’d raise this much money,” Cavuoto said from Richmond. She added that other people have agreed to contribute more, but the funds have not yet been received.

For now, she anticipates that the nomination process will be open in February or March, with a selection in spring and presentation around graduation.

Picking one thing to remember about her brother was difficult, but she decided on this:

“He was extremely, fiercely loyal. The type of person who always wanted to make everyone smile and feel welcome,” Cavuoto said. “One of the reasons for the scholarship is for people to remember all the wonderful things he did in his life, and how he touched people.”

Donations can be made through

Henderson was also the son of Jimmy Henderson; also the brother of Mary Austin; and a grandson of Mary and Ernest Beltrami.