2018-06-20 / Local News

Cookies For Kids creator becomes an Eagle Scout

MEET SPENCER LEVY…
By JAYNE JACOVA FELD Voice staff

FAMILY: Parents Michael and Julie; brother Emerson, 18

HOMETOWN: Cherry Hill

SYNAGOGUE: Temple Beth Sholom

FAVORITE MERIT BADGE: Lifesaving

FAVORITE COOKIE HE MAKES: Chocolate Chip

FAVORITE MUSICAL: “SpongeBob SquarePants”

For anyone who has seen Spencer Levy perform on the Cherry Hill East stage or has sampled one of the cookies he bakes annually to help sick children, it would be no surprise to learn of another of the 16-year-old’s accomplishments.

In May—almost 70 years to the day that his grandfather achieved the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America—Spencer became an Eagle Scout. Grandfather Jerry Levy received the Eagle Scout badge in 1948. Dr. Michael Levy, his father, followed in his own father’s footsteps in 1979. Spencer, a member of Boy Scout Troop 167, was designated an Eagle Scout on May 24.

“It didn’t really occur to me up until recently that I am a third-generation Eagle Scout,” he said. “It was definitely a long process and I was glad I was able to do it.”

Forgive him for not connecting the dots sooner. In April, just a month before the ceremony was to take place in his backyard, Spencer was arm deep in flour, sugar and other ingredients he uses to make four varieties of his trademark giant cookies. With more orders than ever before, the 11th annual Cookies For Kids drive was on track to shatter sales.

This is no small operation. With help from his mother Julie, the East junior spent his entire spring break, and then some, baking, packaging and delivering thousands of cookies, resulting in a $2,741 donation to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The sweets were distributed locally—to teachers, former teachers, relatives, friends, friends of friends, and acquaintances—as well as shipped to people across 10 states.

Spencer hasn’t quite figured out how to track the actual number of cookies he’s baked, even as he’s gotten far better at planning for a larger-scale operation over the years.

“People ask all the time if I keep track of the number of cookies that I bake,” he noted. “It’s a lot more than the dollar amount that’s donated. If I had to guess, this year I probably baked around 3,000.”

Since his first bake at age six, when he raised a modest $352 after deciding he wanted to bake to help kids, he has donated $19,113 to date. In 2015, an exam room in the newly opened CHOP’s Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care was named in his honor.

Remarkably, he still loves baking cookies— and eating them.

“I have a sweet tooth,” he admitted. “And baking is stress relieving.”

Spencer switched gears when considering a culminating project for Eagle Scout requirements. Away from the heat of the kitchen, he constructed a wooden mini lending library, for which he had to come up with funds for materials and blueprints and seek township approvals. Built in the fall, now that it finally feels like summer, the library on Partridge Lane outside of the Fox Hollow Swim Club, is in use.

The fact that people are regularly supplying and borrowing books from the modest library is satisfying somewhat in the same way that the cookie drive is.

“I’m so happy to see that it’s become a part of the Fox Hollow community,” he said. “I look at it every day and see new books in it.”

His father said the family has preserved the 1948 decree announcing his own father’s achievement of the Eagle Scout badge. As Spencer was getting closer to receiving it himself, the family realized it would be an extra proud moment. Only four percent of Scouts become Eagle Scouts.

“It’s a nice thing for him,” said Michael Levy, a Scout leader of the troop. “We like that he is passionate about something. Boy Scouts is part of it, and so is Cookies For Kids.” 

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