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The Winnik clan didn't beat down doors. Instead they took the persuasive angle by hanging tags explaining what they were doing, and saying they would pick up the food over the weekend.

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Marco has plenty of organized food drives, but one Boy Scout family team recently decided to go it on their own.

Alex and Daniel Winnik and their dad Jack figured "pounding the pavement" was a good approach to a good cause, so they went cold calling at about 80 Marco houses asking residents to donate foodstuffs as part of the Scouts' "Webelos" initiatives.

Webelos, meaning "We'll Be Loyal Scouts," is a 20-month program for 4th and 5th Grade boys to prepare to join a Boy Scout troop while learning outdoors skills and participating in 20 different activity badges.

A well-run group of Webelos is a gradual change from being an 'adult-run' den to being a 'boy-run' patrol, ready to fit right into an adventurous scouting troop. This migration requires the parents and den leaders to give the scouts more and more control, decision-making power, and responsibility as they progress in skills, abilities, and maturity.

The Winnik clan didn't beat down doors. Instead they took the persuasive angle by hanging tags explaining what they were doing, and saying they would pick up the food over the weekend.

"To our surprise, on collection day we collected a huge amount of food," said Jack Winnik. "My SUV trunk couldn't fit all of it in. Among the people who donated food was one gentleman by the name of Herb Savage. It was a great pleasure chatting with him."

Savage, who is in his 90s, is one of the city's original architects, and is known for leading the singing of "God Bless America," at almost any function he attends.

Alex and Daniel Winnik receive badges for the project. Jack Winnik said he'd like to thank the generous people of Marco Island through the Sun Times.

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