Ken Fineran dedicated much of his life to his country. The rest, he dedicated to Scouting.
That’s why, when he died of cancer in 2016, his troop knew they had to do something to memorialize what he meant to their community.
Fineran, the longtime leader of Troop 17 in Short Hills, N.J., was active in Scouting for a total of 57 years, from his youth as a Cub Scout until he passed away. As Scoutmaster, he helped 84 boys achieve the rank of Eagle. In the middle of all that, he also found time to serve as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army.
Eight of the Scouts who earned their Eagle rank under Fineran have returned as registered adult leaders of the troop.
And now, thanks to the efforts of the current youth and adults in Troop 17, a road called Fineran Way is officially part of Millburn Township. (Short Hills is an unincorporated community within Millburn.) Current Eagle Scouts Jamie Serruto and Ryan Cannon led the charge.
“Mr. Fineran has inspired me to do my best,” says Ryan, who earned his Eagle rank in 2018. “He has inspired me to go above and beyond. And through his example, he has inspired me to give back to the community and other causes.”
It took patience and persistence to make the street name official.
At first, municipal officials announced that the street would be called Commerce Way, with an additional sign that would show an “honorarium” of Ken Fineran Way.
For Troop 17, that wasn’t enough. So they kept at it, showing up at township meetings and making their case to scrap Commerce Way completely.
“Their objective the whole time was to get a street named for Mr. Fineran,” said current Troop 17 Scoutmaster Daniel Cannon.
Finally, earlier this year, their persistence paid off, and the street was officially renamed.
Watch the video
See a video of the dedication ceremony below.