The Baltimore Area Council, Boy Scouts of America (BAC, BSA) publicly kicked-off its annual fundraising campaign with a reception at the National Aquarium Baltimore. More than 200 business and civic leaders joined the Scouting community to demonstrate their support for the values based Scouting programs in Baltimore City and the surrounding counties of Baltimore, Harford, Carroll, Howard and Anne Arundel. The program, held in the Dolphin Show Arena, featured Fox45 Meteorologist Steve Fertig as the Master of Ceremonies; Congressman Elijah Cummings as the keynote speaker; and presentations by youth Eagle Scouts and the BAC, BSA Chairman of the Board Barry Williams. Supporters pledged $175,000 to support BAC, BSA’s programs which serve 50,000 youth.
Among the youth Eagle Scout presenters at the investor’s reception were Malcolm Dirton of Baltimore City. Malcolm Dirton’s Eagle Scout project worked with other area scouts to catalogue the brass placques placed at the base of each tree when planted in the Memorial Grove in Baltimore’s historic Druid Hill Park, which is the country’s first memorial of its kind, planted to memorialize those who fought in World War I. As a result of Malcolm Dirton’s Eagle project, it was discovered that 42 of the original markers are missing. Youth Eagle presenter TJ Ellwein is the recipient of the BAC, BSA “Eagle Scout Project of the Year Award”. T.J. Ellwein’s Eagle project consisted of a restoration on Chaplain’s Hill Arlington National Cemetary where he directed a crew of his peers who scrubbed and cleaned 400 headstones of Armed Forces’ Chaplains buried on the hill. In all TJ logged more than 400 hours leading to the clean-up and beautification of this reverent location.
Special volunteers were recognized at the event. During the event program BAC, BSA recognized “Heroes for 100th” who have served Scouting in very special ways to help make the scouting program available for youth in Central Maryland. A list of these volunteers can be found at www.Baltimorebsa.org. Among the hero recipients that we formally recognized at the event were:
· Dr. Albert Reece, Dean, University of Maryland Medical System, who has assisted in raising more than $90,000 from the healthcare community for programs serving Scouts with special needs.
· Sharon Wylie, Public Affairs Manager Fox45, who has served to increase public awareness of the annual food collection service project “Scouting for Food”, to the homeless and families in need throughout central Maryland.
· Kevin Maxwell, Superintendant of Anne Arundel County Public Schools, who has served to further educational opportunities for youth served in public schools to join Scouting.
· Gerald Stansbury, President, Maryland Chapter NAACP, who has served to provide mentors and life-skills learning opportunities for youth in impoverished situations in underserved communities.
· Jim LaVey, Long time scouting volunteer who has dedicated more than 60 years of service to Scouting and presided over boards of review for more than 2,000 Eagle Scouts in central Maryland.
Since 1910, Scouting has shaped the lives of America’s youth – helping them develop values, strength of character, citizenship, personal fitness and leadership skills our community needs. Even in these challenging times, BAC, BSA is striving to help more young people than ever before grow into productive citizens. Raising the essential financial resources to sustain Scouting throughout the Central Maryland community is a big job for the BAC, BSA. The local Boy Scout council provides character building programs to nearly 40,000 families in Central Maryland at the annual cost of over $5 Million. Last year 488 youth attained the rank of Eagle Scout. Campaign contributions to support Scouting help develop young people into future leaders can be made online at www.baltimorebsa.org/donate. BAC, BSA is striving to raise more than $1.4 million dollars through its annual campaign in 2011. For more information contact Sonya Greene at 443-573-2539 or firstname.lastname@example.org.