On St. Patrick’s Day 2011, the Heart of Virginia Council received a little extra green—the folding-money kind—from the BSA Alumni Office. The council, headquartered in Richmond, was the Southern Region winner in a random drawing to receive $5,000.
Rick Bragga, the National Alumni Committee member who presented the gift, pointed out that the money does have strings attached. The money must be used for alumni-relations purposes, and the council must report back on what it did.
“We are looking to these regional winners to lead the way with unique, unusual, and creative ways of advancing their alumni programs and thereby providing an example to others of what can be accomplished,” he said later. “The contest was a great way to create initiative, raise alumni visibility, and reward progress.”
The contest rewarded progress because it was only open to councils that had increased their base of reconnected alumni by at least 25 percent between June 1 and December 31, 2010. In addition, councils had to submit a roster of their alumni committees.
The other regional winners, each of which received $5,000, were the Hudson Valley Council in Newburgh, N.Y. (Northeast Region), the Gerald R. Ford Council in Grand Rapids, Mich. (Central Region), and the Long Beach Area Council in Long Beach, Calif. (Western Region).
Bragga said the contest was so popular that the committee is considering running another contest with a different focus—although still with the goal of reconnecting and reengaging alumni. “If we could reconnect the over 100 million BSA alumni, think what we could do for the youth of America,” he said. “Whether it is awareness, support, membership, or sheer numbers of volunteers, anything would be possible.”
Source: BSA Alumni News