It has been my pleasure to Chair the 2010 Friends of Scouting Annual Breakfast Fundraiser. And what an event we had this past Wednesday at the North Raleigh Hilton. We had over 350 people in attendance with the highlight being the keynote speaker, Dr. Nido Qubein, President of High Point University. He shared his life story which included his arrival in the United States with $50 in his pocket, unable to speak English and not knowing anyone. His rise to become one of the most prestigious speakers in the country and an incredible businessman was an awe-inspiring story. His ideals are in keeping with the spirit of the Boy Scouts: Always think of others first, and give and assist those who are not as fortunate as you. Dr Qubein’s presentation was awesome. It was funny and from the heart. His patriotism and optimism were contagious. I particularly enjoyed his story about serving salad to his lunch guest prior to asking for $1 million dollars for High Point University. The guest committed to the $1 million donation. Dr Qubein then only wondered how successful he might have been if he had served chicken strips with the salad…and ultimately what he could get if he served surf and turf!
Our efforts with the fundraising breakfast help to support over 14,000 youth in the Boy Scout program here in the Occoneechee Council which serves 12 counties. Just this year, we have awarded over 700 scouts with the Eagle recognition. Having attended an Eagle ceremony just last weekend, I can tell you it is quite an accomplishment. To see an 18 year-old young man express a sincere and emotional thanks to his scoutmasters, friends, scout volunteers, and ultimately his parents and grandparents was a very moving experience. We are helping our youth…and it could be debated that we need Boy Scouts more than ever and they need us as well.
Special thanks to my Vice Chairs for their dedication in a questionable economy. Their help made this one of the most successful fundraisers to date. The Vice Chairs were: Ron Barbee, Dan Bryson, Jack Clayton, Steve Crouse, Fred Day, Bill Dixon, Rod Frankel, Richard Gannotta, Rick Guirlinger, Ritch Haar, Kathy Higgins, Jeff Legg, Neil Morris, Doyle Parris, J.R. Shearin, William Smith, Michael Story, Steve Stroud, Frank Tart, Rex Thomas and John Webster. Only once before have contributions surpassed what we received on the morning of our event. Could there be a better way to celebrate the Boy Scouts of America’s 100th Anniversary and the success of the Occoneechee Council? Your comments on the Boy Scouts? firstname.lastname@example.org