Whitney M. Young, Jr. Service Award Dinner

Watch it here: https://youtu.be/25lHukcEsBg

Distinguished Guests, Award Recipients, Pr. Moss, Fr. Jones, fellow Scouters: 

We have come together tonight to recognize and honor five men and women who have served the African American community in critically important ways, all the while exemplifying the ideals of Scouting.  Whitney Young once said, "Every man is our brother, and every man's burden is our own. Where poverty exists, all are poorer. Where hate flourishes, all are corrupted. Where injustice reigns, all are unequal."[26] As you will hear tonight, each of our awardees leads by example in overcoming deep and troubled waters of burden, poverty, hate and injustice that threaten to drown our republic. 

I am humbled by their accomplishments. And I have been thinking about how we can best honor them and their achievements. I’d like to speak with you briefly tonight about diving into troubled waters. 

In order to advance in rank, a Scout needs to learn how to deal with water – how to cook with it, preserve and keep it clean, and how to safely work and play in and on it.  Swimming involves diving and learning how to save lives – first the Scout’s own, and then the lives of others.  Scouts take an oath to do their best, they chant a motto of being prepared, and they pledge to be helpful.  

Late in the day one summer afternoon at camp, a Scout’s dad asked if I could help his son do his first dive.  The Scout and I talked about what he needed to do and how he had prepared to do it.  We walked down to the lake and out onto the dock, making sure to wear nothing that could weight us down in the water.  We touched the water with our hands and then sat down, dangling our feet in the water.  We talked through crouching on the edge, pushing off from our legs, holding our breath when we went in and swimming back.  I showed him how to do it.  He was terrified; he was shivering.  He knew he had to overcome water that could drown him, that he had to dive in where he couldn’t see the bottom.  He knew this was important, not only for his own safety, but for that of others around him who might fall in, unable to swim or get out alone.  It took a long time, and we didn’t finish that afternoon, but eventually he dove in and advanced. 

Scouts and Scouters have an abiding faith in people founded upon our individual relationships with an Almighty who has parted seas for some, saved others in baptism and sustained every life with water.  We believe that we can overcome the deep and troubled waters of animosity, economic injustice and violence that threaten to drown our communities.  These wonderful people – Lester and Nancy McKeever, Dorval Carter, Harry Porterfield and Anthony Dade – these are our life preserves and our life guards.  Each of them dove into deep water, taught others to swim and in the process saved lives.  And so we honor them with the Whitney Young Award and a pledge. 

Tonight I pledge to each of them and to each of you that the Pathway to Adventure Council will dive into the troubled waters that divide our communities. For many years Scouting struggled under the weight of a most unfortunate membership policy which threatened to drag us under; That weight dropped away in May 2015.  And so we will include all people in Scouting throughout this Council – in our youth programs, in our adult volunteer corps, in our staff and in our leadership.  We will bring Scouting back into the South and West side waters of Chicago on a fully diverse and inclusive basis. We will reach out to and include people of all individualities throughout our suburban communities. And while we recruit and train youth from our public and private schools into our five Scouting programs, we will reconnect with churches, synagogues, mosques and other organizations that have sponsored our units over the last 110 years.  We will also hire and promote people of all individualities.  It is only by delivering on these life saving and life changing promises - from shore to shore and from bottom to top – that we will achieve all that Scouting has to offer.  

We will need your help every stroke of the way. 

Please be sure to congratulate our awardees.  The tokens of honor we bestow upon them tonight are most fitting.  May the fulfillment of the pledge we made tonight become their ultimate reward.  I thank each of them and I thank each of you.

Eight years ago, we began the tradition of honoring local Chicagoans that would have made Mr. Whitney M. Young, Jr. proud for their service to the African American community. Along the way, your support of this event has allowed us to dedicate special funding to provide a Scouting program in the inner-city where family structure and economic conditions are deeply strained.

In a time where Chicago’s violence is shattering records, the need for your support is even greater. Help us to ensure that Scouting is an option for our youth during these turbulent times by joining us to celebrate this year’s honorees.

It is with great pride that we announce this year’s class of Whitney M. Young, Jr. Service Award recipients…

Title Sponsor $25,000
• Two tables of 10
• Full-page advertisement in program
• Company logo on prominent event banner

Gold Sponsor $10,000
• Two tables of 10
• Full-page advertisement in program

Silver Sponsor $7,500
• One table of 10
• Full-page advertisement in program

Bronze Sponsor $5,000
• One table of 10
• Half-page advertisement in program

Jamboree Sponsor $2,500
• One table of 10
• Recognition in program

Eagle Sponsor $1,000
• Two tickets
• Recognition in program

Individual Ticket $200

Boy Scouts of America, Pathway to Adventure Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

The deadline for submission of all program book advertisements and company logos for banners is November 24th, 2016.

Questions and ad placements can be directed to Dwayne Hunter at Dwayne.Hunter@Scouting.org or 312-421-8800 x 242.

We would like to send a special thanks to those who make this event possible.

La Shawn K. Ford
Illinois State Representative of the 8th District
General Chair

Cynthia Powers
Powers & Sons Construction Company
Co-General Chair

Jerry Lewis
JLL Construction Services Inc.
Co-General Chair

Craig Gilmore

Darryl Dennard
Double D Productions, Inc.
Public Affairs Director/Host
iHeartRadio Chicago Urban Radio Station

David Persons
Hospice Consultant
Residential Hospice

Dr. Ronald J. Temple
The Center for Global & International Education

Juanita Temple

Otis Pope
Redel Rental

Gerry Smith
University of Illinois at Chicago