By Sarrah Peters
Sports enthusiasts, Boy Scout supporters and locals flocked to 210 at the Tracks in Gadsden on Tuesday, May 7 to enjoy a good meal and more at the Etowah Boy Scouts Steak Social.
Attendees enjoyed drinks and food (steak, of course) while they socialized with each other. During the event, a silent auction was held for sports memorabilia, along with a few other items. Legendary football coaches Pat Dye of Auburn University and Gene Stallings of the University of Alabama autographed Auburn and Alabama cornhole board sets for the auction. Autographed footballs and wine baskets were also auctioned.
Three locals were awarded the Boy Scout Heart of an Eagle Award during the event. The award is presented to individuals who demonstrate leadership, character, integrity and service to the community.
Dr. Gertie Lowe the founder of the Gadsden Summer Enrichment Program and a civil rights activist was honored, as well as Gadsden Regional Medical Center CEO Corey Ewing. Retired Etowah County Circuit Judge William Rhea was the final honoree.
Judge Billy Ogletree introduced Judge Rhea and took the opportunity to present him with resolution from the Alabama State House in his honor, for over 30 years of service as a judge. Rhea is the second longest serving circuit judge in the state of Alabama.
“All of you are here tonight because you appreciate the values that scouting represents,” said Master of Ceremonies Tena King. “It’s no accident that we have all of these judges in the room. They know the benefits of scouting. These are values that make our country strong, our communities safe.”
King introduced keynote speaker Gene Stallings. Stallings played college football for Texas A&M in the 1950s. In the 1960s, he served as Texas A&M’s head football coach. He the NFL St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals before becoming head coach at the University of Alabama, where he won a national championship.
Stallings spoke about the importance of doing the right thing, like supporting the local Boy Scouts, which offer kids numerous opportunities.
Stalling fondly recalled his own days in the scouts.
“There’s something about being a Boy Scout,” said Stalling. “I still remember my scouting days. Those people that have been scouts in the past, you still remember your scouting days. They made a difference in our lives.”
Stallings said that contributing to the scouts can “make the quality of life a little bit better for somebody that doesn’t have a chance.” He added that participating in the scouts can offer additional college opportunities and scholarships.
King thanked attendees for supporting the Boy Scout program. She encouraged attendees to keep supporting the scouts, by offering to help one scout.
“It is $300 a year to support one scout,” said King. “It takes $300 a year to make sure one scout can enjoy all there is to offer and the benefit of the values we teach.”
For more information, visit www.1bsa.org.