February 6, 2010 7:07:00 PM
The year 2010 commemorates 100 Years of Scouting for the Boy Scouts of America. The Pushmataha Area Council is kicking off the celebration by honoring 25 members of the Frances Wells Memorial Eagle Class of 2009 and 29 Religious Emblem Honorees.
Television executive, author, and 2009 Distinguished Eagle Scout Sam Haskell will be the keynote speaker. The event will be held at the Ritz Theater and Conference Center in West Point Tuesday, Feb. 9, with doors opening at 6 p.m. Advanced reservations for the event are required.
The Eagle Scout is the highest advancement rank in the Boy Scouts. In 2008, an average of five percent of all Boy Scouts earned the Eagle Scout rank.
Haskell will be available to honorees and guests before and after the banquet for a book signing of his latest work, "Promises I Made My Mother." He is the former Executive Vice President and Worldwide Head of Television for the William Morris Agency. In 2007 he was named by TV Week as one of the past quarter century''s "25 Most Innovative and Influential People in Television."
Haskell is known for his leadership in the Miss America Organization, and he is Executive Producer of the Miss America Pageant telecast. His biennial "Stars Over Mississippi" benefit concerts in Amory have raised millions of dollars for the Mary Kilpatrick Haskell Scholarship Foundation college fund for Mississippi students in need of assistance. Following Hurricane Katrina, he served as Executive Producer of "Mississippi Rising," a three-hour, MSNBC special hosted by Morgan Freeman, which raised over $15 million for hurricane victims.
The keynote speaker was raised in Amory and resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Mary Donnelly Haskell, a former Miss Mississippi and current Martingale recording artist. They are both University of Mississippi graduates and have two children, Sam IV and Mary Lane.
Eagle Scout honorees
The Frances Wells Memorial Eagle Class of 2009 honorees includes Eagle Scouts from seven cities. They are, from Columbus: Kenneth Glenn Atkins Jr., Thomas J. Boggess, Warner Randolph DePriest, Graham Matthew Young, Stephen Flint Smith and Ian Christian Williams.
From Starkville: John Eric Bickford, Ryan Weslee Lawrence, Andrew Kyle Schulz, Freddie James Williams, Clayton Dakota Berryhill, David Schilling Bouchard, Justin Rhoads Burger, Lane Scott Godwin, Vincent Vozzo, Christopher John Koehn and Sascha Mathias Neumann.
Honorees also include James Thomas Harrell and William Campbell Shirley of West Point; James Scott Ming and William Tyler Wright from Louisville; Robert Lamar Bowles Ackerman; Samuel Harris Baker and Jarrett Lance David of Amory; and Eathan James Willers of Maben.
For reservations and tickets ($25 per person) to the celebration or information on Scouting in the region, contact Lori Chitwood at the Pushmataha Area Council office at 662-328-7228. Visit www.pushmataha.org or www.scouting.org to get involved in the Boy Scouts of America.