Dallas-area Scouts get unprecedented gift

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by DEBBIE DENMON

WFAA

Posted on October 4, 2010 at 7:23 PM

DALLAS — It's the biggest gift of its kind to a Boy Scouts organization in the United States.

On Monday, the Circle Ten Council accepted a historic donation of $25 million from the Rees-Jones Foundation.

Trevor Rees-Jones was a Boy Scout turned Eagle Scout, and just wants to give back.

"It just shows philanthropy is not dead," said Pat Currie, CEO of the Circle Ten Council

Danzell Long has been a Scout since age 11, and was extra-excited to arrive at Circle Ten headquarters Monday to hear about the generous gift. He was eager to tell how scouting has literally saved his life.

"It kept me out of gangs, off drugs," he said.

Twenty million dollars of the gifted money will go toward the outreach program to help inner-city youth.

"Many of the youth are learning so much from the outstanding adult services that they become better young men, and sometimes their lives are changed," said Circle Ten board president Sherwood Blount.

The remaining $5 million of the grant will be used to develop the four campgrounds Circle Ten operates, building new campsites and improving the roads.

Danzell still cherishes those moments at camp, and the badges he's earned. "I worked hard for this badge," he said. "I learned about the environment... I'm darn proud."

The $25 million donation means the Circle Ten Council, which serves Dallas and 11 surrounding counties, can continue their tradition of turning no child away.

E-mail ddenmon@wfaa.com

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