IF YOU GO
WHEN: 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 6
WHERE: Garden Theatre, 160 W. Plant St., Winter Garden
CONTACT: Fernando Gomez at [email protected] or (407) 703-0234
WINTER GARDEN — Because community service is such a big value of the Boy Scouts, recognizing community members who in some way embody what troop leaders want their children to grow into becomes important to show the rewards of such service and offer role models.
For the Boy Scouts of America 2015 West Orange Golden Eagle Gala, community volunteers Barbara Roper and Bill Criswell will receive recognition for their service to the West Orange community in a room of more than 200 community supporters.
“Barbara is just kind of a community staple in Winter Garden,” said Alexandria Behrend, field director of the Boy Scouts of America Central Florida Council. “She’s just done so much for the community, especially through the YMCA, just a community advocate who deserves recognition. Criswell is a man who gets involved with war veterans and finding them homes. With Home At Last, they build the homes and then place the veterans and their families in the homes.”
Roper and Criswell will each receive a golden eagle statue for exemplifying the preparedness, community service and everything the Boy Scouts stand for, with a mission to prepare young people through giving back and putting others before self, Behrend said.
The chairmen of the dinner will be Charlie Roper, from Roper Growers Cooperative, and Oakland Mayor Kathy Stark.
“They’ve been involved for a couple of years, and they always do a good job of reaching out to the community,” Behrend said. “It’s always nice to have people like that on the committee to recognize folks. Of course it’s good to have Charlie on the committee, because we’re recognizing his mom.”
In addition to the honors for Barbara Roper and Criswell will be some special presentations featuring scouts from elementary school to high school.
“We will be recognizing Barbara and Bill, and then we will also have a featured Cub Scout give a presentation on why he joined Scouts and the fun he had,” Behrend said. “There’s a theme this year, ‘The Man I Wish to Be,’ so he’ll talk about how he has interacted with people and how they’ve helped him and experiences he’s had to become the man he wishes to be.”
There will also be recognition of Boy Scouts from around West Orange County, Behrend said.
“We highlight our scouts,” she said. “So in the West Orange and Apopka area, that is considered our district, and we serve over 2,500 kids in scouting, so we recognize that, and they dedicated over 11,000 hours of community service.”
In 2014, there were 26 Boy Scouts in this area who became Eagle Scouts, so this gala offers a time to talk about how exciting that is and some of the interesting project those children have been working on, Behrend said.
There will also be drinks and a toast to the two honorees with hors d’oeuvres after the program, she said.
Contact Zak Kerr at [email protected].