The Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award recognizes individuals and organizations for their dedicated efforts to bring Scouting to youth in urban and rural areas.
"Whitney Young's principal focus was on social and humanitarian work with young people," Judge Carl Stewart, chairman of the BSA's Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award Committee, says. "He tried to emphasize the need to reach out to youth in rural and low-income urban communities so that they wouldn't be left behind. His dedication to this goal makes it very fitting that this special BSA award to the 'unsung heroes' who serve Scouting in those areas is named in his honor."
On Friday, Nov. 1, Ruby Key and Larry Bowie, were the recipients of the first annual Whitney M. Young Service Award given by the Cherokee Area Council of Boy Scouts of America.
The event was held at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, where more than 150 people from the community gathered to witness the honoring of these two individuals.
Mrs.Ruby Key is a former educator in Hamilton County who began her volunteer work with Scouting in the 1950s when her son, Charles Key, Jr., became a Cub Scout.
Through her philanthropic work, she has awarded many young men the opportunity to attend and participate in Scouting events that normally would not be offered to them due to lack of exposure.
Larry Bowie started his career in Scouting in 1979, and has been active ever since. He has been a Scoutmaster in the Cherokee Area Council for almost 40 years, and has produced 39 Eagle Scouts with number 40 to come this year.
Mr. Bowie's focus has always been on the growth and development of young men.
"The first annual event was a smashing success that brought notice to Scouting in inner-city communities," officials said. "These two individuals are more than deserving of this honor and recognition."