02/03/08 — Bland leaves Scouts $1 million

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Bland leaves Scouts $1 million

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on February 3, 2008 2:39 AM

The Tuscarora Boy Scout Council has received a $1 million gift from the estate of the late Dr. Ralph Bland.

Council President Bill Bryan made the announcement during the annual Tuscarora Council Awards Ceremony held Thursday night at Wayne Community College.

Bland was an Eagle Scout and friend of Louis Max-well, who received the national Distin-guished Eagle Award, which is Scouting's highest honor, during the ceremony.

Bland and Maxwell earned their Eagle rank the same year, 1942, while they were Scouts in Troop 1, the first troop formed in the Tuscarora Council.

Maxwell said he remembers Bland well. They were best friends, competitors in tennis, golfing and wrestling.

"We double-dated and competed," Max-well said. "We'd have a big circle on the floor and see who could throw the other out of the circle. He beat me badly, but I exercised a lot and got so I could throw him out once in a while."

Bland grew up and became a doctor and practiced medicine in Wayne County for more than 33 years. Through the years, he would often talk about how much Scouting meant to him and would look for ways to make sure the programs and facilities would continue.

Upon Bland's death in September 2006 at age 79, his adviser and the council's Investment Committee chairman, John Hine, told Bryan and other Tuscarora officials that the doctor had decided that a portion of his estate would go to the Tuscarora Council.

His gift totaled nearly $1 million.

The money has been placed in the council's general endowment fund, where the principle will always remain and generate 4 to 5 percent in operating income for the council on a yearly basis.

Bryan said the council's executive board has approved a plan to use part of the money to renovate the waterfront, one of the most popular areas at Camp Tuscarora.

When renovations are complete, Bryan said, Tuscarora will name the waterfront the Bland Aquatics Center.

The official grand opening will be held at camp June 24.