04/02/08 — Scouts still seeking donations to reach 2008 fundraising goal

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Scouts still seeking donations to reach 2008 fundraising goal

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on April 2, 2008 1:46 PM

The Tuscarora Boy Scout Council's fundraising campaign is off to a good start, Council Executive Harold Keller said, but more supporters need to come forward over the next two months for the organization to reach its goal.

The council's Friends of Scouting campaign roared out of the gate at the campaign kickoff in Mount Olive, raising nearly three-fourths of the goal in a single night.

But although Scout supporters contributed $170,000, the council is still in need of money to pay for its yearly operations, Keller said.

The campaign will continue through late May.

Donations help boys attend Scout camp, help purchase items for mailings, provide program resources and equipment, train a leader or help with insurance premiums.

Nearly 40 percent of the council's $872,000 budget each year comes from the Friends of Scouting campaign. Other sources include camps and special activities, the United Way and special events such as the golf tournament Southco sponsors each year for the council. This year's tournament will be held in June.

The United Way of Wayne County is the largest single contributor to the council, providing 9 percent of the council's total income for a year's operations.

The Scouts also sell popcorn each year and raise about $100,000, which goes to the packs and troops.

The Tuscarora Council is made up of about 160 units, including Boy Scout troops, Cub Scout packs, Explorer posts, Venture crews and others.

Nearly 6,000 boys are involved, from Tiger Cubs to Eagle Scouts.

The council has never turned any boy away because of an inability to afford the membership, uniforms or camp fees, Keller noted.

"We pull what we call camperships out of these funds, too," Keller says.

Often a Scout's parents want to volunteer and contribute money to the council to help pay for other youths to participate in the programs.

"A lot of the parents and volunteers like to contribute, as do local businesses and former scouts," Keller said. "We see a lot of that. Tuscarora was started by Goldsboro businessmen. We have a history of having wonderful support from people in business."

And support comes in other ways like time and resources, Keller says.

"Time, resources and finance -- all three are extremely important," he says. "Our council is blessed with some of the best volunteers I've ever seen in my 25-some years of scouting."