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Boy Scouts award 3 area leaders
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Carol Burrell listens as she is recognized Tuesday with the Distinguished Citizen Award at the Gainesville American Values Dinner at the Chattahoochee Country Club. - photo by Erin O. Smith

The Boy Scouts of America Northeast Georgia Council honored three community leaders Tuesday night at the 2015 Gainesville American Values Dinner at the Chattahoochee Country Club in Gainesville.

The Scouts presented Carol Burrell, Tom Oliver and Will Schofield with the Ralph Cleveland Distinguished Citizen Awards.

The honorees are selected by a volunteer committee that seeks members of the community who are both professionally distinguished and involved in charitable efforts.

“This is an incredible honor,” said Burrell, president and CEO of the Gainesville-based Northeast Georgia Health System.

“The thing about life is not about what you do but how you do it, and the values of the Boy Scouts reflect so much of my personal life and how I try to lead. We’re really focused on our values (at the health system) — that’s really our core and foundation on how we make all of our decisions.”

Oliver, former chairman of the Hall County Board of Commissioners, said he has had opportunities to be a part of Hall County’s quality of life. “I’m just very fortunate,” he said. “I was at (the) right time on some issues.”

And Schofield, superintendent of the Hall school system, said, “It’s just an honor to be part of this community. We’ve lived a lot of places, and Gainesville-Hall County is a special place.”

All three spoke about the recognition after the dinner.

At the end of the evening, emcee Philip Wilheit announced the event raised $138,575, which will go to supporting efforts of the council.

“It’s also just a good PR moment for Scouting,” said Foy Todd, Scouting field adviser, speaking of the event’s purpose.

Jim Butterworth, director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security, was the event’s keynote speaker.

“The thing I will tell you is stick to the basics,” the Habersham County resident told the audience of about 240 people. “Some of these Scouting mottos and laws are cornerstones, I think, of what American values truly are.

“I was a Scout as well, and some of the successes I’ve had I relate them directly to experiences I had when I was a Scout.”

Butterworth said, “Those of you who are Scouts are familiar with the saying, ‘Do a good turn daily.’ Any of you who have been Scouts over the years (I) know will report that slogan hasn’t changed.”

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