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Boy Scouts award 3 area leaders
Volunteer committee selects recipients
Merrianne Dyer
Merrianne Dyer

Boy Scouts make a pledge “to help other people at all times.” It’s a trait Scouts honor when others exemplify the value as well. 

The Boy Scouts of America Northeast Georgia Council honored three area leaders on Thursday night for the 2014 Gainesville American Values Dinner at the Chattahoochee Country Club in Gainesville. 

The Scouts presented three recipients, Merrianne Dyer, Tom Hensley and Dr. Pierpont Brown 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.

“They’re great citizens of the community,” said Foy Todd, director of field service of the Northeast Georgia Council. 

As the mother of a former Boy Scout and a former Girl Scout herself, Dyer, superintendent of Gainesville City Schools, said she felt humbled to be recognized by an organization that teaches children so much about life and leadership. Dyer has worked with the school system for 28 years and will retire at the end of the school year. 

“I was very honored to be recognized by a group that contributes so much to developing young leaders in our schools and our county,” Dyer said. 

Hensley, president of Fieldale Farms Corp. in Baldwin, said he, too, felt honored to receive recognition by the council. 

Hensley was involved in the Cub Scouts as a child in West Virginia. 

Over the years, he has been involved in several civic organizations including the Finance and Treasury committees of the Northeast Georgia Medical Center, the Chattahoochee Golf Course Advisory Board and the Wachovia North Georgia Advisory Board. 

He has also served as chairman of the United Way of Hall County, the Georgia Mountains Regional Mental Health Board and Gainesville Salvation Army Corps.

“I’d been heavily involved in charitable work in Gainesville and Hall County for 35 years,” Hensley said. “I was happy to have a little recognition of my efforts. I was very humbled by the process.”

Brown, a surgeon with Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Surgical Associates, has provided others with his medical skills during numerous mission trips to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. He has also served several local organizations, including the Northeast Georgia Health Services Governance Committee, the North Georgia Community Foundation Board, the Northeast Georgia Medical Center Foundation, Riverside Military Academy and the Gainesville Rotary Club.

Brown said he’s had “some great experiences” with the Boy Scouts over the years. He was a member of Troop 16 in Gainesville as a child, and his youngest son is an Eagle Scout with Troop 242 in Gainesville. 

Brown said he felt humbled to be added to the list of the award’s recipients. 

“It was awfully kind of them to do that for me, and it was really an honor,” Brown said.

The keynote speaker for the event was University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby. Nearly 200 people attended the event. 

Todd said the annual event raised about $140,000 that will go to supporting the efforts of the council.

“It met all our goals of honoring three distinguished citizens, rasing money for scouting and having a great meal and hearing a great speaker,” Todd said.