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Boy Scouts honors area leaders at dinner
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Jim Mathis Jr., left, Ed Schrader, center, and Anne Thomas were awarded The Ralph Cleveland Distinguished Citizen awards during the 2012 American Values Dinner at the Chattahoochee Country Club on Thursday evening. - photo by Scott Rogers | The Times

The Boys Scouts of America honored three Gainesville citizens for their community involvement and civic leadership during the annual American Values Dinner on Thursday night at the Chattahoochee Country Club in Gainesville.

This year's Ralph Cleveland Distinguished Citizen awards went to Jim Mathis Jr., Ed Schrader and Anne Warren Thomas.

Mathis is president and CEO of the North Georgia Community Foundation. He has been involved in several civic projects and the Boy Scouts for most of his life.

"My father was a scoutmaster and I went camping with him when I was 3 years old in 1949. I stayed in a playpen at camp," Mathis said.

He went on to become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank a Scout can attain, along with his two brothers. His mother attended the event and wore three Eagle pins to symbolize each of her sons.

Mathis said he was honored to accept the award alongside two fine people.

Schrader was a Boy Scout as well. He went through the Scouts and met the requirements for the second highest rank, Life.

"Boy Scouts mean a lot to me. I was a member of a troop in Mississippi. We were the camping-est troop in the United States. So I did learna lot about outdoor skills and teamwork. It helps you grow up. So I really, really like the organization. I think they do a great job," Schrader said.

Schrader is the ninth president of Brenau University. The university has introduced its first doctoral degree program since Schrader became president.

Thomas is the mother of a Scout and is married to an Eagle Scout. She has been involved in a variety of medical and social causes including Good News at Noon.

"I'm just pleased the Boy Scouts would pick me for this honor and I'm tickled to death to be here," Thomas said.

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