The James E. West Fellowship: Make Your Own Legacy
Dear Scouting friends,
Three years ago, I was at Schoepe Scout Reservation at Lost Valley, serving as a volunteer leader. While I was there, I had the chance to meet a Life Scout who had just completed a ride on the camp’s zip line. His challenge in riding the zip line was that he was paralyzed from the waist down, but that did not slow him down what so ever. Moments earlier, he had been strapped into a harness by the zip line counselors and I watched in amazement as he “flew” across the sky shouting with excitement. After we talked a bit about my interest in his plans to earn his Eagle Scout rank, he quickly changed the discussion to what was important to him: becoming a summer camp counselor at Lost Valley, so he could “help other Scouts to have the same extraordinary experience” just like he had. I don’t know who was more inspired at that moment, him or me.
Being involved parents, my wife, Sandy, and I have witnessed first-hand how Scouting provides diverse and unique opportunities for developing leadership, teamwork, good judgment, and also offers a wide path of adventure for youth without regard to their individual abilities or backgrounds. Scouting programs enable the relative strengths in boys to grow and shine. The example of this outstanding young man is just one of many I’ve witnessed that demonstrates how Scouting inspires our youth to develop their potential.
Our son, Trevor, who became an Eagle Scout in 2010, has grown into a confident and responsible young man before our eyes. Boy Scouts has played a key role in who he has become and will be in the future – and his future looks bright. During his six-year tenure in Boy Scouts, Trevor has learned life skills that will enable him to make good decisions as an adult: leading groups, public speaking, project management and life saving techniques. His Scouting adventures have stretched to all corners of the U.S. and include aviation, fly fishing, high country backpacking, and white water kayaking. But his experiences have also developed his intellect and sense of citizenship. With the support of the Orange County Council, Trevor was able to complete a significant conservation project, which led to being awarded one of the most significant conservation awards in the U.S., the William T. Hornaday Award for Distinguished Service in Conservation. Like his Eagle Scout rank, this award will forever be associated with his achievements.
The Boy Scouts of America also provides a co-ed program for youth ages 14-20, called Venturing. My daughter, Jennifer, is a member of a Venture Crew, which significantly expands the outdoor activities and skill-building offerings available to her. As part of her Venture Crew activities, she completed the BSA Lifeguard Award, learning lifesaving techniques and how to use sound judgment in a life threatening situation. It boosted her confidence level to an all-time high.
Sandy and I strive to help others by supporting causes important to us. Yet, like many others, we have become more selective as to where we direct our financial resources in this challenging economy. By investing in the Council’s James E. West Fellowship endowment program, we create our own legacy of being stewards of the Boy Scout program that provides many unique opportunities for our youth to develop important life skills. Most Scouting families, like ours, give to the annual program budget of the Council through the Friends of Scouting campaign, and we believe that’s important. But we feel it is equally important that we think about the future of Scouting…now. That’s why our family has contributed multiple times to the James E. West Fellowship, in the names of our family and children.
It is with great pleasure that Sandy and I ask you to join us by becoming a James E. West Fellow and help preserve and improve Scouting programs that are vital to our youth – now and into the future.
Charlie Osaki, Scout Parent
For more information about endowment giving and the James E. West Fellowship, contact Marty Cutrone, Alumni Services Director, at email@example.com or 714-546-4990.
Building an Endowment: ‘For Generations to Come’
The importance of endowments
As the Orange County Council’s Vice Chair for Endowment and an Eagle Scout, I want to share with you how the endowment enables us to sustain our unique blend of programs and permits us to offer exceptional facilities. Our endowment allows us to be confident that future generations will share in the benefits of the Scouting experience.
I frequently hear about the Council’s endowment when budgetary decisions are made. “How is it possible that the Scouts can’t afford to lower prices or hire more staff when the endowment is so large?” This is a good question—I have asked it myself—and I believe there is a good answer. Scouting in Orange County is very fortunate: though we cannot do everything we aspire to do, our endowment allows us to do many things that other non-profits only dream about, such as contributing to operating the Outdoor Education Center or developing the Scoutreach program. Because gifts to the endowment fund are invested, more income can be generated to ensure Scouting’s vitality well into the future. Endowment Fund principal can not be spent but the interest may be applied to specific projects.
The question of how to decide where to make philanthropic investments is a personal one. While I support many different charities, as I believe everyone should, my most satisfactory relationship as a donor has been with the Boy Scouts of America, and I want to say a little bit about the reasons that inform about my choice.
Shaping New Leaders
Young people benefit through many involvements Scouting youth have great fun activities where they learn character development, leadership and skills that will benefit them their entire life. Through Scouting, young people experience salesmanship, community service, community involvement, personal achievement and successes, and the need to take responsibility for themselves and others that depend on them. Your philanthropic gift today will be enormously leveraged for our future Scouts.
Shaping Our Experience
I recognize that by giving back, my successors will flourish as I did. For those of us who feel these ties, giving to Scouting is a way not just to support this special tradition, but to continue our participation in it. A strong endowment functions to sustain for future generations a Scouting community that, we hope, will shape, engage, and inspire them.
During difficult economic conditions, many non-profits are forced to pay for basic programming costs by cutting corners on maintenance and renovation. Camps suffer from neglect. With endowment growth, the Council is able to address past problems and avoid new ones. The endowment ensures that our camps capture the imagination of Scouts who arrive here in the future, just as it captured former Scouts imagination when they first visited.
The growth of the endowment fund makes all of this possible, enabling Scouting to fulfill its expanding mission to reach more young people. The endowment was built up over time by gifts from generations of Scouts, parents, and friends who felt a deep commitment to Scouting, please join me by becoming a James E. West Fellow or 1910 member.
Eagle Scout ‘47
Vice Chair of Endowment
Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America
Many opportunities exist for you, too, to join the Boy Scouts of America in making a dramatic difference in development of our young people.
Various categories exist for endowment recognition with the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America. They are available at these minimum levels:
|Founders Circle – Deferred Gifts|
|The 1910 Society – Pledge or Outright Gift|
|James E. West Fellowship – Cash or Securities||$1,000|
Sound administrative management
Your endowment gift is carefully administered by the Board Directors of the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America. One of the main objectives of this plan is to see that income from any endowed gift is used exactly as directed by the donor — not just now, but “For Generations to Come.” Endowment Fund principal can not be spent, however the investment dollars raised from the corpus of the fund are used to support operating functions of the Council.
Ways to establish an endowment
An endowment may be established with gifts of cash, stock, real estate, bonds and other personal property of value. The authority to accept gifts is vested in the Board of Directors of the Orange County Council. Endowment gifts may be established from a bequest in your Will. Further, an endowment may be established for the benefit of Scouting at your bank or trust company with the income payable to the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America .
Donations for an endowment qualify for a charitable contribution deduction, and may, avoid capital gains tax. If the endowment is established through your Will, there may be a reduction of your state and inheritance taxes. The Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) community based organization. Tax ID 95-1727660. Contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent allowable by law.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss your interests and objectives. Address your questions to the Council Finance Team at 714.546.4990.