As part of the celebration of its centennial year, the Rotary Club of Jacksonville Monday devoted its meeting at the Omni Downtown to recognizing members of the Boy Scouts of America who have achieved the highest rank in Scouting, that of Eagle Scout.
More than 40 of the 234 members of the North Florida Council Boy Scouts of America 2011 Class of Eagles and their parents were the club’s guests Monday.
Boy Scouts of America North Florida Council Scout Executive and CEO Jack Sears said it was the 100th time the club has hosted young men from North Florida who have earned scouting’s highest rank.
He said less than 4 percent of the young men who join Boy Scouts will earn their Eagle Scout badge.
The Rotarians invited retired advertising executive and philanthropist Robert Jacoby to be the keynote speaker at the meeting. Jacoby earned his Eagle Scout badge in 1942.
He said when he was invited to speak to the 2011 Eagle Class, he went into his attic and found his merit badge sash and his Eagle Scout badge.
“I’ve kept them for 70 years and I predict that you will remember being an Eagle Scout 70 years from now,” Jacoby told the Scouts.
He and his wife, Monica, have made many philanthropic contributions. Among them is the Robert E. and Monica Flynn Jacoby ScoutReach Division, created by a $1 million endowment that allows young men who might otherwise not be able to participate in scouting because of economic challenges to be able to experience being a Boy Scout.
“The importance of the Boy Scouts now is greater than it has ever been,” said Jacoby.
“Boy Scouts does something remarkable and positive for young men. It teaches them to be brave, trustworthy and loyal,” he said, referring to three of the elements of the Boy Scout Oath.
“This country should be very grateful to the Boy Scouts of America for what it has done to shape our young men,” Jacoby said.
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