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Leaders of Character honored

Awards: Bill Hart District of Boy Scouts of America honors three couples

Posted: September 22, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 22, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Boy Scout representatives greet attendees at the sixth annual Leaders of Character Recognition Dinner held Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.

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Boy Scouts of all ages and ranks formed a two-sided receiving line Saturday as guests to the sixth annual Boy Scouts of America Leaders of Character Recognition dinner entered the lobby to the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Valencia.

Honored were Kerry and Kristie Carmody, Don and Cheri Fleming and Laurene Weste and Jim McCarthy.

All the ladies in attendance also received a long-stemmed red rose from a young scout as they entered the venue.

“These scouts are all so cute,” said guest Vanessa Wilk as she received her rose.

Emcee Arif Halaby, president and CEO of Total Financial Solutions Inc., presenting sponsor of the event, welcomed guests and spoke about scouting and the event.

“Last year, the Boy Scouts celebrated 100 years in the United States,” Halaby said. “That’s pretty incredible.”

A colorful presentation of flags was carried by scouts to the stirring sounds of bagpipes.

Mark Murphy, Bill Hart District vice chairman, introduced each of the honorees. Each couple honored received a video tribute before they were introduced and presented with an engraved bronze Eagle trophy. The ladies were each presented with a bouquet of red roses.

“Couples and individuals chosen to receive the Leaders of Character honor are selected on the basis of their “outstanding service to the community as well as their devotion to family, faith and community,” said Jim Rushton, council executive of the Western Los Angeles Council of the Boy Scouts of America. “They exemplify the traits of the Scout Law: Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.”

Kerry and Kristie Carmody were honored for their work in the medical profession.

Kerry Carmody is the regional chief operating officer of Providence Health and Services California.

“We’re so honored to receive this award because of the caliber of people who have graced this stage in the past,” said Kerry Carmody.

Kristie Carmody worked as a marriage and family therapist in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The couple has a passion for adopting homeless dogs, 24 total to date. They have also established the Kerry and Kristie Carmody Endowed Scholarship Fund for the Sciences at Linfield College.

Don and Cheri Fleming are the owners of Valencia Acura. The couple were named SCV Man and Woman of the Year in 2004. The couple are noted SCV philanthropists.

“I was a Boy Scout. I was a Cub Scout,” said Don Fleming. “A lot of the things that I learned and have helped me succeed in life are the values I learned as a scout.”

Cheri Fleming spoke about what it meant to be a scout.

“Being a Brownie and a Girl Scout were two of the starting points for me,” she said. “Brownies taught me about friendship. Selling cookies as a Girl Scout taught me the selling skills I later used to sell cars.”

Laurene Weste and Jim McCarthy, the SCV’s “Western Sweethearts” have partnered to preserve thousands of acres of open space, trails and parks.

Weste is a three-term Santa Clarita City Councilwoman, McCarthy is the Park  Project Coordinator for the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation.

“I just do my job. I just try to make the community better,” McCarthy said.

Weste encouraged attendees to donate to the Boy Scouts.

“Every dollar, every dime donated to scouting is used to develop the leaders of tomorrow,” Weste said.

The event benefited the Bill Hart District of Boy Scouts of America which serves the communities of Agua Dulce, Canyon Country, Castaic, Newhall, Saugus, Stevenson Ranch, Valencia and Val Verde.

The Bill Hart District serves 1,234 Cub Scouts, 879 Boy Scouts and 410 Venturers.

For more information contact the Santa Clarita Service Center (661) 284-6330 or visit www.billhartdistrict.com.

mbuttelman@the-signal.com

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