Column: Boy Scouts tie a knot on $15 million campaign

By Maria Saporta
Friday, May 27, 2011

The Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America is celebrating the news that it has reached its $15 million capital campaign goal.

The “When Tradition Meets Tomorrow” campaign is being invested in building new facilities at the Bert Adams Scout Reservation near Covington and to make improvements at the Woodruff Scout Reservation and Allatoona Aquatics Base.

The campaign was chaired by Gary Fayard, executive vice president and chief financial officer for The Coca-Cola Co. Steve Sitton, president of the Atlanta Area Council and president of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets for the Southeast region, also helped get the campaign to reach its goal.

“This would not have happened without Gary Fayard as chairman of the campaign,” said Tracy Techau, executive and CEO of the Atlanta Area Council. “He was a very strong attraction to get others motivated. He was a very effective chairman. And the other person — who was like his co-pilot — was Steve Sitton, who made the campaign a main objective during his tenure as president. Between Gary and Steve, there was no way we weren’t going to reach 100 percent of our goal.”

In fact, the Council’s board of directors contributed $2.4 million to the campaign.

The lead gift of $5 million was made by the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation. The other million dollar-plus donors included: Coca-Cola; the Gay and Erskine Love Foundation; and an anonymous gift from a friend of the Atlanta Area Council.

Other major donors included: Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.; AT&T Inc.; SunTrust Banks Inc. and Genuine Parts Co.

Other members of the campaign cabinet included Dennis Love of Printpack; Tim Bentsen of KPMG LLP; Ken Ashley of Cushman & Wakefield; Ed Heys of Deloitte; and Randy Rizor of the Physician’s Pain and Rehabilitation Specialists of Georgia.

A majority of the funding went toward building new facilities at the Bert Adams Scout Reservation, including the J. Erskine Love Jr. Dining Hall, the John S. Langford Nature Center and the Fort Brumley Program Facility.

Techau said the campaign also will allow the Boy Scouts to go into new markets and enter into new partnerships with other youth organizations.
The Atlanta Area Council covers 13 metro counties, and it serves 50,000 youth and 11,000 adults every year.

Jewish Federation raises $14.8M

The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta has completed its 2011 Community Campaign — raising a total of $14.8 million.

The federation’s funds help support more than 60 community organizations — in Atlanta, Israel and around the world.

“Needs in the Jewish community are still more prevalent than normal as the economy and world issues continue to fluctuate,” said Joanie Shubin, co-chair of the campaign. “As we have met with donors this year, it’s truly moving to see so many community members stepping up to the challenge and personally answering the call for aid.”

Shubin’s campaign co-chair was Joel Marks.

Leaders of the Jewish Federation decided not to set a campaign goal for this year. But they had hopes of surpassing the amount that had been raised last year. But the campaign fell a little short. The 2009-10 campaign wrapped up last June — raising $15.35 million.

The federation will celebrate its 2010-11 campaign results at its annual meeting on Thursday, June 2, at the Selig Center.

Nature Conservancy seeks director

Shelly Lakly, Georgia director of the Nature Conservancy, has accepted a job to become the Florida director of the Nature Conservancy starting July 1.

Lakly has been heading up the Georgia operations since November 2007. Now the Georgia organization will begin the search process to name Lakly’s successor.

The search will be conducted by the Nature Conservancy’s national leadership and its Georgia trustees. The Georgia board currently is chaired by Braye Boardman of Augusta; and the incoming chair is Jeannie Wright of Atlanta.

The Nature Conservancy Georgia chapter has been in operation for decades. It has helped protect nearly 300,000 acres across the state.

One of its recent victories was when it received a $4.7 million grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation to help it acquire 14,000 acres along the Altamaha River in southeast Georgia. Lakly and her team had been working to acquire one more piece of property that would connect 41 contiguous river miles and 100,000 acres.

Ferst seeking president

The Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy is looking for a new president.
Robin Ferst, the founder of the organization 10 years ago and president for the past two years, has decided to retire.

Robin Ferst will serve on the board as a lifetime ex-officio member and be available to support the new president.

Now the Ferst Foundation’s board is conducting a wide-ranging search for “a leader who seeks an opportunity to change the future of Georgia by encouraging economic development, increasing the high school graduation rate and reducing incarceration and the teen pregnancy rate improving school readiness and childhood literacy,” according to Gay Knox Vaughan, the board’s chair.

The Ferst Foundation mails a free book to children every month from birth to 5 years old. Over the past 10 years, the foundation has given away more than 2.3 million books in 75 of Georgia’s 159 counties.

United Way’s Little honored

Milton Little, president of the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta Inc., received the 2011 Centurion Award from Travelers Aid.

The award was presented during an awards dinner May 25 in Buckhead. AirTran Airways and St. Joseph’s Mercy Care also received awards at the event.

Travelers Aid hosts its award program to recognize community leaders who are committed to helping the homeless and improving the quality of life of all citizens.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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