Scouting, Volume 67, Number 5, October 1979 Page: 22
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BY ROBERT PETERSON
Photo by Brian Payne
Sports heroes draw throngs to the Denver Area Council's annual Sports Awards and
Sustaining Membership breakfast. Contributions from this year's event totaled $102,000.
HOW DO YOU GET 800 people out for
breakfast after a heavy snowstorm and
spur them to dig deep in their wallets for
Give 'em sports talk and sports heroes.
That's the finding of the Denver Area
Council, which raised more than $100,000
at its third annual Sports Awards and
Sustaining Membership Breakfast last
February. "The overnight snowstorm was
so bad that some of the main highways
were closed that morning," said Gary D.
Schrenk, council finance and public rela-
tions director. "So oiw attendance was
down a couple of hundred from what we
expected, but even so, we got pledges of
$93,000 that morning. And additional
money came in later from people who
couldn't make it. The final total was about
That's $12,000 more than the 1978
Sports Award breakfast netted, and
$17,000 over the income from the first one
Many councils hold SME dinners,
breakfasts, and lunch-o-rees. "Often they
are centered on one person, a civic leader
or corporation president," according to
Archie L. Richmond of the local council
finance service in the national office of the
Boy Scouts of America. "The Denver Area
Council's event is unique. We think other
councils might want to try it."
The Denver council has tapped Amer-
ica's passion for sports. The method is to
have as a main speaker a well-known
figure from one of the city's professional
teams and to honor a performer from each
of five sports for his service to youth. In
1978 the speaker was Red Miller, coach of
the Denver Broncos football team. This
year it was Jack Dolbin, veteran Bronco
For 1979 the council's Youth Service
Awards went to Mack Calvin of the
Denver Nuggets basketball team; Corky
Irion of the Denver Stars rodeo team,
Haven Moses of the Broncos, and Miguel
Ocon of the Denver Comets volleyball
team. They were selected by their team
members or coaches on the basis of their
involvement with youth.
Calvin has established youth groups for
disadvantaged children in a local church,
works in the Special Olympics program,
and aids the Listen Foundation, Cystic
Fibrosis Foundation, and a Muscular
Dystrophy "read-a-thon." Irion supports
4-H and Future Farmers of America pro-
grams. Kitchen teaches youngsters hockey
and takes part in benefits for the March of
Dimes, the blind, Muscular Dystrophy,
and the American Cancer Society. Moses
is a trustee of the Hemophilia and Sickle
Cell associations, aids the United Way,
and visits young hospital patients. Ocon
taught physical education to children in
his native Spain and is a frequent speaker
at Denver area schools.
Each received a large Boy Scout stat-
uette with a suitable plaque.
While the sports heroes attracted the
crowd, a Boy Scout attracted the money.
"We had First Class Scout Erskine R.
Faush, Jr., of Birmingham, Ala., there to
speak on 'What America and Scouting
Mean to Me,' and his presentation was
great," Gary Schrenk said. "It made the
difference in the level of gift giving."
In planning the Sports Award and Sus-
taining Membership Breakfast, the coun-
cil calls on the top talent in the Mile-High
City. Chairman this year was Ralph F.
Cox, president of the Anaconda Com-
pany. Past chairmen were Carrick Hill,
president of The Denver, and Irving J.
(Bud) Shwayder, president of the Sam-
sonite Corporation. Sponsors for the
breakfast included such major companies
as Sears, The Writer Corporation, and
The invitation list is carefully drawn up
by table hosts, each of whom is asked to
invite 10 persons for his table. He pays the
$50 breakfast tab for the table and sets the
pace of giving, seeking at least $100 for
SME from each patron. As the rising gift
total indicates, an invitation to the largest
annual breakfast in Colorado is con-
sidered an honor.
This year's breakfast netted nearly
one-third of the Denver Area Council's
SME goal of $339,500, which is about 44
percent of the council budget. The council
gets $331,500 from the United Way. The
remaining 12 percent of the budget comes
from a trust fund and miscellaneous
sources. This money makes Scouting
available for more than 8,000 volunteers
serving 30,000 youth in more than 800
packs, troops, and posts. It also provides
the Denver Area Council with 21 profes-
sional staffers, 17 clerical people, and two
The Sports Awards breakfast has other
values besides income. It introduces
Scouting to many prominent citizens who
aren't otherwise involved, enhances the
position of top-flight volunteers through
participation in a successful activity, and
helps the council's community rela-
Before the first breakfast in 1977, the
Denver council held no special event for
corporate and large-gift individual con-
tributions to SME. "We just had your
basic community campaign," Gary
Schrenk said. "The breakfast eliminates
the need for a lot of volunteers to make a
large number of individual visits for major
gifts to SME. It seems that people like to
be where sports heroes are." ■
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Boy Scouts of America. Scouting, Volume 67, Number 5, October 1979, periodical, October 1979; New Brunswick, New Jersey. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth353681/m1/22/: accessed April 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Boy Scouts of America National Scouting Museum.