Imperial Valley Boy Scouts honor Bill Gates of Brawley

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ThBoy Scout District Award of Merite Desert Trails District of Boy Scouts of America that covers Imperial County had their Lighten the Load Dinner Tuesday night April 9, 2013 at the home of District Commissioner Stephen Fairbanks and his wife Toni Fairbanks.

District Representative Sandy Rose presented Bill Gates of Brawley the District Award of Merit, the highest award presented to Scout leaders on the District level. Gates has been involved in Scouting since he lived on Philmont Scout Ranch as a boy. He would sometimes catch a ride to school with Waite Philips, a petroleumbusinessman that eventually donated most of the land for Philmont Scout Ranch. Gates has been a leader in Boy Scouts, a merit badge counselor, and Co-chaired the Holiday Home Tour with Mary Sue Shank the last couple of years. Tina Gates and Dale Howard of the Holiday Home Tour Committee were also at the presentation.

District Chairman Blake Miles told the story of Dieter Uchtdorf of Germany trying to move a grand piano from a chapel to the adjoining cultural hall, where it was needed for a musical event. None were professional movers, and the task of getting that gravity-friendly instrument through the chapel and into the cultural hall seemed nearly impossible. Everybody knew that this task required not only physical strength but also careful coordination. There were plenty of ideas, but not one could keep the piano balanced correctly. They repositioned the brethren by strength, height, and age over and over again—nothing worked.

As they stood around the piano, uncertain of what to do next, Hanno Luschin, spoke up. He said, “Brethren, stand close together and lift where you stand.”

It seemed too simple. Nevertheless, each lifted where he stood, and the piano rose from the ground and moved into the cultural hall as if on its own power. That was the answer to the challenge. They merely needed to stand close together and lift where they stood.

Miles indicated the Boy Scout program works the same way. If everybody will lift where they stand it will “Lighten the Load” on everyone.

Former Scoutmaster Jesus Villegas was introduced as the new Scout Round Table Commissioner, in-service trainer. Former Cubmaster Jim Hite was announced as the new Cub Scout Round Table Commissioner. Bill DuBois was introduced as a new Scoutmaster. Bobby Brock became the Advancement and Recognition Committee Chair with Victor Calderon on his committee. They will be recruiting new Merit Badge Councilors in the community to help young men develop strong values and become strong leaders.

Sandy Rose announced the new Scout Office that will be in the Farm Bureau Building at 1000 Broadway in El Centro, phone (760)960-2416. Pat and Kim Abatti shared their experience at a Cub Scout camp training they went to in San Diego to get ready for the Cub Camps that will be held in Imperial Valley in June. Paul Martin announced he will be switching from Aquatics Director to Shooting Sports at Mataguay Scout Ranch this summer. Ginnette Martin will continue as the Crafts Director at Mataguay Scout Ranch.

Moroni Rosales became a Unit Commissioner. Alma Rubio Miles helped provide the decorations for the dinner and volunteered to be a Merit Badge Councilor. Field Director Derek Hartley from the San Diego Imperial Council indicated it was the best event he had been to in Imperial Valley and he is very excited about the new office in El Centro.