News-Sun photo by CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY Peter Albert, Soaring Eagle 2010, presents Alan Jay Wildstein his 2013 Soaring Eagle Award, bestowed by the Boy Scouts of America Ôs Calusa District and Gulf Ridge Council. Wildstein was recognized for his philanthropy and commitment to his community.
published: Friday, February 22, 2013
Boy Scouts honor Alan Jay and raise money
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
SEBRING -- The Gulf Ridge Boy Scouts of America honored Alan Jay Wildstein, of the Alan Jay Automotive Network, with the 2013 Soaring Eagle Award on Tuesday night for his generosity and community commitment.
Wildstein was praised for the more than 50 cars he has donated through the years to a graduating senior with the most "A"s at each of the county's high schools; for giving more than $100,000 to the Sebring Chamber of Commerce's scholarship fund; his 20-year partnership with Fred Wild Elementary School; and for his consistent sponsorship of high school athletics and driver's education.
Wildstein said, "I'm humbled. It's an honor to receive this award. It was instilled in me early to give a life of service, just like scouting does. Thank you so much."
The award was presented during the annual fundraiser for local Boy Scout programs, held at the First Methodist Church.
Keynote speaker Lt. Col. Timothy Bax was raised in East and South Africa. He is an author, and former special operation's officer who fought on the continent and now teaches anti-terrorism techniques. He spoke of recently sitting around a campfire in the deep rain forest asking the special ops soldiers he was training what he should say about the Boy Scouts when he came to speak here.
After much thought, one man wrote Bax a note.
"I never had an opportunity to be a Boy Scout, let alone an Eagle Scout," the note said. "My mom and dad didn't have the money. Money shouldn't prevent a boy to learn the skills to become a leader and mentor. The lack of money shouldn't prevent boys from becoming one of the nation's best."
Pledges at the dinner totaled $25,105; the silent auction raised another $2,600, for a total of $27,705.
There are 30,000 boys and 5,000 adult mentors in the Gulf Ridge Council.
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