The Richmond Register

Local News

October 23, 2013

Local Boy Scout groups to lose about $4,000 in United Way funding

Ban on gay adult leaders at issue

RICHMOND — Local Boy Scout groups to lose about $4,000 in United Way funding

A decision by United Way of the Bluegrass to end its support for the Boy Scouts of America’s Blue Grass Council will mean the loss of about $4,000 for troops and packs in Madison County.

That amount is roughly Madison County’s share of the $96,000 that United Way previously provided to the council that oversees scouting in the eastern half of Kentucky, said Dan Koett, its chief marketing officer.

That comes to about $20 for each of the approximately 200 boys who participate locally in various levels of Scouting, Koett said.

The regional council’s budget is about $2 million, with about 5 percent of that total coming from United Way of the Bluegrass.

The regional United Way conducts fundraising for a variety of non-profit groups, largely through payroll deductions with employers’ cooperation.

United Way has informed the Scout council it can no longer support it because of the Boy Scouts of America’s policy not to allow openly gay adult Scout leaders, the organization stated in a letter to Scout parents.

Under increasing pressure to drop its policy of not accepting gay youth as members or gay adults as leaders, BSA earlier this year dropped its ban on gay Scouts but not gay adult leaders.

Regional councils have no control over policy decisions by the national organization, said James “Chip” Armishaw, the council’s chief executive. However, it must to live with the consequences.

In Madison County, the BSA’s compromise decision has cost Scouting in two ways. Red House Baptist Church, one of five local churches that have hosted Scout groups, has notified the council it must find a new home for the troop and pack that meet in its building.

The other four local churches that host Scout groups – First Presbyterian, First United Methodist, St. Mark Catholic and the Church of Jesus Christ, Latter Day Saints – have indicated they will continue their affiliation, Armishaw said.

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