WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va., Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Boy Scouts of America announced more than $85 million in new philanthropic gifts to help further fund the development of the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve.
Led by a $25 million gift from West Virginia billionaire Jim Justice, president and CEO of Justice Companies, Inc., which includes the iconic Greenbrier Resort that he purchased in 2009, the new gifts bring the total funds raised to more than $200 million in less than two years. Business and philanthropic leaders from around the nation continue to support the largest project in BSA history with generous financial donations.
Justice's contribution will establish the James C. Justice National Scout Camp, a key component of camping activities for Scouts at the Summit. It will bring together outdoor adventures in the West Virginia countryside with educational and leadership opportunities for youth.
"It is rare to be presented with an opportunity to impact so many lives," Justice said. "The Summit will bring youth and families from all over the country—even the world—to West Virginia for a meaningful experience and incredible adventure."
Justice has a long history of supporting and serving youth. He has been a youth basketball coach for 25 years, and has served as president of the Beckley Little League since 1992.
This week, leadership, volunteers, and donors from the BSA have gathered at the Greenbrier to celebrate the progress around the Summit. Tonight at a special banquet at Justice's Greenbrier, the BSA will recognize new philanthropic gifts.
Justice's donation is joined by new contributions from:
- The Ruby Foundation, $10 million to fund the J.W. and Hazel Ruby West Virginia Welcome Center
- Ed and Jeanne Arnold, $10 million to fund the Ed and Jeanne Arnold Transportation and Logistics Center
- Terrence and Peggy Dunn, in an undisclosed amount, to fund the Dunn Family Adult Leadership Camping Community
- J. Brett Harvey, in an undisclosed amount, which will fund the Harvey Mountain Bike Shop and Jared Harvey Bike Trails
- Two additional confidential donations of $22 million
Plans for the Summit began in 2007, when BSA leadership began looking for a new home for the national jamboree. After reviewing more than 80 sites in 28 states, the BSA chose the property in West Virginia in 2009.
A donation of $50 million from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and the Stephen Bechtel Fund—the largest gift in the history of the BSA—provided the financial seed to initiate the project. In 2010, the Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation committed $25 million to the development of the Summit. Also, Consol Energy has donated $15 million to fund one of the pedestrian bridges at the Summit.
"The Summit is unlike anything the BSA has undertaken in its 100-year history and will be a premier opportunity for youth to experience the fun and adventure that define the Scouting experience," said Rex Tillerson, BSA president, Eagle Scout, and CEO and chairman of Exxon Mobil Corporation. "We know if the BSA delivers a quality Scouting program, then we will be vital and relevant in our next 100 years. The Summit is the embodiment of Scouting's focus."
Located in the New River Gorge region of West Virginia, the Summit sits on 10,600 acres of forested mountains that will provide incredible facilities and intense outdoor programs. The Summit is scheduled to open in 2013 and will complement the three world-class BSA national high-adventure bases in New Mexico, Minnesota, and Florida. The site will permanently host the BSA's iconic national Scout jamboree beginning in 2013 and the 2019 World Scout Jamboree.
About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be "Prepared. For Life.™" The Scouting organization is composed of 2.7 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and more than a million volunteers in nearly 300 local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org or www.summitbechtelreserve.org.
SOURCE Boy Scouts of America