UNION, Ky. — Two donors with funds at Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky have joined together to cause a major permanent improvement for young people in Northern Kentucky by funding $1 million and also personally supervising the design and building of a cornerstone structure for the Dan Beard Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
The Eagle Leadership Lodge is a brand new 2,500-s.f. great hall that will serve as an epicenter for learning, leadership development, teamwork, and camaraderie for local youth at Camp Michaels. The new lodge will provide a home to Scouting group meetings, leadership development courses, and hosting community gatherings to support local youth.
The donors were Bill Butler, chairman of Corporex Companies, and Paul Verst, chairman and CEO of Verst Logistics.
“‘Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.’ This is the Boy Scout law,” said Butler, a Horizon Community Funds donor and board member. “These terms are memorized by Scouts, and were a big part of my formation when I was a kid. These improvements are long overdue; this Lodge will be the centerpiece and there is much more to do to bring the camp to its full potential. By partnering, Paul Verst and I, and Horizon Community Funds, were able to make it happen where it otherwise would not.”
Dan Beard Council serves on average over 20,000 youth and families in greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Each year, thousands of these youth converge on Camp Michaels near Union, Ky., to enjoy its beautiful rustic charm and to learn in an outdoor classroom that teaches lifelong values.
“Co-chairing the Camp Michaels capital campaign and also contributing to the campaign through our donor advised fund at Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky were both easy decisions,” said Verst, a Horizon Community Funds donor and board member. “Bill made such a compelling case for the Camp Michael project through his vision of how it would positively impact our youth for generations to come. The scouting program also helped my son Chris, who became an Eagle Scout in 2005, become the incredible person he is today.”
“Each year, Scouting provides our youth with safe programs, leadership development training, and activities that bring families together,” said Andy Zahn, Scout Executive and CEO of the Dan Beard Council, BSA. “The enhancements at Camp Michaels promise to deliver that mission to thousands of local youth to help prepare them for the world today. We are grateful that leaders like Bill and Paul continue to help develop our community, and support us in helping to develop the next generation of leaders in our community.”
The two donors, both life-long Northern Kentuckians, emphasized the need for other community members to come together in charitable giving as well.
“Horizon Community Funds was formed to help support efforts like this one to accelerate growth and momentum in Northern Kentucky,” said Horizon Community Funds President Nancy Grayson. “When donors align their funds for a gift like this, they truly create even greater impact in our community.”
Support was provided through two of the community foundation’s donor advised funds, which provide donors with the opportunity to amplify their charitable giving.
The enhancements at Camp Michaels will bring new visitors and jobs to the region. The project as a whole will help to provide an infrastructure to the camp that will provide year-round camping, program, and activities for local youth and community partners. A series of yurts and a new shower house will provide for an excellent camping experience for today’s families. A campfire amphitheater will provide a vibrant place for evening programs, fun, and laughter. And the new Eagle Leadership Lodge will provide a base of operations for Dan Beard Council’s National Youth Leadership Training, known for being one of the best youth leadership development courses in the country.
Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky is a qualified public charitable 501(c)(3) organization established as a community foundation in 2017 by Northern Kentucky leaders. Its mission is to unite resources to raise the quality of life for all people in the Northern Kentucky community.