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Breakfast will honor longtime scouting supporters

Published 10:03am Wednesday, December 11, 2013

COAL GROVE — When the Coal Grove Lions and Coal Grove Betterment clubs host this year’s Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, the focus will be twofold: fellowship with like-minded people and honoring two prominent residents of the Coal Grove area.

“We had the idea to honor two people from Coal Grove who have worked in Scouting,” Bob Leith, retired Ohio University professor and longtime Scouting supporter, said. “These are two unique men who need to be honored for what they’ve done.”

Delbert Tennant, of Coal Grove, and Marion Harrison, of Deering, will be honored and recognized for their dedication to, support of and influence on Scouting and Scouts over the years.

“These men have been instrumental in some cases being involved in young boys’ lives,” Tom Carey, Lions Club vice president, said. “Several Eagle Scouts came from being involved with these two men.”

Many members of the Lions Club can’t remember a breakfast where Scouts weren’t there volunteering their time, and the Lions were adamant about supporting Scouting and honoring Tennant and Harrison.

“This is a well-deserved day for two well-deserving men,” Carey said. “This is the Lions Club thanking them for the job they’ve done in regard to Scouting. No one should ever give their time and effort and not be recognized for it. They have never asked for anything in return and they are good men who want to see people do well and improve their community.”

The old Deering school — a one-room schoolhouse where presidents Ulysses Grant and James Garfield once made campaign stops — is used as the Scouts’ meeting place and is such because of hard work from Tennant and Harrison.

“The Lions Club and scouting really go hand-in-hand,” Carey said. “Both groups aim to serve and both groups are in need of participation, particularly from young people. We hope this makes people aware that Scouting is still there.”

If the Leo Clubs at Dawson-Bryant middle and high schools are any indication, Carey said, the future of the Coal Grove Lions is looking good.

“There are about 50 members in our Leo Clubs at the schools,” Carey said. “It’s not Scouting but it’s still a tool to help influence young minds and teach about the importance of community involvement and betterment. It shows the rewards of helping people. It does shape lives and steer youth away from other enticing things young people are exposed to.”

Carey and fellow Lions gave credit to the Coal Grove Betterment Club honoring of Tennant and Harrison.

“This couldn’t happen without the Lions Club or the Betterment Club,” Alvin Boyd, Lions Club secretary/treasurer, said. “Had both clubs not made room in the schedule for this it may not have happened.”

A few years ago the Coal Grove Lions Club was the fastest growing club in America, according to Carey, and that was a result of youth involvement.

“There used to be a sign at the Coal Grove line that read, ‘Home of 3,000 good people,’” Leith said, “and that is the truth.”

The Breakfast with Santa is 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday in the Dawson-Bryant High School cafeteria. Along with Santa Claus there will be special singers and a balloon animal artist. The breakfast is free.

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