The Boy Scout credo "Be Prepared" may evoke rustic images of campfires and canteens, but the group's Los Angeles chapter has discovered that in today's world of multimillion-dollar fund-raising campaigns, being prepared means knowing groups like the Golden Eagles.
In little more than a year, the Golden Eagles, a new business and charitable networking program, has raised about $75,000 for the 56,000 Scouts active in the Los Angeles Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
"It's a highly successful program," said Edward Jacobs, president of the Los Angeles Boy Scouts Council. "Part of our new fund-raising philosophy is to get people involved in the things they are giving their money to."
About 100 business executives, mostly young entrepreneurs from throughout Southern California, donate $1,000 each annually to the Golden Eagles, which funnels it to the Boy Scouts. In return, the Golden Eagles arranges networking sessions between the entrepreneurs and more experienced executives. The contributors also occasionally meet with Boy Scout board members.
The Golden Eagles group--the brainchild of John Davis, a Los Angeles insurance agent, and Ron Cedillos, who heads his own aerospace testing company in Downey--has so far held five executive receptions.
The receptions have been hosted by such business leaders as Robert E. Wycoff, president of Atlantic Richfield Corp.; Bill Kieschnick, former Arco president; Fred Hartley, president and chairman of Unocal Corp.; Fred O'Green, chairman of Litton Industries, and George Moody, president of Security Pacific National Bank.
"It opens an avenue for . . . professionals and businessmen to meet the acknowledged leaders of the nation's corporate world in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere," said Cedillos. "Most importantly, it is a highly successful method of fund raising for the Boy Scouts."
The costs of the receptions are shouldered by the host company. Cedillos said there were about $20,000 to $25,000 in administrative expenses associated with maintaining the Golden Eagles. However, he did not detail what those expenses were.
While the money raised so far is only a fraction of the Los Angeles Boy Scouts' $4.8-million operating budget, Cedillos hopes to more than double his group's annual contribution, which is tax-deductible, to almost $200,000.