Boy Scouts to Honor Don McKenzie
As the Boy Scouts of America celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Scouting this month, fittingly the 2010 recipient of the Moore District Boy Scouts' Distinguished Citizen Award has spent his entire adult life in the arena of community service.
Don McKenzie has compiled an impressive record of civic, religious, professional and personal service in Moore County and throughout North Carolina.
The award will be presented during the Boy Scouts' eighth annual recognition banquet Friday, Feb. 26, at the Country Club of North Carolina.
McKenzie grew up in Pinehurst and graduated from Pinehurst High School in 1969. After a four-year stint in the Air Force, he returned home and enrolled at Sandhills Community College.
McKenzie's lifelong interest in photography was nourished while he was a high school student and an active Boy Scout.
He was employed by the renowned John Hemmer at that time and later by Geoff Hall. This ultimately led McKenzie to start his own photography business in Southern Pines, which is owned by McKenzie and also staffed by his son, Matt.
Having attained the rank of Eagle Scout as a teenager, McKenzie's commitment to the ideals of Boy Scouting led him to serve as Scoutmaster of his boyhood unit, Troop 7 in Pinehurst, from 1981 through 1991. He later served as district chairman of Moore County's district and received the district's Award of Merit.
Later he served on the Occoneechee Council's Property Committee, charged with the management and maintenance of the council's camp properties, and was recognized with the prestigious Silver Beaver award, as was his father, Billy, before him.
For more than 50 years, McKenzie has volunteered service to Boy Scouting, Community Presbyterian Church of Pinehurst, the Southern Pines Jaycees and the St. Andrews Society, and currently serves as Chairman of Clan McKenzie. One of his greatest joys is spending time with his wife, Debbie, son, Matt, and his wife, Fiona, and granddaughter, Molly Rose.
"Don has unselfishly served the Scouting movement for many years," says former District Chairman Bill Eastman. "He has made such a positive difference in the lives of many boys, and done so in his typically unassuming manner. The Sandhills community need be grateful for Don's energy and numerous contributions, including those made to Boy Scouting."
County Commissioner Larry Caddell, a former mayor of Carthage, said, "I don't know anybody in this county who has meant more to young people and to Boy Scouting than Don McKenzie. I am also proud to say that I never had a better friend."
Initiated in 2003, the Distinguished Citizen Award is the hallmark of recognition events for Boy Scouting in Moore County. Previous recipients include Dr. Bruce Warlick, Bill Samuels, Dr. Ward Oakley, George and (the late) Teena Little, Edward T. Taws Jr., Frank McNeill Sr. and former Gov. James Holshouser.
The award is given annually to a Moore County resident who exemplifies the Boy Scout oath, "On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout law, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight."
Advance tickets for the event can be purchased by calling Frank McNeill Jr., dinner chairman, at (910) 944-2329, or the Moore District Scout Office at (910) 695-7252.
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