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Tasty fare set at Boy Scouts fund-raiser

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

The Clayton County Boy Scouts of America will host the Tara District Golden Eagle Low Country Boil Thursday at Stately Oaks Plantation in Jonesboro.

The event will provide an opportunity for community leaders to raise funds to support Boy Scout activities in the county.

The dinner will take place Thursday, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the restored antebellum home, located at 100 Carriage Lane in Jonesboro.

There is no specific price to attend the event, according to Lee Harper, district executive for the Boy Scouts' Tara District.

During the event, everyone will be asked to make a meaningful contribution through a pledge that can be paid over the remainder of the year, Harper said.

"We have individuals that give $5,000 to $10,000 a year. We have some that give $100 a year to scouting."

Organizers are expecting more than 50 guests who have committed to attending, according to Harper. However, he said the group can seat up to 100 guests, and the public is welcome to participate in the fund-raising event.

The dinner is sponsored by the Southside Seafood Company, a restaurant and wholesale distributor of seafood in Morrow. The restaurant will provide the low-country boil meal, to include shrimp, crawfish, sausage and potatoes, Harper said.

Proceeds will benefit 12 Cub Scout packs, 11 Boy Scout troops, and three Venture Crews that make up the Clayton County Boy Scouts of America, also known as the Tara District.

Venture crews are co-ed programs for teens and young adults between the ages of 14 and 20, Harper said.

"I honestly believe that Scouting is the best organization there is out there for young men and women. We're all about character training," he said.

Harper, a full-time, paid employee of the Boy Scouts, said he chose to make a career out of scouting because of its impact on his own life. "My parents divorced when I was three years old, and my scout master pretty much became my father figure. I grew up in poor conditions," said Harper, who grew up in Dalton, Ga.

"A lot of my friends were not the best kind of people ... [involved in] drugs and dropping out of school," he said. "I honestly believe I wouldn't be where I'm at in my life today, if it wasn't for scouting."

The Boy Scouts of America will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2010.

"I work to ensure that scouting is here another hundred years," Harper said.

For more information about the Tara District Golden Eagle Low Country Boil, contact Lee Harper at (404) 790-6455.