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Southwest Louisiana ,

Area Boy Scouts may lose funding from United Way

Last Modified: Wednesday, April 03, 2013 11:55 AM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

United Way of Southwest Louisiana may stop funding Calcasieu Area Council Boy Scouts of America because the local organization does not meet new requirements for at-risk children.

This is the first year the local United Way board of directors has decided to solely target the at-risk population, said Denise Durel, president/CEO of United Way of Southwest Louisiana.

“Of the 35 agencies that have applied during this current funding cycle, 34 are within the scope of our objectives and have provided clear assurance that all funds will be allocated to serve the at-risk population,” she said. “Unfortunately, the funding proposal submitted this year from the Calcasieu Area Council did not target the at-risk population.”

As a member agency, United Way’s funding represents 19 percent of the Boy Scout’s $611,000 annual budget, said Kevin McMurrian, executive director of the Calcasieu Area Council BSA.

In keeping with United Way’s national initiative, the local chapter adopted four primary objectives to target the at-risk population in Southwest Louisiana — an area-wide graduation rate of 81 percent or higher, an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent or less, improved health rankings by at least 10 percent and targeting critical community needs.

Boy Scouts of America, because of its high graduation rates among members, fits the United Way’s education criteria, Durel said.

“We not only extended their initial deadline, but we have now also met with our local BSA leadership on several occasions,” she said. “During each meeting, they conveyed that our objectives were understood and would be incorporated in a revised proposal for funding.”

The two subsequent submissions failed to meet the objectives, she said.

The local United Way has given the Boys Scout a third deadline, which is April 5.

“We are hopeful that the Boy Scouts will have developed a plan that adequately meets our targeted goals for the at-risk population,” Durel said.

Currently, the Calcasieu Area Council serves about 5,000 young people and adults in Southwest Louisiana.

McMurrian said the BSA chapter is trying to meet the new education requirements for funding.

“Everything is still in the works,” he said. “The local chapter is trying to come up with new programs that will cater to at-risk youths.”

McMurrian wants to withhold additional comments until the allocation review committee process on April 12.

“We have a long history of partnership with the Calcasieu Area Council Boy Scouts of America and believe that they provide meaningful service to young men throughout Southwest Louisiana,” Durel said. “It is not our intent to withhold funds for the Boy Scouts or any other United Way organization — as long as they meet the criteria established by our board of directors.”

United Way defines at-risk

Posted By: Russ Wise On: 4/5/2013

Title: united Way

I applaud the United Way's decision to concentrate upon the needs of at-risk children but I believe its target may be too narrow. As a long time Boy Scout, Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, and District Committee member, I have worked toward making the Scouts more inclusive and to broaden its appeal, especially among minority children. By cutting off all funding for the local Council, the United Way has made the perfect the enemy of the good, and made the Scouts' efforts to broaden our base even more difficult.

Posted By: Tom On: 4/5/2013

Title: United Way

Basically, United Way of SWLA no longer supports traditional Scouting. I am sending my donation directly to the Scouts!

Posted By: claude On: 4/3/2013

Title: United Way

I won't be donating to the United Way anymore.

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