Editorial: A hope that United Way, Boy Scouts put recent chapter behind them

Unfortunate may be the best description of the parting of the ways by the United Way of Southwest Louisiana and the Boy Scouts of America-Calcasieu Area Council.

After haggling for several months over the United Way’s funding of the local Boy Scouts council, the Scouts Executive Board voted unanimously to cut its ties with United Way.

It was a messy, public divorce.

At issue for both agencies was determining how much funding the Boy Scouts Council would be allocated by United Way.

The United Way of Southwest Louisiana adopted the national United Way Community Impact Business Model that bases program funding

on how a particular agency serves at-risk children and adults.

After give-and-take and several

revisions to their fiscal request, the Boy Scouts Council submitted

information and a request

for $121,000 for 2013. The dilemma for the Boy Scouts was

providing an accurate baseline figure that was requested by the United

Way for an at-risk population that has traditionally not been

served, nor shown any particular interest in the Boys Scouts

of America.

Based on the Business Model and

information provided by the local BSA Council, the United Way of

Southwest Louisiana’s Allocation

and Review Committee decided to fund $32,549, a decision that was

supported by the United Way’s Board of Directors. However,

since United Way donors had designated almost $41,000 to go to the

local Boy Scouts Council, United Way honored those requests

and agreed to fund the BSA at that level.

Faced with a 200 percent reduction it

its request, the BSA Calcasieu Area Council board voted unanimously to

strike out on

its own. That decision will give the local council the flexibility

to raise money on its own during the United Way’s fundraising

campaign, when member agencies are forbidden to sponsor any

fundraising events.

In parting, spokespersons for both the United Way of Southwest Louisiana and the Boy Scouts of America Calcasieu Area Council

took the high road, wishing the other organization well in their future endeavors.

We hope this episode doesn’t besmirch the reputation of either agency, nor close the door on future collaboration between

the two. Both the United Way of Southwest Louisiana and the Boy Scouts of America Calcasieu Area Council are valued assets

in our area, making huge impacts on thousands of residents.

Our desire is that both agencies put this chapter behind them and that they will continue to provide vital services that improve

the quality of life for Southwest Louisiana residents.

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This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.