StarkeJournal.com

A service of the Bradford County Telegraph, Inc.

Judge George Pierce receives Boy Scouts honor

Cub Scout Christopher Linfors escorts Gladys and George Pierce to the stage.

Cub Scout Christopher Linfors escorts Gladys and George Pierce to the stage.



BY CLIFF SMELLEY

Staff Writer

George Pierce was presented with the second annual Distinguished Citizen Award at the Boy Scouts of America Starke American Values Dinner, which was held Feb. 26 at the National Guard armory in Starke.

“This is the greatest privilege I believe I’ve ever had,” Pierce said.

Pierce served as Bradford County judge from 1981 until 1994. Prior to that, he served as an attorney and prosecutor for Bradford County, attorney for the Bradford County School Board and the attorney for all four cities (Starke, Brooker, Hampton and Lawtey) in Bradford County at the same time.

As an Air Force staff sergeant from 1949 until 1952, Pierce earned numerous honors, including the Korean Service Medal (with four Bronze Battle Stars), Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Distinguished Unit Citation, United Nations Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and Sharp Shooter Medal.

Terry Vaughan, in introducing Pierce, said numerous terms could be used to describe Pierce, but perhaps it was best to say, “He’s a great American.”

“An honoree of this event is someone who has provided exemplary service to his community, while demonstrating character and integrity along the way,” Vaughan said. “George certainly fills the bill. He has always epitomized the motto, ‘Service above Self.’”

Pierce credited the Boy Scouts with providing a foundation for his early life.

“Boy Scouts, you played a great part in my life,” Pierce said. “I’ll always have you with me, and I’ll always support you in everything you do.”

The American Values Dinner is also a fundraiser for the Boy Scouts of America’s North Florida Council, which encompasses 17 counties. Jeff Oody, the dinner chairman, said this year’s goal was to raise $10,000. By the end of the night, attendees had pledged a total of $10,190.

Jack Sears, Scout executive/CEO of the North Florida Council, said, “On behalf of the 15,000 young people that will benefit from your generosity, thank you so much. God bless you for what you are doing for our young people.”

The event’s keynote speaker was Bunny Martin, a motivational speaker, humorist, magician and yo-yo world champion. After entertaining the crowd, he spoke highly of the importance of Boy Scouts, saying the organization is one of the few with “standards high enough and right enough” to serve as an inspiration and example to boys.

Josh Reinken, the youth minister at First United Methodist Church of Starke, holds a spoon in his mouth, with a ball balanced on the spoon. Bunny Martin used a yo-yo to knock the ball off the spoon.

Josh Reinken, the youth minister at First United Methodist Church of Starke, holds a spoon in his mouth, with a ball balanced on the spoon. Bunny Martin used a yo-yo to knock the ball off the spoon.

Bunny Martin shows off his yo-yo skills, using George Pierce’s son, Rob, as a “volunteer.”

Bunny Martin shows off his yo-yo skills, using George Pierce’s son, Rob, as a “volunteer.”

The event’s keynote speaker, Bunny Martin, is a yo-yo world champion, magician, humorist and motivational speaker. Martin (center) performs magic tricks with ropes with the assistance of honoree George Pierce’s daughter-in-law, Molly (left), and granddaughter, Claire.

The event’s keynote speaker, Bunny Martin, is a yo-yo world champion, magician, humorist and motivational speaker. Martin (center) performs magic tricks with ropes with the assistance of honoree George Pierce’s daughter-in-law, Molly (left), and granddaughter, Claire.

Barry Warren (left), who was last year’s event chairman, presented a token of his appreciation to Jeff Oody (right) for serving as this year’s chairman. They are pictured with Webelos Cub Scout Christopher Linfors, who shared Scouting news with the crowd.

Barry Warren (left), who was last year’s event chairman, presented a token of his appreciation to Jeff Oody (right) for serving as this year’s chairman. They are pictured with Webelos Cub Scout Christopher Linfors, who shared Scouting news with the crowd.

Local Boy Scout Jonathan Schmidt holds a plaque that will be displayed by Troop 70. Terry Vaughan (left) explains that the name of each year’s Distinguished Citizen Award will be added to the plaque.

Local Boy Scout Jonathan Schmidt holds a plaque that will be displayed by Troop 70. Terry Vaughan (left) explains that the name of each year’s Distinguished Citizen Award will be added to the plaque.

Judge George Pierce was honored last night at the Feb. 26 Boy Scouts of America Starke American Values Dinner, where he was presented with this year's Distinguished Citizen Award. Pictured (l-r) are Jack Sears (Scout executive/CEO for the North Florida Council), Pierce's wife, Gladys, Pierce, Jeff Oody (dinner chairman) and (foreground) Webelos Cub Scout Christopher Linfors.

Judge George Pierce was honored last night at the Feb. 26 Boy Scouts of America Starke American Values Dinner, where he was presented with this year’s Distinguished Citizen Award. Pictured (l-r) are Jack Sears (Scout executive/CEO for the North Florida Council), Pierce’s wife, Gladys, Pierce, Jeff Oody (dinner chairman) and (foreground) Webelos Cub Scout Christopher Linfors.

Comments are closed.