A community volunteer with numerous ties to Scouting and a financial institution that has been a longtime supporter of Scouts in the Ann Arbor area will be honored during a reception and dinner beginning at 6 p.m. on Oct. 9 at Barton Hills Country Club.
Martha Darling, who has served in volunteer leadership roles at the local, state, national and international level, will receive the Boys Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen Award, and the Bank of Ann Arbor is the recipient of the first-ever Distinguished Business Award. The award ceremony is hosted by the Southern Shores Field Service Council, Boy Scouts of America, which serves more than 10,000 youth and 3,000 adult volunteers in southern Michigan.
Established by the Boy Scouts of America, the Distinguished Citizen Award recognizes noteworthy and extraordinary leadership of citizens in communities across the United States
Darling was a Den volunteer for her son, David’s, Cub Scout pack while the family lived in Seattle, WA., where she was employed as Senior Program Manager with The Boeing Company. The family relocated to Ann Arbor when her husband, Gil Omenn, MD, PhD, was appointed Executive Vice President of Medical Affairs at the University of Michigan and CEO of the Michigan Health System.
David joined Troop 4 in Ann Arbor and went on to earn his Eagle Scout rank. Darling’s grandfather received the Silver Beaver Award, the highest BSA award that can be earned by a civilian, in 1952, and her brother and two nephews are all Eagle Scouts.
As her son pursued his Scouting journey, Darling continued a volunteer career that includes service as board chairperson of the National Wildlife Federation Action Fund and as past board chair of the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum and the Ann Arbor Symphony. She is a member of the National Committee for the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Her past service also includes the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the Council on Foundations’ Community Foundations Leadership Team.
“It turns out that I’m pretty good at chairing a meeting and moving along a meeting agenda,” Darling said. “I enjoy helping grow great nonprofits through my volunteer leadership roles.”
Darling said she is honored to receive the Distinguished Citizen Award and said it’s especially meaningful because of past recipients who are good friends of hers such as Russ Collins, last year’s recipient who is director of Ann Arbor’s historic Michigan & State Theaters and founder of the Cinetopia Internal Film Festival and Art House Convergence.
Her son, David, was a member of Collins’ son’s Troop 4 and she said Scouting offers many great opportunities such as getting young people outside and engaged in their communities.
“The importance of getting kids out in nature is indisputable, especially city-raised kids,” Darling said. “With more and more families with two income earners or a single head of household, the whole business of parents finding time is a challenge. Scouting can make a difference. An appreciation and enjoyment of nature and stewardship of the planet are things Scouting helps develop and it provides delightful adventures like orienteering, hiking and camping .”
But, she said Scouting also teaches invaluable soft skills such as teamwork and leadership that many youth may not learn anywhere else.
Charles Crone, Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer for the Bank of Ann Arbor, said he sees these leadership qualities in his employees who are Eagle Scouts. Like Darling, Crone has two sons who are Eagle Scouts and the family was very involved in Scouting.
“Scouting’s important because it clearly develops leadership skills in our youth and our country needs these leadership skills,” he said. “It certainly is fun for youth, but there are a lot of things that are fun. I can’t think of many programs that teach leadership skills like Scouting does.”
Crone was President of the legacy Great Sauk Council where he also served as a board member and treasurer. He is a Silver Beaver recipient and a member of the Order of the Arrow.
“The bank has supported the DCD event in years past and among my colleagues there are certainly individuals who have been and continue to be involved,” Crone said. “We are very excited and honored to be chosen as the first Corporate Citizen of the Year.”
To register, click on: https://scoutingevent.com/272-dcd18.
For additional information, contact Chris Stowe at Chris.Stowe@scouting.org.