Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will be the featured speaker at the 2015 Boy Scouts Palmetto Council Distinguished Citizen Dinner at Winthrop Coliseum at 6:30 p.m. on March 26.
As the NFL’s all-time career leader in touchdown passes and a Super Bowl champion, who was recently named as the recipient of the Bart Starr Award for leadership and character on and off the field, Manning is in constant demand.
Gary Williams, the chairman of the board of Williams and Fudge, was instrumental in securing Manning to speak at the event, which will honor state senator Wes Hayes for his 40 years of service to Boys Scouts of America.
“Getting Manning to speak at this event was really a team effort,” said Williams. “We had several people involved in the process. He is an exceptional speaker, and we are very fortunate to get him for this event.”
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Williams, who is serving as president of the Palmetto Council for the second time, is looking forward to the event.
“We use the money raised from this annual event to assist in funding our scouting operations for the council, which spans six counties, for the entire year,” said Williams, who has been in scouting for 41 years.
Manning, the No. 1 pick in the 1998 NFL draft, is pro-scouting.
“Manning does several scout functions each year, and everybody respects him for what he has done on and off the field,” said Williams. “We have the top council in South Carolina, and right now we are one of the top 15 in the Southeast. He wants to be connected to a winning council.”
Manning’s scheduled appearance has already boosted tables and open seating table sales for the annual event. Normally, the event draws around 225 people, but this year it could be between 500 and 550.
“Having Manning speak has really been good for us,” said Williams. “We sell mostly corporate tables, but we will have a few open seating tables for the event.”
Those interested in buying a table or getting an open seat ticketcan contact Williams at 803-326-1132 or visit www.palmettocouncil.org.
“Our sales have been great this far,” said Williams, who is co-chariman of the event along with Bruce Brumfield, CEO of Founders Federal Credit Union. “We have not had anyone turn us down yet for a table at the event.”
Hayes, who is being honored at the event, has given his life to scouting.
“Wes Hayes is an Eagle Scout, and he has devoted his life to scouting and supporting scouting,” said Williams. “It should be a great evening for everyone.”
Williams said he’s glad to have the opportunity to give back to scouting.
“Scouting is a big part of who I am,” said Williams. “It taught me leadership skills, life skills, and character. Senator Wes Hayes exhibits those skills, and so does Peyton Manning.”