FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 17, 1998
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Contact Missouri Boys State
HARMON FAMILY PLEDGE BOOSTS BOYS STATE TRUST
(KANSAS CITY, MO) -- A major fund raising campaign
to benefit one of Missouri's premier youth citizenship training
programs was launched on Saturday, January 17, with the help of
a $250,000 lead gift from members of a family who say The American
Legion Boys State of Missouri contributed to their own success.
The gift was presented to the American Legion Missouri Boys State
Memorial Trust by Adrian and Margaret Harmon, Warrensburg, and
their sons Lynn Harmon, Warrensburg, and Tom Harmon, Olathe, KS,
who are both Boys State alumni. In providing the contribution,
the Harmons issued a challenge to other Boys State supporters
to help the Trust successfully build a $1 million endowment by
December 31, 2000.
The Trust currently has assets of approximately
$250,000. Interest income from the Harmon gift will be used annually
to sponsor a keynote speaker in their name during the weeklong
summer program. "We're grateful for the Harmons' generosity,
and for their continued support of Boys State. Their gift will
help assure a quality experience for participants for many years
to come," said James S. (Jim) Whitfield, Chairman of the
Board of the Trust. Nineteen ninety-eight will mark the 40th consecutive
year the program has been held on the campus of Central Missouri
State University in Warrensburg (CMSU). "We believe the impact
the Boys State program has on the state is tremendous. We're happy
to be a part of it and to share in its great success," Tom
Harmon said. "We thank CMSU for hosting this annual program,
and we look forward to many, many more years on campus."
Long before the Harmon sons became successful
in the banking industry with their father, Tom and Lynn were developing
vital leadership and citizenship skills as Boys State participants
according to Whitfield.
Calling it the "Week That Can Change a Lifetime,"
Lynn Harmon attributes his Boys State experience to the development
of skills that have served him well throughout his adult life.
By providing a gift to the Trust, he hopes many more high school
students will benefit. "We're confident that this quality
program will continue to produce great Missouri leaders for the
future," he said. Boys State annually brings approximately
1,000 of Missouri's top high school juniors to the CMSU campus,
where they learn about government in a weeklong political simulation
with hands-on participation and impressive guest speakers. CMSU
President Ed Elliott had high praise for the program. "We're
proud to offer the CMSU facilities for such an outstanding program,"
said Elliott. "The Harmons' generous gift will help perpetuate
Boys State for decades to come."