“Frank is synonymous with philanthropy here in the community,” he said.
Barron was honored for his years of community service and philanthropy with the Boy Scout’s Distinguished Service Award at the luncheon Wednesday.
He said he was grateful for the opportunity to be recognized.
“I can’t think of any organization that has done more to enrich our community,” he said. “I’m amazed that over the years how much the scouting movement has grown. It’s a testament to the movement in Rome and scouting itself.”
Barron — a cub scout in his younger years — is a native of Rome. He graduated from Darlington School in 1948 and from Washington & Lee University in 1952.
He served in the United States Navy and later returned in 1956 and began his career with the Rome Coca-Cola Bottling Company. Before retiring, he was an officer and director for Coca-Cola companies in Rome, Cedartown, Carrollton, Cartersville, Dalton, Fort Valley and Valdosta.
He has served in the past on the Georgia Cancer Coalition, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, the Richard B. Russell Foundation, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Georgia Communities in Schools.
Davis said during his introduction of Barron that “without Frank and Anne, many in the community wouldn’t have benefited from their hard work.
“He patterns his life after one of the greatest men of all time, living with compassion and caring for his fellow men,” he said.
Former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Fletcher was the keynote speaker and said he wouldn’t have been given the opportunity to serve “freedom and justice” in the state without Barron.
“Frank Barron played a major role in making my second chance of getting on the Supreme Court a success,” he said.
Fletcher, himself an Eagle Scout and member of the Order of the Arrow, said his values of truth and justice came from his family, faith and the years he spent in scouting.
Fletcher also said that if more of America’s leaders had taken the Boy Scout philosophy to heart “instead of focusing on greed, we would not be in the great recession and near depression we are in today.”
The luncheon also gave the Northwest Georgia Council the opportunity to recognize many of its patrons and raise funds for their efforts. Over the past year alone, the council reported it raised more than $200,000 from Friends of Scouting and sold $300,000 in popcorn in 2009.
Scouts in the Northwest Georgia Council also did more than 60,000 hours of community service.
Patrons at the luncheon Wednesday made more than $80,000 in pledges for the Northwest Georgia Council to help continue to fund Scout troops in the region and Camp Sidney Dew.
Scouts today like Eagle Scout Daniel Gaines said the funds raised from the community have helped him and others gain a greater appreciation for service and leadership.
“Scouting is about more than learning how to build a fire and tie knots,” he said. “It’s about learning morals, leadership and responsibility.”
Former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice (and Eagle Scout) Norman Fletcher was the keynote speaker at Wednesday’s Patron Luncheon. His address to the Boy Scout members and supporters will appear on Saturday’s Opinion page in the Rome News-Tribune.