Standing, Mesia Nyman, James Lawrence, Danna Gray, Dillion Walls, Tyler Pulli, Lance Sitterud, Colten Collard, Jacob Higgs, Derrick Dawes, Weston Allinson, Paul Birdsey, Dennis Dooley, front row, Taylor Nicholson, Jason Giles, TJ Furner, Tristan Gordon, Colton Barnett, and Adam Clark.
As with most Eagle Scout banquets, the program began with a video depicting the night Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner. The patriotic feelings were apparent with tears and awe of those in attendance. At the end of the video, a quote from George Washington was cited which said, "The thing that sets the American Christian apart from all other people in the world is that he will die on his feet before he will live on his knees." He said this after the overnight shelling of Ft. McHenry and the brave Americans who would not give up and surrender to the British.
Following dinner, the guest speaker was introduced. James Lawrence, a resident of Orem, represented the charity he started called Tri and Give a Dam. He explained the purpose of the charity is to raise funds to build dams in Africa for the villages so water can be stored and accessed year round.
Lawrence, originally from Calgary, Canada, is 23 years old and he said, "I have a passion for golf but golf is quite expensive and working in a pro shop was not what I had in mind." He said he heard of a radio program in which a person could win $10,000. The winner would be the person who was the last rider on the ferris wheel after the estimated 10 days it would take. During the contest, he lost his job in the pro shop, but his feelings are that when one door closes, another one opens.
He explained the rules of the contest were that there would be no reading or anything to occupy the mind. It was just plain boredom. He began to use his mind to occupy and entertain himself. "I learned a lot about myself through this ordeal," Lawrence said. "I won the contest and the money, after which I hitched to visit with a friend in Utah. I never left, I love it here. I met and married my wife and just stayed."
Lawrence went on to tell the Scouts how he became involved in participating in triathlons. "On one Thanksgiving morning, my wife suggested we run the four mile fun run. It made me sick and she told me I was pathetic. This was the stimulus for my training and determination to succeed," said Lawrence.
He went on to participate in more marathons, with bad outcomes, but he still would not be deterred. A friend who participated in triathlons challenged him to compete. So the training took over his life and his determination to beat his friend drove him to become the best. "I never learned the meaning of 'you can't'," Lawrence said. "When someone said that to me, I worked even harder to prove them wrong."
Lawrence told the Scouts that through this time in his life, he learned integrity and that 10 percent of life is what happens to you, but 90 percent of life is how you deal with it. "Beginning March 27, I will run 20 half iron man events in that year. The next year I will run another 20, and then in the third year, I will run 20 full iron man competitions. I am doing this to raise money for the Tri and Give a Dam organization. I have already raised enough money to build one dam in Africa, and my goal is to build 1,000. I hope to help 3 million people," said Lawrence.
"One thing I want you young men to take away tonight is anything is possible if you use your mind. The greatest space in the one between your ears. You can do anything you set your mind to," concluded Lawrence.
Seventeen young men were awarded their Eagle Scout awards. They are: Weston Allinson, Jaron Bennion, Colten Collard, T. J. Furner, Tristan Gordon, Chance Huntington, Taylor Nicholson, Lance Sitterud, Brantz Woolsey, Colton Barnett, Adam Clark, Derrick Dawes, Jason Giles, Jacob Higgs, Gatlan Huntington, Tyler Pulli, and Dillion Walls. The awards were given by Danna Gray, Dennis Dooley and Paul Birdsey from the Price Elks Lodge, Scott Jewkes, Jack Dillon, Mesia Nyman, and Bart Cox. Along with the Eagle plaques, the Scouts were given a flag and a certificate from the Elks Lodge.