The Susquehanna Council of Boy Scouts of America presented its Distinguished Citizen Award for 2013 to Dr. William Martin at the Community Arts Center's Capitol Lounge on Thursday evening.
The local Scout council, which supports troops in Lycoming, Clinton, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties, has been presenting the award for about 15 years "to recognize people locally in the community who represent the values of Scouting," executive director Jon Brennan said.
After Boy Scouts from Troop 38, based at St. Ann's Church, presented the colors, William Carlucci, Susquehanna Council president, welcomed guests with his own Scouting backstory.
Bill Martin accepts the Boy Scouts’ Distinguished Citizen Award at the Community Arts Center Thursday evening.
"There's this little old lady in the back, my mother, who on Aug. 26, 1966, grabbed this 11-year-old boy and dragged him to his first Boy Scout meeting," Carlucci said. "My father wasn't in favor of me going into Boy Scouts ... he assumed I'd be eating raw food because I'd be too inept to cook it. He was right. He thought I'd get in fights with other kids. He was right. Mother, however, believed that this might teach me how to get along with people. And she was right."
State Sen. E. Eugene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, and state representatives Garth Everett, R-Muncy, and Rick Mirabito, D-Williamsport, then presented proclamations to Martin on behalf of their respective chambers.
"I've known Bill over 30 years, and he's carved out this expertise in building over that time," Yaw said. "There's no question in my mind he's removed more buried fuel tanks in this community than anybody here. He pulled up a railroad car where the Wendy's (on Maynard Street) is now."
CAC director Rob Steele then proffered some humor on Martin's behalf
"I was talking to Davie Jane (Gilmour) and she said 'It must be the fourth Thursday of the month because Bill's wearing a black and white pinstriped suit with a black and white tie.' He orders his suits in the closet so he wears them in the rotation. That is being prepared."
Steele then went through the Scout Laws, and applied them to Martin: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent. He then listed a number of "re" virtues that apply to Martin, seriously and in jest.
"Reverent there's a spot in heaven for Bill, and it's probably a metered parking spot monitored by the Williamsport Parking Authority," Steele said. "Relentless - there's no project he's failed to complete. He just doesn't give up until he's finished."
Gilmour, president of Penn College, then presented the award to Martin.
"He taught me a lot about how to be more efficient and more effective. He's been behind $244 million worth of building and renovation," she said.
Martin accepted by saying "I'm somewhat at a loss for words. I'm just a bit uncomfortable with any kind of form of individual recognition. In my life anything I've managed to accomplish, I've been so fortunate to work with intelligent, hard-working dedicated individuals. If the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, I feel more a part than a whole."
Martin then told of his family, with a father who was an assistant scoutmaster and a mother who served as his troop's den mother.
"Rob gave the Boy Scout oaths, and that's a tall order. If I'm six out of 12 on any given day I count it a win."