On September 17th 2020, a special virtual presentation hosted by the Boy Scouts of America awarded Paul Lessard as the inaugural 2020 Man of the Year! This honor represents a leader in the community who stands for the principles and values of The Boy Scouts. It is also a recognition of achievement and contributions made for the betterment of our community.
“We were very fortunate to be able to select Paul for this honor, the very first of what will become an annual event” said Tim Harper, Akela District Chairman of the Old North State Council. “Under Paul’s leadership the High Point Community Foundation has done a tremendous job in supporting and providing for the citizens in the greater High Point Area. Paul is a servant leader who truly cares about the needs of our community and the Foundation’s ability to fill those needs.”
In addition to Paul’s work at the High Point Community Foundation, he is a recipient of the Carnegie Hero Medal, highest civilian recognition for bravery, for saving the life of an elderly woman who was drowning in her submerged car. Paul used the monetary stipend that came with the Medal to establish the Lighthouse Project, which has brought nationally known speakers into our schools for 25 years. He also coached various levels of competitive soccer in the triad for over 20 years. He is an accomplished writer, columnist, and community leader.
The Man of the Year is much like a Distinguished Citizens award with a twist. The committee looks for and selects citizens who are community leaders, community minded, and live by the ideals set forth by the Scout Oath and Law and supports the local Scouting programs.
“I am very grateful for this recognition from an organization I have such high respect and regard for” states Paul Lessard, HPCF President. “I loved my scouting experience, learned so many life lessons and I’ve always tried to stay true to the Scout Oath which has always called me to do my duty for my God, my country, my family and my community.”
The Akela District, which includes the High Point, Jamestown, Trinity, Archdale, Wallburg, and Thomasville communities which is part of the Old North State Council in Greensboro. The district traditionally serves approximately 900 young people in 40 different Scouting units. These units are chartered to various churches, community organizations, and civic clubs.