Advocate community leader honored for years of service


March 30, 2010 at 10:01 p.m.
Updated March 30, 2010 at 10:31 p.m.

John Roberts recalled growing up as Kay McHaney's younger brother, laughingly calling her a "distinguished" sister, baby sitter and teacher.

McHaney was honored Tuesday night by the Boy Scouts of America South Texas Council with the 16th annual Distinguished Citizen Award.

"My sister is the poster girl for active community service," said Roberts, publisher of the Victoria Advocate, where his sister is secretary/treasurer.

The event also marked the 100th anniversary of the Boys Scouts of America.

"She exemplifies principles of Scout as the type of the life they need to live," said John Beauregards, Scout CEO.

The honor is given every other year, but Beauregards said it might become annual.

Elton Calhoun of the Boy Scouts organizing committee, noted the the first recipient of the Citizen award was McHaney's father, Morris Roberts.

"She's a shining example of a great leader," said Michelle Hall, executive director of the Victoria Symphony, who was part of the full house in the Victoria College student center.

Along with praise, jokes flowed. Ron and Kay Walker recognized McHaney's accomplishments with a sash of badges recognizing the many adventurous sides of McHaney's personality.

Glasses chimed after McHaney's oldest son, Gordon McHaney, and his wife, Sarah, formed a rhyming toast that evoked both tears and laughter in McHaney.

When it was her turn, McHaney recalled attending the first event in honor of her father. The governor and lieutenant governor also were there in 1988 for her father, but she joked she could attract only "this ragtag" team of organizers.

She reminded the audience the event was a fundraiser for Boy Scouts.

"It's about the Boy Scouts," McHaney said.

She thanked all for nominating her and expressed appreciation for being part of such a participatory community.

Throughout the event, people emphasized how many ways McHaney contributed to the community.

"She's a community icon and very deserving," said Chad Hall, an operations manager.



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