BSA Illowa Council gala honors Eagle Scouts, volunteers, donors


The Illowa Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) recently honored its new class of Eagle Scouts, community partners, donors and scouting volunteers at its Community Impact Gala in Bettendorf.

More than 160 scouts and their families joined volunteer leaders and BSA supporters on Sunday, April 23, at Tanglewood Hills Pavilion for the council’s annual gala and awards ceremony. 


“The individuals recognized have been critical to the success of Illowa Council. I cannot thank them enough for their contributions,” said Jonathan Cartner, who recently joined Illowa Council as its new scout executive and CEO.

“The BSA has taken a couple kicks to the teeth with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting operations for the last couple of years as well as the bankruptcy of the National Council,” he said in a news release announcing the gala awards. “However, our local council remains in a solid position to springboard forward and I am thankful to be part of it.” 

The event recognized nearly 60 youth across the bi-state council who achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in 2022 as well as five Outstanding Eagle Scout Project award winners. The recipients were: Gabriel Sanchez, Troop 426; Gage Williams Newton, Troop 4150; Conner Bloominger, Troop 20; Robert Burken, Troop 29; and Aidan Moore, Troop 4123. Gage Williams Newton of Troop 4150 also was selected as the Illowa Council Eagle Project of the Year. 

The Illowa council also presented Silver Beaver awards – the highest award a council can give to an adult BSA volunteer – to three area scouting volunteer leaders. The new class of Silver Beavers were: Brian Girskis, Angela Hayes and Michael Terry.

Other awards presented at the gala dinner and auction included:

  • National Eagle Scout Association Awards: Retired Illowa Scout Executive Jeff Doty (Eagle Scout, 1983), and Dr. Robert Blew (Eagle Scout, 1964). The award recognizes Eagle Scouts who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and service to the community at the local, state or regional level.
  • North Star Award: Mark Willhardt for his support of the Annual Merit Badge Day at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. 
  • International Scouter Award: Matt Tarnow for his work promoting the World Scout Organization and World Jamborees.
  • George Meany Award: Tom Mapes for his support of the carpentry skill trade and woodworking with Scouts over the years. 
  • Whitney M. Young Award: Kiwanis Club of Rock Island, accepted by Daryl Empen, for honoring Mr. Young’s commitment to youth of America by supporting Scouting programs for disadvantaged youth.

The Illowa Council serves 2,600 youth across 13 counties in eastern Iowa and western Illinois through 1,600 adult volunteers. For more information on how to register, volunteer, or financially support visit

Get the free QCBJ email newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the people, companies and issues that impact business in the  Quad Cities area.