On the night of Jan. 17, a Mt. Vernon boy, 12-yearl-old Ronnie Hyder became the first Grant County youth ever to receive a national Boy Scout award for heroism.
The presentation was made at a special court of honor at the hall of the Mt. Vernon grange sponsor of Troop 97, in which Hyder is a patrol leader. An audience of 20 Mt. Vernon residents, 22 members of the troop and visiting executives of the Blue Mountain area and Strawberry district councils saw the award ceremony.
Chuck Loveless, Walla Walla, Washington, Blue Mountain council training chairman, presented a framed certificate to the Mt. Vernon scout, who rescued a girl from strong currents in the John Day River last June at Mt. Vernon. Loveless and Cluff Johnson, Walla Walla, a council executive, were speakers at the court of honor. A citation to the grange as sponsor of the troop is being framed and will be presented later by Jerry Myers, troop scoutmaster, to Everett Fry, master of the grange.
Hyder was one of only two scouts in the entire Blue Mountain council to receive heroism awards last year. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hyder, Mt. Vernon, went to the platform with their son for the presentation ceremony. Also present were Dick Hammack, Strawberry district vice-chairman; Wendell Bunnell, advancement chairman, and Roland Pack, camping and activities chairman, all of John Day. Scoutmaster Myers presided at the court of honor.
A total of four merit badges were presented to three Troop 97 members. Roy Cates received both swimming and life saving badges, a bugling badge went to Allen McCullough and a merit badge in fishing to Bobby Garrison.