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"I could not be more satisfied with my experience at MBS, and I will take with me everywhere the memories and knowledge that I acquired. Thank you all for making the week that shaped my lifetime an absolutely unforgettable experience."

-- Kyle Edward Pyatt '12
Foristell, MO

Press Release

January 17, 1998

Contact Missouri Boys State


(KANSAS CITY, MO) -- A major fund raising campaign to benefit one of Missouri's premier youth citizenship training programs was launched on Saturday, January 17, with the help of a $250,000 lead gift from members of a family who say The American Legion Boys State of Missouri contributed to their own success. The gift was presented to the American Legion Missouri Boys State Memorial Trust by Adrian and Margaret Harmon, Warrensburg, and their sons Lynn Harmon, Warrensburg, and Tom Harmon, Olathe, KS, who are both Boys State alumni. In providing the contribution, the Harmons issued a challenge to other Boys State supporters to help the Trust successfully build a $1 million endowment by December 31, 2000.

The Trust currently has assets of approximately $250,000. Interest income from the Harmon gift will be used annually to sponsor a keynote speaker in their name during the weeklong summer program. "We're grateful for the Harmons' generosity, and for their continued support of Boys State. Their gift will help assure a quality experience for participants for many years to come," said James S. (Jim) Whitfield, Chairman of the Board of the Trust. Nineteen ninety-eight will mark the 40th consecutive year the program has been held on the campus of Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg (CMSU). "We believe the impact the Boys State program has on the state is tremendous. We're happy to be a part of it and to share in its great success," Tom Harmon said. "We thank CMSU for hosting this annual program, and we look forward to many, many more years on campus."

Long before the Harmon sons became successful in the banking industry with their father, Tom and Lynn were developing vital leadership and citizenship skills as Boys State participants according to Whitfield.

Calling it the "Week That Can Change a Lifetime," Lynn Harmon attributes his Boys State experience to the development of skills that have served him well throughout his adult life. By providing a gift to the Trust, he hopes many more high school students will benefit. "We're confident that this quality program will continue to produce great Missouri leaders for the future," he said. Boys State annually brings approximately 1,000 of Missouri's top high school juniors to the CMSU campus, where they learn about government in a weeklong political simulation with hands-on participation and impressive guest speakers. CMSU President Ed Elliott had high praise for the program. "We're proud to offer the CMSU facilities for such an outstanding program," said Elliott. "The Harmons' generous gift will help perpetuate Boys State for decades to come."



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