Scout City BBQ helping Kansas City’s inner city youth

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Since 1998 the Scout City BBQ has raised more than $250,000 for Kansas City's urban scouting program. The success of this event has made it possible to support at-risk youth in our area.

The 17th annual Scout City BBQ took place Friday to raise money for Kansas City's Boy Scouts program, a program that gives inner city youth opportunities they might not otherwise have.

"I never thought I would do all that I'm doing here in scouts, I never knew that I would go to Branson, Mo. and stay there to camp for 10 days. I never even thought about camping before I got in scouts," said 13-year-old Ernest Black, who has been in Boy Scouts since first grade.

He, along with many other scouts, attended the annual Scout City BBQ Friday.

"The inner city kids are the ones that need it. We serve up 2,700 youth in the inner city core of Kansas City, and the economics of that means that we need to help support them with uniforms, handbooks, the ability to get to camp -- it's just an experience they wouldn't get without it," said Kenn Miller, a scout executive for the Heart of America Council.

He says supporting the inner city scout program allows the scouts to go to summer camp, and participate in various activities throughout year.

"They get exposed to things that they probably wouldn't be exposed to outside of scouts,"  said Lakisha Martin, who has three boys in scouts.

She says her sons get to go camping, travel, and do things she wouldn't be able to afford otherwise.

"I don't work..I'm a stay at home mom, so by me not working it would really be tough, but by them being in the scouts program, and the funding and the fundraising that we do, it offers them the opportunity to participate in things that normally i would not be able to have them do because of the cost," Martin said.

She says the scout leaders have been involved in her kids lives since they were little. And she's thankful they have good role models as opposed to getting into wrong crowd.

"I wish there were more people, especially men, who would step up to be leaders, because they really need it," Martin adds.

"I feel good about myself, if it weren't for my mom and my dad who pushed me to do this, I probably wouldn't be here right now," said Black.

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