Sunday, October 23, 2011

Redefining Impossible

Prologue: I gave this speach at the dedication ceremony for the council service center for scouting in Chicago. I have been approached by many of my colleagues who where in attendance or heard to share this with them.  In light of the events of the last day, I'm compelled even more to share this with you.

Steve Fossett Center for Scouting Dedication (10/22/11)

Redefining Impossible.

Good morning Ladies and Gentleman: 
Welcome.  My name is Lou Sandoval, and I currently serve the Chicago Area Council
as our Council Commissioner.   I am honored to be a part of this great milestone for the City of Chicago.  Who I am today:  a business owner, a community leader and most importantly an involved parent, is a result of the love and guidance my parents showed me, coupled with the support that Scouting provided during my upbringing.   

A support that reinforced the values learned at home and taught me the awareness that we live in a limitless society. Scouting taught me that if we work hard and put our minds to it-there is no stopping you.   It taught me that a young Hispanic boy from the Southeast side of Chicago could accomplish and redefine what is possible for him.

One doesn’t have to look too far to see the impossibilities facing Chicago’s youth today.  Just in this morning’s headlines: 
12 wounded in Friday afternoon, Saturday Morning Shootings:

-16 year old boy shot in the arm/abdomen
-17 year old girl shot in the leg
-16 year old boy shot in the arm and chest
-20 year old shot in the left arm….

I can go on- but I believe you get the point.   These challenges may seem impossible to our youth.  These are challenges that transcend socio-economic barriers.  These are challenges that occur in many neighborhoods around Chicago.   It can be said that our American Society has failed the youth of Chicago over the past two decades.  I’d like to think that our youth still have a chance.    In a world that continually broadcasts the impossible- Scouting shows youth what IS possible.

Steve Fossett lived that mission until that fateful day on Sept 3, 2007.  A holder of some 115 world records, he defied the impossible.   He redefined possible.    In his autobiography, he credits Scouting as having given him that foundation.  He credits scouting as having given him the foundation that drove him to success in business and his many other ventures in life.    

Now I never had the pleasure of meeting Steve when he was alive, but I’m sure we would have had much to talk about.  As a lover of sailing and scouting- I am sure we would have been able to converse for hours about business, the wind, the sea, the Race to Mackinac (a passion of mine), adventure and about living a life without the impossible. 

That IS what scouting teaches you.  To redefine what IS possible.  In a world that a times seems to work against you, The youth of Chicago need this redefinition.   The youth of Chicago need scouting.

Today we are gathered to honor the legacy of Steve Fossett in the dedication of our new council Service center.  

The much needed remodeling was accomplished through the generosity of his widow, Ms. Peggy Fossett and the Fossett family.    It stands as a monument to redefining  what is possible on behalf of the youth of Chicago- IN Steve’s name.  This new service center will facilitate delivery of the scouting message to all the neighborhoods in our great city.  It stands as a reminder that the youth of Chicago can redefine what is possible, just like Steve did.    

On behalf of the 1000s of youth involved in the scouting program and the 1000s of adult volunteers that support the scouting programs in Chicago, I want to be among the first to say Thank You to Mrs. Fossett her foundation and the Fossett family.   

THANK YOU-  for all whom you have impacted with your generosity and THANK YOU  to all whom we will impact on our mission to redefine the possibility of scouting for the youth of our great City.
Thank YOU for Sharing Steve’s great legacy with us with the hope that the youth of Chicago can redefine what is possible through scouting.

The Steve Fossett Center for Scouting is located at 1218 W. Adams Chicago, IL 60607 or visit to find out how you can help.

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