CEDAR KNOLLS, NJ – The Patriots’ Path Council of the Boy Scouts of America announced that Captain James A. Lovell – commander of the Apollo 13 mission, which in April 1970, suffered a nearly catastrophic failure en route to the Moon – will be the keynote speaker at its first Stars and Stripes Breakfast, scheduled for Tuesday, April 18th at the Hilton Short Hills. The public is invited to register in advance for this inspiring event, which is free of charge.
Captain Lovell, who earned the rank of Eagle Scout as a youth, graduated from the United States Naval Academy, and became a NASA astronaut in 1962. In addition to his heroic performance aboard Apollo 13, he served as backup pilot for the Gemini 4 flight, as backup Commander for the Gemini 9 flight, and as backup Commander to Neil Armstrong for the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. He was the first man to journey twice to the moon, and he held the record for time in space (715 hours, 5 minutes) until surpassed by the Skylab flights. He is a recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and has been recognized by the Boy Scouts of America as a Distinguished Eagle Scout.
In 1994, Captain Lovell co-authored a book that recounted the perilous Apollo 13 mission (Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13), which served as the basis for the hit 1995 movie, “Apollo 13,” directed by Ron Howard, and featuring Tom Hanks in the role as Lovell. Following his retirement from the space program in 1973, Captain Lovell enjoyed a successful business career, and will celebrate his 89th birthday on March 25th.
According to Captain Lovell, his experience as an astronaut changed the way he views the world. In his commencement address last year, he told University of Wisconsin graduates that, “When I circled the moon and looked back at the Earth, my outlook on life and my viewpoint of Earth changed...You don’t see Los Angeles, or even New York. You don’t see boundaries or people. No whites, no blacks, no French, no Greeks, no Christians, no Jews…Earth is a spaceship just like Apollo. We are all the crew of spaceship Earth and, just like Apollo, the crew must learn to live and work together…The future is up to you.”
Patriots’ Path Council President, George Barnard, stated that, “We’re honored to have a true American hero as our guest speaker. Captain Lovell’s life has been a testimony to the personal ideals and spirit of adventure that are embodied within Scouting. This breakfast is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see and hear one of the remaining members of our nation’s original generation of pioneers in space exploration.”
Although there is no charge to attend the event, the Stars and Stripes Breakfast was established to raise funds to invest in America’s future leaders, and attendees will be asked to make a voluntary donation to support the council’s youth programs, which include Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting, as well as two co-ed programs: Venturing and Exploring. Patriots’ Path Council currently serves 17,000 youth who participate in more than 400 Scouting units located in communities throughout Morris, Middlesex, Somerset, Sussex, and Union Counties.
To register for the Start and Stripes Breakfast, or for information on Scouting, contact George Hemenetz, Development Director, at 973-765-9322 ext. 235 and/or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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