Gov Togiola honored with Boy Scouts' Award

Gov. Togiola Tulafono (left) was honored Thursday night by the Boy Scouts of America, Aloha Council, American Samoa District with the 2012 Distinguished Citizen Award. Also pictured here is Aloha Council, American Samoa District executive Fiamatai Faitau. [photo: americansamoa.gov]

Gov. Togiola Tulafono was honored Thursday night by the Boy Scouts of America, American Samoa District with the Distinguished Citizen Award, one of the highest honors awarded by the program.

During the ceremony, held at Tradewinds Hotel, Rep. Larry Sanitoa, chairman of the American Samoa District. Aloha Council, told the gathering that this is the first ever Distinguished Citizen Award presented by the Boy Scouts since its establishment in American Samoa years ago.

“The award recognizes noteworthy and exceptional leadership of citizens in communities throughout the United States of America,” he said. “The life of the honoree provides a model for our youth and serves to inspire the acceptance of responsibility, instilling leadership, and fostering values and principals emphasized in the scouting program.”

Sanitoa said Togiola, who is also the Vice President of the Aloha Council of the Boy Scouts of America, “is an individual, who through his involvement and caring for the well-being of the people of American Samoa, has made numerous contributions to our people.”

The lawmaker listed the governor's public service accomplishments and his involvement in many church, legal and community organizations, including being the vice president of the Aloha Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The governor’s long history in education was also recited by Sanitoa.

“For all these accomplishments and recognizing the numerous contributions he has made in serving and leading our territory, the Aloha Council District of American Samoa, has chosen to honor Governor Togiola Tulafono as the recipient of the Distinguished Citizen Award for 2012,” he said. “...we salute our honoree Governor Togiola’s distinguished and honorable career as a public servant.”

Togiola has been governor of the territory since Apr. 7, 2003 and his current and final term in office officially ends just before 12noon on Jan. 3, 2013.

In his remarks, the governor told the audience that he was accepting the award on behalf of himself and First Lady MaryAnn Tulafono. He said it was the First Lady who was responsible for his involvement in this national program from the beginning, and he noted that this honor is something that he and the First Lady will never forget.

He called on the community to continue to support the Boys Scouts and the Boys and Girls Club of America in American Samoa, saying that these are the only two youth organizations in the territory that have received their charters from the U.S. Congress.

He also encouraged employers in the territory to consider hosting a Boy Scout troop for “your employees’ children.”


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