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Argyle philanthropist honored with Boy Scouts highest award for service

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Local philanthropist, Jack Furst, received the Boy Scouts of America’s highest commendation Friday for his volunteer service to the Scouting organization.

The BSA’s Silver Buffalo Award for Distinguished Service to Youth is reserved for those who give extraordinary service to the nation’s young people.

The Silver Buffalo has been awarded annually since 1925 to civic-minded men and women for their invaluable contributions and service to youth. Furst is one of 12 Silver Buffalo recipients this year, including Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates.

The philanthropic efforts of Furst and his wife, Debra, extend beyond Scouting, most notably by donating land and money to establish Cross Timbers Community Church, Liberty Christian School, and Integrity Park, a youth sports facility in Argyle that celebrates character.

“Our country and its young people need great leaders and community servants like Jack Furst,” said Bob Mazzuca, chief scout executive of the BSA. “Service to others is at the core of what it means to be a Scout, and the Silver Buffalo Award is our way of recognizing individuals like Jack who do it with such energy and enthusiasm.”

Furst is the driving force behind The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, the BSA’s new high-adventure base that will open in 2013. He chaired the site selection committee, which sifted through 80 proposals from 28 states over a two-year period before choosing a site in West Virginia’s New River Gorge.

In 1998, Furst singlehandedly established the Jack D. Furst Aquatics Base, which is now the Circle Ten Council’s most popular aquatics center. An Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow, he has received the Silver Beaver, Silver Antelope, and Distinguished Eagle Scout awards.

An alumnus of Arizona State University and the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, Furst cofounded HM Capital Partners in 1989. He now manages his own real estate, energy, and equity investments while serving as an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas. The Aspen Institute named him a Henry Crown Fellow, while the University of Arizona inducted him into its W. P. Carey School of Business Hall of Fame.

Furst and his wife live in Argyle with their two children.

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