Cheshire and Keck

Dan Cheshire, left, accepts the 2021 Hal Rogers Leadership award from Somerset Mayor Alan Keck.

What did local businessman Dan Cheshire say was the reason he was the 2021 Hal Rogers Leadership Award honoree?

“I am really bad at saying ‘no’ when I’m asked for help,” Cheshire told a room of Boy Scouts and scouting supporters.

“So, whenever you’re asked to help and you’re a Scout, you’ll ‘be prepared’ to do that,” he added, referencing the organization’s Motto.

Cheshire was selected to receive the award from the Lake Cumberland District’s scouting program, which covers eight area counties including Pulaski, Wayne and McCreary.

Cheshire received the award at the organization's annual dinner, held Monday night at the Center for Rural Development.

As part of his speech, Cheshire address those Scout Masters and other leaders who were in attendance.

“The real leaders are those who sacrifice their time for scouting. There’s a bunch of Boy Scout leaders, there’s a bunch of Adult Scouts, that deserve even more commendation than I, because you guys are changing the world one Scout at a time.”

Cheshire is known in the community for the several businesses he owns and operates, including the local Dairy Queen branches, Secure Storage, and DEC Residential and Commercial Rental.

During his speech, Cheshire thanked his parents, teachers and family – wife Marcie and children Addie, Carter, and soon-to-arrive Kolbe – for helping and supporting him along the way.

The award was presented by Somerset Mayor Alan Keck, who called his role in the ceremony an honor and a privilege.

Keck said he couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of the award, and said that three things come to his mind when it comes to Cheshire – service, family and community leadership.

About Cheshire and his commitment to his family, Keck said, “There’s no husband in this community, no father in this community, that’s more proud of his family.”

Then, Keck paid tribute to Cheshire’s commitment to the community. “Yes he’s an entrepreneur and somebody that leads in many ways, but he’s involved in the community beyond his own business because he cares about Somerset and cares about others.”

As part of the evening’s festivities, a close friend of the honoree is asked to get up and tell a few stories as part of a “Friendly Roast.”

For Cheshire, that duty fell to Dr. David Mullins, who said the two of them have been friends since second grade, and that they walked the “Trail to Eagle Scout” side by side, meaning they both earned their Eagle Scout rank around the same time.

Mullins recalled that during some gatherings as youngsters their troop would play “Capture the Flag” at night.

“Dan sucked at Capture the Flag,” he said bluntly, because Cheshire’s blond hair would glow “like a lighthouse beacon” in the moonlight.

Mullins also recalled a time in which the two were participating in a summer camp, hiking in an area doing plant identification. They ran across what Mullins called a rather large snake.

“It rose up and hissed at us,” Mullins said, and they ran back to camp yelling “Snake! It’s a cobra!”

The “cobra” turned out to be an eastern hognose snake, a much less dangerous snake which, according to Wikipedia, puffs up when threatened but has no record of killing humans.

The annual dinner is the local Boy Scouts’ main fundraiser of the year, with emcee Hunt Prather saying that every dollar raised helps support scouting in the local community.

He said that it takes around $250 a year to support one Scout. The 2021 fundraising goal was $45,000, and thanks to Monday’s dinner, the organization has raised almost $30,000 so far, Prather said.

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