Teen Honored for Carrying Disabled Friend Through Triathlon
WASHINGTON (March 21, 2012)—Spencer Zimmerman, a 15-year-old Eagle Scout from the Phoenix area and member of the Grand Canyon Council, will receive this week one of the nation’s highest civilian honors recognizing youth, the American Spirit Award. The award recognizes an individual or group who demonstrate extraordinary leadership and skill, the courage of their convictions, and a commitment to high standards of excellence in a challenging situation. It is presented by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation and Society.
Zimmerman will be recognized for his commitment to serving others—one of the defining principles of Scouting—in ceremonies taking place on Friday, March 23. Specifically, Zimmerman is being honored for inviting Dayton Hayward, a friend with cerebral palsy, to join him in completing a triathlon. To help his friend achieve the impossible, Zimmerman pulled, pushed, and carried his friend through a 500-meter swim, 3.2-mile run, and 12-mile bike ride. Both boys faced intense physical tests in completing the race.
“I’m honored to receive the American Spirit Award, but the credit goes to Dayton,” Zimmerman said. “Despite the challenges he faces, he has great spirit. Throughout the training and race, I was just his legs. I believe there’s no reason why Dayton shouldn’t have the opportunity to do what everyone else does.”
“It is our privilege to present Spencer Zimmerman with the American Spirit Award,” said Gen. Silas Johnson, USAF (Ret), president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. “Our mission is to recognize the values of courage, sacrifice, service, and patriotism exemplified by a handful of extraordinary individuals. Spencer is a shining example of the incredible young people involved with the Boy Scouts of America, and his genuine act of selflessness is the epitome of the American Spirit Award.”
“Through Scouting, we work to prepare young people to live, work, and play with integrity. When we see a Scout like Spencer Zimmerman, who demonstrates not only exemplary service, but strength of character, we are immensely proud,” said Boy Scouts of America Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca. “We congratulate him on this much-deserved award.”
Zimmerman and his parents, Shelly and David Zimmerman, will participate in the National Medal of Honor Day activities on March 23 at Arlington National Cemetery, where he will receive the American Spirit Award.
About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America prepares young people for life by providing the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. The Scouting organization is composed of 2.7 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21, and more than a million volunteers, in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.
About the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation
The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society to perpetuate the Medal of Honor’s legacy of courage, sacrifice, selfless service, and patriotism. The Foundation supports the objectives, activities, and outreach programs of the Society , and raises funds for initiatives such as Citizen Service Before Self Honors that promote awareness of what the Medal of Honor represents. For more information, visit www.cmohfoundation.org.
For more information about the American Spirit Award, please visit http://citizenservicebeforeselfhonors.org/.