Vista Outdoor’s Al Kasper, the company’s Vice President, Savage Arms, recently received the 2015 Distinguished Citizen Award from the Western Massachusetts Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Kasper was honored for his longstanding community involvement, leadership and dedicated service to others.
“It’s very humbling,” Kasper said of receiving the prestigious award. “The Western Massachusetts Boy Scouts are an important part of this community, and to be recognized by them is such an honor.”
Kasper was a scout who attained the rank of Star, and both of his sons became Eagle Scouts. He says he pushed his sons to reach the rank of Eagle Scout, and wishes he himself had become one himself.
“It’s opened a lot of doors for them,” he said. “They are both very successful individuals, and I know a large part of that comes from their involvement with the Boy Scouts.”
Kasper was his sons’ den leader and quickly became pack leader, where he grew the pack from 30 to 100 over several years. But his involvement in Scouts was just one reason for the award.
Kasper is also a pillar in his community. He’s been involved with Junior Achievement at the local level for the past 12 years and served as Chairman of the Board for 8 years. He started an entrepreneur class at East Longmeadow high school and has taught the course for the past 9 years. He’s also an adjunct professor, and teaches in the MBA program at Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts.
Kasper has also been a basketball referee for the past 14 years and coached his sons’ and daughter’s sports teams.
“It’s important to give back and help others whenever possible,” Kasper said. “The award is a great honor, but knowing I’ve helped others…that’s the true reward.”
The Western Massachusetts Council presented Kasper with the Distinguished Citizen Award at a gala honoring area scouts.