The Boy Scouts of America California Inland Empire Council and Old Baldy District have honored him for decades of dedicated service, hard work and support to various groups and individuals from throughout the Inland Valley. He is the organization's 2012 Distinguished Citizen honoree.
And what makes the award even more gratifying is that he's one of their own - a proud Scout who believes in helping those who need help. He joined the Cub Scouts when he was 9 years old after his father died in an accident, but the lessons he learned so long ago have stayed with him.
"Dale is being recognized by the Old Baldy district and Boy Scouts of America for his outstanding commitment to helping several nonprofits within our community. Dale, who also was a Scout, truly exemplifies what we teach our youth in the Scout Oath and Law," said Phil Velez, Old Baldy senior district executive.
Each year the council honors an individual who quietly has gone about the work of helping others. The honor dinner also serves as a fundraiser and this year more than $60,000 was raised when about 300 of some of Eazell's closest friends attended. All the proceeds will be used to fund Scouting programs in Ontario, Upland, Montclair, Rancho Cucamonga and Alta Loma.
Eazell is well known for his determination. He worked in high school to help his widowed mother and family, forgoing graduation. He would go on to work on his uncle's Northern California cattle ranch and earn his high school diploma. He worked more in machine shops in order to earn money for college. He completed his bachelor's degree and his master's degree in rehabilitation counseling. Other jobs followed but the family then moved to Upland.
He became the chief executive officer of Casa Colina Rehabilitative Hospital in Pomona and would stay in that position for the next 30 years before retiring 11 years ago. Along the way, Eazell also earned his Ph.d. in health care management.
He has spent much of his personal and professional life trying to improve the lives of people in need. When people found out he was retired, several local charities asked for his volunteer help, which he gladly gave and continues to give. Those include Inland Valley Hope Partners, Inland Valley Recovery Services, the Scheu Family YMCA of Upland, Upland Foothill Kiwanis Club, the University of La Verne Children's Learning Center, Foothill Family Shelter, the San Bernardino Diocese of the Catholic Church and St. Anthony's Catholic Church.
Yet he is most thrilled with the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren and his 57-year marriage to wife Sharon.
"Dale was selected to be honored by the Boy Scouts of America because of his dedication to helping others. In his `retirement' he has assisted our local nonprofit service providers in raising more than $1.8 million during the last several years. In the process, he has trained their staffs and volunteers in how to raise money so their programs can continue and be successful," said Max Williams, Upland architect and long-time Old Baldy Council volunteer and supporter.
Williams and Eazell have been friends for more than 10 years.
"I know him to be a dedicated individual who is focused on helping others. His leadership at Casa Colina Rehabilitative Hospital resulted in a world-class facility which sets the standard for care in the industry," Williams said. "He takes the same approach to helping other service providers in the community. His self-discipline and attention to detail makes every project he undertakes a success. In his effort to help others, he is persistent with follow-up and he makes a personal commitment to their cause. With his wife Sharon, they make a formidable team for doing good in the community.
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