At a Birmingham luncheon on March 1, Piedmont dentist Benjamin Ingram received the Heart of an Eagle Award by the Boy Scouts of America, Greater Alabama Council, Choccolocco District. The award record Ingram and two others for demonstrating leadership, character, and integrity in their service to their community, profession, and country.
Ingram was recognized at the American Values Luncheon at the Anniston City Meeting Center.
Former superintendent of Piedmont schools and Piedmont attorney, Theresa Kisor, taught Ingram in the sixth through eighth grades. She said she is humbled to have been his teacher.
“Ben was my student, but now Ben is the teacher and I am the student,” Kisor wrote in a letter to those considering the award.
Ingram has been particularly helpful to Kisor’s efforts in saving the historical Roberts Home from destruction and turning it into not only a museum but also a way for visitors to the city to experience an overnight stay.
Ingram is the son of George and Betty Ingram, and the brother of Russel and Stephen Ingram. He credits his inspiration to his parents for instilling in him their work ethic and family values they taught him.
Ingram, a graduate of Piedmont city schools, received his bachelor’s in science from the University of Alabama. He was accepted into dental school and wrote that his interest in the field is the result of an art project in Eleanor Kirkpatrick’s fourth-grade class during National Dental Health Month in 1967.
Ingram is married to the former Sandra Lynn Steward. She has managed his dental office after working as a hospital unit secretary from 1974-85. The couple has two daughters, Krista and Amanda.
Ingram has been in practice since 1984 and credits his wife’s assistance with his success, along with his staff, Dawn Weaver, Randa Carroll, Telish Ward, Christi Johnson, Krista Kerns, and Allison Martin.
Ingram and his staff provide free dental hygiene kits for patients of the Piedmont Benevolence Center and benevolent programs in other cities in Northeast Alabama. He serves as treasurer of the Calhoun County Dental Clinic, a program he co-founded with Warren Sarrell in 2001 to help children in the Medicaid/All Kids dental service. It also helps general revenue to assist in indigent adult dental care. He serves on the Alabama Medicaid Advisory Board of the Alabama Dental Association. He is a member of several other dental organizations dedicated to education and research in the field.
The Ingram couple have been philanthropic in their support of scholarship for students who would like to receive opportunities similar to the ones he received as a student.
Regarding the achievements of Ingram, Kisor wrote the following: “He has the foresight to coordinate all these elements, to move our city forward. He does all this without big speeches or by expressing frustration or anger, but simply by going back to work. He is determined to overcome every obstacle. It is truly my honor to have been a teacher, an employee, and a friend to this remarkable young man.”
Ingram thanked Rick Westbrook for nominating him for the award and thanked Kisor for her introduction at the ceremony.
“I am most humbled to have been selected to receive the Heart of an Eagle Boy Scout award,” Ingram said. “I have been blessed throughout life to have opportunities to learn and serve with many great mentors. I have been blessed with a wonderful supporting family.”
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