Retired North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Hays on March 16 was honored for his 50 years of service to DeMolay International.

The ceremony took place at the DeMolay’s downtown Little Rock headquarters located near 7th and Scott streets.

DeMolay International is a leadership development organization for young men between the ages of 12 and 21 years. Simply put: we take good kids and make them better. "We assist the youth in developing their leadership potential, public speaking ability, organizational skills and so forth. DeMolay provides a positive, safe environment for these boys to mature into fine young men," said Michael S. Rushin, Jr. executive officer for the DeMolay Leaders of Arkansas. "One of our parents asked, ‘What is the difference between the Boy Scouts and DeMolay?’ My simple response was, ‘We are taking it from the campsite to the Board room." Unlike other worthwhile youth organizations, the young men are actually in charge, said Rushin. They conduct the business meetings, plan civic and/or charity projects for the community, organization athletic activities, and so forth.

DeMolay International was formed in 1919 in Kansas City It started with nine young men and one adult, or "Advisor." "From that point, over four million youth have joined our ranks worldwide," said Rushin.

President Bill Clinton, Walt Disney, John Wayne, and so many more fine men were members of DeMolay International, he said.

"Today, we are conducting our State Induction Ceremonies in honor of Patrick Henry Hays," Rushin said during the day of the ceremony. "Brother Hays is a Senior DeMolay, or former member, who has exemplified the teachings of DeMolay through his public service over the last 24 years serving as Mayor of North Little Rock. He is a shining example to our members of realizing your potential and being a true leader in his community."

For more information regarding DeMolay, you may contact Mike Rushin, Jr., Executive Officer of Arkansas DeMolay, at