Highland News Leader

Girl Scouts, volunteers honored at regional meeting

Girl Scouts were shining stars during Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois’ (GSSI) “All That Glitters” award ceremony on April 9 at the Holiday Inn in Mount Vernon. Each year, the banquet recognizes Girl Scouts from across southern Illinois who achieve significant accomplishments in community service and leadership.

Awardees included recipients of the Girl Scout Gold Award, the top individual award a Girl Scout can earn, as well as the Girl Scout Silver Award, which is the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn. Twenty Girl Scouts also were honored with the Trifecta Award, which recognizes the outstanding accomplishment of earning the Girl Scout Bronze Award, the Girl Scout Silver Award and the Girl Scout Silver Award.

The banquet as part of GSSI’s seventh annual meeting. Approximately 350 Girl Scout members (adults and girls) from throughout southern Illinois elected Board of Director members and received a “State of the Council” report from Linda Manley of Highland, GSSI Board of Directors chair, and Villie M. Appoo, GSSI chief executive officer.

In addition, GSSI recognized top Girl Scout volunteers, which are the heart of Girl Scouting. GSSI’s 4,500 Girl Scout volunteers play an instrumental role in providing leadership programming and opportunities for more than 13,000 girls in southern Illinois.

“Girl Scouting in southern Illinois would not be what it is today without the dedication, passion and leadership of all of our volunteers,” said Appoo. “We are honored to present these awards to our exceptional volunteers as they are the driving force behind carrying out GSSI’s mission of building leaders for America.”

Gold Award Winners

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award in Girl Scouting. It recognizes leadership, effort and impact that Girl Scout Seniors and Girl Scout Ambassadors have had on their communities. Only about 5 percent of eligible girls take the rigorous path toward earning this prestigious award. Local winners were:

Breese: Katelyn Elias, Elaina Johnson and Emily Ripperda, all of Troop 8438;

Highland: Jessica Drewer of Troop 653 and Alexis Workes of Troop 17; and

Troy: Adrienna Ridgeway of Troop 263 and Marlaina Snow of Troop 471.

Silver Award Winners

The Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn, is symbolic of accomplishments in Girl Scouting and community activities as a girl becomes her best self and builds the world around her. The Girl Scout Silver Award project benefits a girl’s community and can be earned as an individual or as part of a group. This year’s Girl Scout Silver Award local recipients included:

Marine: Samantha Maddox, Holly Plantz and Samantha Tipton;

St. Jacob: Denise D’Antonio and Lane Sedlacek; and

Troy: Natalie Blaies, Katherine Jones and Kassandra King.

Trifecta Award Winners

The Girl Scout Trifecta Award recognizes GSSI Girl Scouts who have earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award, Girl Scout Silver Award and the Girl Scout Gold Award. Following are the 2016 local GSSI Trifecta Award recipients:

Breese: Katelyn Elias, Elaina Johnson and Emily Ripperda, all of Troop 8438;

Highland: Jessica Drewer of Troop 653; and

Troy: Adrienna Ridgeway of Troop 263 and Marlaina Snow of Troop 471.

Thanks Badge II

The Thanks Badge II is the top award that an adult member can earn. This award recognizes an adult member who has already received the Thanks Badge and who has continued to contribute in extraordinary ways that benefit the total council or the entire Girl Scout movement. Locally, the Thanks Badge II was presented to Stan Clark of Service Unit 202 in Trenton.

Appreciation Pin

The Appreciation Pin recognizes an individual’s exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE). This service, which has had measurable impact on at least one geographic area of service, helps the council reach and surpass its mission-delivery goals for that area. Stacey Gerdes of Service Unit 15 in Clinton County received the honor.

President’s Award

The President’s Award recognizes the efforts of a service-delivery team or committee whose exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience surpassed team goals and resulted in significant, measurable impact toward reaching the council’s overall goals. Service Unit Team 7 from Bond County, SU 15 from Clinton County and SU 110 from Highland all received the award.

Volunteer of Excellence Award

The Volunteer of Excellence Award recognizes those volunteers who have contributed outstanding service while partnering directly with girls in any pathway to implement the Girl Scout Leadership Experience through use of the National Program Portfolio or who have contributed outstanding service in support of the council’s mission delivery to girl and adult members. Jane Cornelius of SU 7 in Bond County, Kristine Luth of SU 15 in Clinton County and Cassandra Townsend of SU 109 in Troy/St. Jacob all received the award.

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