Glen Carbon, Illinois –Addison Liefer from Red Bud has been awarded Girl Scouts of the USA’s Medal of Honor for her lifesaving actions during a house fire this August.  Upon discovering the car in her grandmother’s garage was in flames, Addison, age 9, immediately informed her grandmother of the emergency and then moved her 2-year old sister and 5-month old brother to safety.

The fire spread rapidly on the windy day, quickly reaching the gas tanks of the two cars in the garage, which exploded suddenly.  Because the house was in a rural area of Red Bud, it took firefighters some time to arrive and since there was not access to a fire hydrant nearby, they had to return to town several times for more water.  Ultimately, the house could not be saved, but everyone inside was unharmed thanks to Addison’s quick actions.

“Addison showed extraordinary courage and strength, carrying her baby brother and sister all the way to the neighbors.  Her calmness helped her keep her siblings from being upset and possibly resisting her in getting them out of the house” said her grandmother Linda Heimrich.  “She is a true hero.” 

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois presented Addison with the Medal of Honor at its All That Glitters awards banquet on April 5 at Hilton Garden Inn’s Regency Conference Center in O’Fallon.

“We at Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois are so proud of Addison and how she saved her brother and sister during this fire,”  said Angie Suhre, Director of Program.  “Addison truly showed her Girl Scout courage, confidence and character by saving her brother and sister during a very difficult, scary and dangerous circumstance.”

Lifesaving Awards have been a part of the Girl Scout program since the movement started in 1912.  Lifesaving awards are a form of recognition given to a registered Girl Scout who has saved or attempted to save a human life under circumstances that indicate heroism or risk of her own life.  These awards are reserved for those Girl scouts who have performed heroic acts beyond the degree of maturity and training expected at their age.

The Girl Scout Mission is: Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.  Today’s Girl Scouts not only enjoy camping and crafts, but they also explore math and science and learn about diversity, good citizenship, leadership and teamwork.  Girl Scouting is the place where girls experience the fun, friendship and power of girls working together.

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois serves 14,000 girls and 4,800 adult volunteers in more than 40 counties in southern Illinois.  Girl Scouting has inspired more than 50 million girls and women since its founding in 1912.  Girl Scouting is focused on providing a premier Girl Scout Leadership Experience for girls in the 21st century, while ensuring the traditions and values that have been core to Girl Scouting since its beginning remain strong and relevant. 

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is a not-for-profit organization supported by various United Ways throughout the region.  Girl Scouts is a Proud Partner of United Way.

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