Glen Carbon, Illinois – Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) held its 5th Annual Meeting on April 5 at the Hilton Garden Inn in O’Fallon.  During the meeting, approximately 300 Girl Scout members (adults and girls) from throughout southern Illinois elected Board of Director members and received a “State of the Council” report from Dixie Travelstead, GSSI Board of Director Chair, Jay Strobel, GSSI Chief Communications Officer and Micah Bolandis, GSSI Director of Mission Delivery.

     In addition, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois recognized top Girl Scout volunteers which are the heart of Girl Scouting.    GSSI’s 4,800 Girl Scout volunteers play an instrumental role in providing leadership programming and opportunities for more than 14,000 girls in southern Illinois.  Also announced were the delegates and alternate delegates who were selected to represent GSSI at Girl Scouts of the USA’s 2014 National Convention.

            The theme for this year’s annual meeting was I Can’t Wait To which is part of a national Girl Scout campaign launched to highlight the fun, excitement and anticipation girls feel when they join or participate in Girl Scouts.   

       “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 elect these new Board Members, announce our National Convention delegates and recognize our exceptional volunteers as they are the driving force behind carrying out GSSI’s mission of building leaders for America.  Working together with our volunteers, we are providing important and valuable programs and experience for girls who will make the world a better place for everyone,” Appoo added. 

     Following are awards presented at GSSI’s 5th Annual Meeting: 

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.  The Thanks Badge was presented to:

Cheryl Heimerman, Service Unit #205, Scott AFB. 

                              “Girl Scouting is important for girls today because they have the opportunity to become future leaders for America.”

Thanks Badge

The Thanks Badge recognizes an adult member whose performance is truly outstanding and benefits the total council or the entire Girl Scout movement.  The Thanks Badge was presented to:

            Dawn Quicksall, a Service Unit #511, Effingham County.

                              “I think great Girl Scout volunteers must have one thing – an incredible passion to make a difference in the life of a child…because you will!”

            Ruth Rawson, a Service Unit #102, Granite City/Madison/Venice.

                              “The most important part of the Girl Scout program is that it helps girls grow into responsible and contributing members of their community.”

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, measureable impact toward reaching the council’s overall goals.

Service Unit Team of SU 57 - North Randolph County

Service Unit Team of SU 109 - Troy/St. Jacob/Marine

Service Unit Team of SU 110 - Highland

Honor Pin

The Honor Pin recognizes an individual’s exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE), which has had measurable impact on two or more geographic areas of service, allowing the council to reach and surpass its mission-delivery goals.

Kathy Arend, SU 110 – Highland

Cheryl Cronin, SU 201 – O’Fallon/Shiloh

Alicia Dixon, SU 51 – North Franklin County

Michelle Sparks, SU 201 – O’Fallon/Shiloh

Penny Pejka, SU 201 – O’Fallon/Shiloh 

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.

Nicole Balint, SU 110 – Highland

Amy King Beard, SU 109 – Troy/St. Jacob/Marine

Jodi Becker, SU 111 – Collinsville/Maryville

Shelley Callahan, SU 12 – Clay County

Trisha Clevenger, SU 105 – Jersey/Calhoun Counties

Carla Eastberg, SU 85 – Wayne/Hamilton/White Counties

Joyce Given, SU 85 – Wayne/Hamilton/White Counties

Jennifer Hanny, SU 201 – O’Fallon/Shiloh

Margaret Jacobs, SU 102 – Granite City/Madison/Venice

Poonam Jain, SU 107 – Southern Macoupin County

Kimberly King-Wrenn, SU 27 – Jackson County

Kelly Marti, SU 108 – Edwardsville/Glen Carbon

Mary Lou Portell, SU 54 – Perry County

Kari Roniger, SU 108 – Edwardsville/Glen Carbon

Christine Scarbrough, SU 102 – Granite City/Madison/Venice

Scott Smallie, SU 102 – Granite City/Madison/Venice

Teresa Stacey, SU 51 – North Franklin County

Vicki Thalmann, SU 108 – Edwardsville/Glen Carbon

Jaime Watkins, SU 72 – UPAC(Union/Pulaski/Alexander Counties)

Debbie Workman, SU 110 - Highland

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.

Melissa Albert, SU 07 – Bond County

Katie Beasley, SU 106 – Bethalto

Diane Brooks, SU 108 – Edwardsville/Glen Carbon

Dena Davis, SU 110 – Highland

Laura Dietzen, SU 108 – Edwardsville/Glen Carbon

Jeff Given, SU 86 – Wayne/White/Hamilton Counties

Emily Heinzmann, SU 9 - Centralia

Jodie Herbstritt, SU 207 – Belleville/Swansea

Kathy Holmes, SU 521 – Western Coles County

Winnie Kenney, SU 201 – O’Fallon/Shiloh

Sarah Klostermann, SU 207 – Belleville/Swansea

Pam Koenig, SU 102 – Granite City/Madison/Venice

Brenna McIlvoy, SU 108 – Edwardsville/Glen Carbon

Tasha McQuay, SU 105 – Jersey/Calhoun Counties

Misty Mezo, SU 07 – Bond County

Michelle Myatt, SU 102 – Granite City/Madison/Venice

Laura Oesterle, SU 106 – Bethalto

Stacey Ottenschnieder, SU 15 – Clinton County

Robin Pinkel, SU 111 – Collinsville/Maryville

Gail Tucker Rice, SU 108 – Edwardsville/Glen Carbon

Sherry Sutton, SU 07 – Bond County

Beverly Szugye, SU 201 – O’Fallon/Shiloh

Anita Winkles, SU 39 – Lawrence County

Ronnie Winterich, SU 111 – Collinsville/Maryville

      Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is a high-capacity Girl Scout council serving approximately 14,000 girls and 4,800 adult volunteers in 40 ½ counties in southern Illinois. 

     The mission of Girl Scouting statesGirl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.   Girl Scouts is the world's pre-eminent organization dedicated solely to girls - all girls - where, in an accepting and nurturing environment, girls build character and skills for success in the real world.  In partnership with committed adults, girls develop qualities that will serve them all their lives - like strong values, social conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth.

     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 together. 

     Girl Scouting has inspired more than 50 million girls and women since its founding in 1912. 

     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.

     For more information, please call Jay Strobel at 618.692.0692 or Tricia Higgins at 618.242.5079.


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