GLEN CARBON – Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois celebrated outstanding volunteers and Girl Scouts who earned awards for their achievements at our second annual Recognition of Excellence ceremony. These standouts exemplify our mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The ceremony was held on Sunday, May 21 at the DoubleTree Inn in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Girl Scouts, volunteers, and their families from the 40-county jurisdiction gathered together to celebrate this year’s award recipients.

“Our volunteers are an integral part of this organization, and I want to commend each and every volunteer for all that they do for Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois,” said Loretta Graham, CEO of Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois. When reflecting on the girl members who received their Girl Scout Silver and Girl Scout Gold awards this part year, Graham added “Our Girl Scouts continue to show up in big ways. These girls have challenged themselves, conquered their goals, and continuously show leadership. Most importantly, they made a positive and lasting impact on their communities. These Girl Scouts are innovators, problem solvers, and go-getters who work together to make the world a better place.”

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Thirteen Girl Scouts were recognized for earning the Girl Scout Gold Award – the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. Not only that, but all 13 also earned their Trifecta Award by earning all three of the highest awards for girls – the Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards. Gold Award Girl Scouts are recognized leaders in their communities. As they partner with local leaders to solve problems in their communities and beyond, they discover the power of bringing together a team to effect measurable, lasting change. These 13 girls did just that – they are world changers.

Girl Scout Cadettes (girls in grades 6-8) earn the Silver Award by researching an issue, making a plan to address it, and then taking action to improve their communities. Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois celebrated 83 Girl Scouts who earned the Silver Award.

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The Girl Scout Movement would not be possible without the passion and dedication of adult volunteers. Forty-six individual Girl Scout adult awards were presented during the day. In addition, seven Service Unit Teams were presented with the President’s Award for their outstanding efforts.

A highlight of the day was honoring Rita Schaefer from Belleville with the Heart of Gold Award. The Heart of Gold Award recognizes the long-term impact a volunteer has had on girls and adults in his/her community through involvement in Girl Scouting. The service of this volunteer has been an integral part of maintaining and recruiting new girls and/or adults in one or more areas of the council. Rita has been involved with Girl Scouts for 50 years, with more than 30 of those years as an adult volunteer. She is certainly a shining star of Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois.

In addition to the awards listed above, also recognized throughout the day were Product Program Top Sellers, Outstanding Graduating Girl Scout Scholarship recipients, and Medal of Honor recipient Adriyanna Gutierrez from Lenzburg.

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois serves over 6,150 girls and engages nearly 3,000 adult volunteers in 40 counties in Southern Illinois. Call 800-345-6858 or email Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is a not-for-profit organization supported by United Ways, businesses, and individual donors throughout the region.

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