GLEN CARBON - Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois celebrated outstanding volunteers and Girl Scouts who earned awards for their achievements at our third 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 19 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.

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Girl Awards

Gold Award Girl Scouts

Thirteen Girl Scouts were recognized for earning the Girl Scout Gold Award – the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. In addition, nine of these girls 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.

Violet Barnett
Trifecta Recipient
Troy, Illinois
Project: Bike Through History
Troop #578

Kennedy Cason
East St. Louis, Illinois
Project: Aging with an Attitude
Troop #876

Emily Dunn
Trifecta Recipient
Belleville, Illinois
Project: Mercy Mat Project
Troop #537

Bella Durbin
Trifecta Recipient
Shiloh, Illinois
Project: Increasing Mental Health Awareness
Troop #530

Creighton Endsley
Trifecta Recipient
Shiloh, Illinois
Project: Forensic and True Crime Club
Troop #530

Rachel Feder
Trifecta Recipient
New Athens, Illinois
Project: Bags to Educate
Troop #1051

Kameron Gresham
Trifecta Recipient
Shiloh, Illinois
Project: Safe in Faith
Troop #530

Hadley Hagler
Trifecta Recipient
Shumway, Illinois
Project: Build the Community
Troop #2647

Theo Jackson
O’Fallon, Illinois
Project: Rebrand Our Mind: The Mental Aftermath
Troop #213

Jennifer McDermott
Marion, Illinois
Project: The Sensory Room
Troop #8077

Gabrielle McQuay
Trifecta Recipient
Medora, Illinois
Project: Lori Schultz Memorial Reading Garden
Troop #235

Elise Passalacqua
Trifecta Recipient
Teutopolis, Illinois
Project: Operation Super Daisies
Troop #2555

Emma Tolppanen
Charleston, Illinois
Project: Douglas-Hart Nature Center Nesting Box Monitoring Program
Troop #2065

Outstanding Graduating Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is proud to announce that 10 members of the Class of 2024 have been awarded the Outstanding Graduating Girl Scouts Scholarship.

Elizabeth Back
Anna, Illinois
Troop #8548

Evie Ballard
Effingham, Illinois
Troop #2036

Cheyenne Brundies
Brussels, Illinois
Troop #405

Leah Connelly
Troy, Illinois
Troop #258

Hadley Hagler
Shumway, Illinois
Troop #2647

Haley Kelly
Belleville, Illinois
Troop #258

Emily Pinkel
Edwardsville, Illinois
Juliette

Kayla Romey
Fairview Heights, Illinois
Troop #233

Megan Roseman
Collinsville, Illinois
Troop #438

Lillian Seresbeno
Marion, Illinois
Troop #8250

Silver Award Girl Scouts

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 49 Girl Scouts who earned the Silver Award.

Troop #8643 from the Jefferson County area
Project: Warm and Fuzzy Hugs
Aubria Eckles, Baylee Nichols, and Alyson Peterson

Troop #8313 from the South Randolph County area
Project: Flag Ceremonies
Aubrey Armstrong, Kamryn Patterson, Savanna Stacy, and Ella Tripp

Troop #8292 from the Wayne/Hamilton/White County area
Project: World Thinking Day
Chloe Guard

Troop #8918 from the West Williamson County area
Project: Activities for Seniors
Olivia Dunaway, Madilyn King, Lily Sims, and Grace Wemmer

Troop #235 from the Jersey/Calhoun County area
Project: Updating Shipman Cemetery
Claire Meininger

Troop #819 from the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon area
Project: Treehouse Wildlife Critter Boxes
Annie Beavers, Mignonette Cygne, and Rebeca Elzie

Troop #3 from the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon area
Project: Reading Bench Project
Madeline Feldmann, Savannah Nunn, Maribel Paty, and Eleanor Reynolds

Troop #768 from the Troy/St. Jacob area
Project: Triad Middle School Boom Boom Box
Morgan Barnett, Katie Hellrung, and Savannah Russell

Troop #80 from the Highland area
Project: Exchanging Forgotten Books
Lily Braundmeier

Troop #80 from the Highland area
Project: More Than Books
Elena Batek

Troop #742 from the O’Fallon/Shiloh/Fairview Heights area
Project: Summer for Seniors
Vivian Streit and Celina Zabala

Troop #121 from the ClinClair area
Project: The Blacktop Canvas
Josie Detmer, Mallory Sommers, Hannah Thompson, and Maisyn Wittenstrom

Troop #191 from the Belleville/Swansea area
Project: Badge Boxes
Abygail Bagby and Ellaina Jenkins

Troop #191 from the Belleville/Swansea area
Project: The Butterfly Project
Michaela Wentz

Troop #607 from the Belleville/Swansea area
Project: Stand Out Trash Cans
Khloe Manno

Troop #607 from the Belleville/Swansea area
Project: Little Free Library
Kara Kramer

Troop #431 from the New Athens/Marissa/St. Libory/Freeburg area
Project: Conservation Education for Southern Illinois
Caitlen Anderson, Lily Maitret, Alaina Morgan, and Lillian Skaer

Troop #438 from the New Athens/Marissa/St. Libory/Freeburg area
Project: School Paper Recycling Program
Alexandria DeMange, Adriyanna Gutierrez, Justine Neal, and Lilliana Sanchez

Troop #781 from the Waterloo area
Project: Kindness Rocks at the Library
Lainey Davis

Troop #781 from the Waterloo area
Project: Out of this World Crafting Station
Elanor Martin

Troop #2108 from the Effingham County area
Project: Cookbooks for a Cause
Elaina Gaffin and Ellie Hoene

Troop #2545 from the Western Coles/Cumberland County area
Project: All Inclusive Coloring Book
Madison Sears

Girl Scout President’s Volunteer Service Award

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In 2003, the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation founded the President’s Volunteer Service Award to recognize the important role of volunteers in America’s strength and national identity. This award honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires those around them to take action, too.

Abygail Bagby – Troop #191 from the Belleville/Swansea area (earned Gold)
Michaela Wentz – Troop #191 from the Belleville/Swansea area (earned Bronze)

Adult Awards

The Girl Scout Movement would not be possible without the passion and dedication of adult volunteers. Thirty-eight individual Girl Scout adult awards were presented during the day. In addition, 10 Service Unit Teams were presented with the President’s Award for their outstanding efforts.

Thanks Badge II
Karlene Hoefener – serving the O’Fallon/Shiloh/Fairview Heights area

Karlene Hoefener

Karlene first started as a Girl Scout Volunteer by becoming a Troop Cookie Parent for her daughter's troop. Her daughter is now in her 30s, and Karlene continues to make a difference for the Girl Scouts in her area and beyond! For more than 20 years, she has served in a myriad of positions, including Troop Leader and Co-Leader, Service Unit Registrar, Treasurer, Director, and Cookie Manager, and more. She is known for being respectful, warm, influential, and very reliable. Many times, a crucial role was filled or a priceless opportunity was available because Karlene enthusiastically stepped up to take the lead. As one of her nominees said, "Karlene never fails to go above and beyond any role she finds herself in."

One of her most renowned roles has been as Day Camp Director. Karlene has been the backbone of the SU 201 Day Camp, missing only three summers since 2004 – one to celebrate her 30th wedding anniversary with a well-deserved vacation, and two summers when all day camps were cancelled due to COVID-19. Her dedication and spirit have ensured that Service Unit 201 continues to host one of the council's largest summer camps.

In addition, Karlene spreads a special love for the Girl Scout Gold Award. She has guided 35 girls to earn their Gold Award over the years - including many girls who were not in her troop or even service unit! So many girls and young women cite Karlene as a positive role model, cheerleader, and inspiration who encouraged them to reach their potential. Many continue to maintain a lifelong friendship with her.

As one of her nominees said, "She has changed the lives of Girl Scouts of all ages and adult volunteers. She is truly deserving of our thanks for so very much."

Thanks Badge

Donna Aaron – serving the Belleville/Swansea area

Donna AaronDonna has made a difference in a variety of roles - including Co-Leader, Cookie Manager, and Treasurer for both SU 207 Belleville/Swansea and SU 209 Millstadt/Columbia/Dupo/Smithton. She also stepped up to help Service Unit 209 gain momentum when it was without volunteer leadership. She has been a mentor for several Gold Award Girl Scouts, and has trained many others as Program-Aides and Counselors-in-Training, as well. In addition, she is a crucial party of several service unit events, including the popular powder puff derby and day camp! "Donna has a big heart and just wants to give support to any Girl Scout or adult volunteer," said one of her nominators.

Along with her tremendous local efforts, Donna also serves the council as a whole in several roles. She is the Chair of the Girl Scout Experience Fund Committee and advocates relentlessly to help troops understand its opportunities. Plus, she is renowned as a tireless council trainer! She took the initiative to become certified to train other volunteers in archery, Camping Out, and small craft safety for both flat and moving water. She has served around 100 volunteers from many service units, so that they can help Girl Scouts have more outdoor adventures.
Donna is known for being passionate about Girl Scouting, incredibly helpful, generous with her skills, and inspiring to other girl members and volunteers. As one of her nominators said, "her blood truly bleeds green."

Alicia Dixon – serving the North Franklin County area

Alicia DixonAlicia wears many hats, serving as Director, Registrar, Treasurer, and Delegate for SU 51 North Franklin County. In addition, Alicia is the Fall Product Program Manager, helps run several events, and manages the area cookie cupboard! On top of volunteering for the service unit leadership team, she co-leads and assists with several troops as well! So many girls have had the opportunity to benefit from the Girl Scout Leadership Experience due to her hard work and dedication. As one nominator said, "she has one of the most dynamic, energetic, and exciting personalities with all those she comes in contact with in the Girl Scout organization."

Service Unit 51 has exceeded many of their goals thanks to Alicia's guidance. Volunteers in her service unit appreciate her for being organized, knowledgeable, generous, and helpful. In large part because of her efforts, SU 51 has one of the highest volunteer retention rates in the council. Simply put, Alicia's leadership skills have proven to be a big success! As one of her peers put it, "she is truly a great Girl Scout."

Honor Pin

Sharon Knowles – serving the Effingham County area

Sharon Knowles

Sharon is known by her peers for being positive, team-oriented, and excited to share a strong Girl Scout presence in the community. She volunteers in a variety of roles, including Service Unit Manager and Treasurer in SU 511 Effingham County. She is also the co-leader of a large multi-level troop, coaches the Axolegos robotics team, and serves on the Girl Scout Experience Fund committee. In addition, she has served as Day Camp Director and helps with area events. She's appreciated for welcoming neighboring service units to events so that more Girl Scouts have an incredible experience. She is known as "a true role model."

Laura Koehler – serving the Belleville/Swansea area

Laura Koehler

Laura has been a great asset to our entire council by serving as a volunteer advisor with the Adult Education team. In addition, she helped facilitate the Volunteer Training Summit, which served 70 volunteers representing 23 service units. She is appreciated for being reliable, upbeat, and eager to help.

Laura continues to offer her expertise to help give Girl Scout volunteers the knowledge and tools they need. On top of her service to the council as a whole, Laura is devoted to her service unit, as well. She has served as a Delegate, SU 207 Troop Organizer, and Troop Mentor, among other roles. She is celebrated as a "servant leader" and a true team player.

Emily Myers – serving the Edgar/Clark County area

Emily Meyers

Emily has made a tremendous impact on her entire region through her enthusiasm and dedication. "She is always willing to help," a fellow volunteer said in praise.

Emily serves as a Delegate and Registrar for Service Unit 531 Edgar/Clark Counties. In addition, she has also volunteered with Service Unit 522 Eastern Coles County and Service Unit 544 Crawford/Jasper Counties. She's celebrated for always being eager to help in any way - from hosting registration events, to managing product programs, to mentoring other volunteers. Just this year, she stepped up to help a troop in need of a leader, after leading another troop all the way through high school. Her peers say that she "truly cares to make a difference" for both Girl Scouts and area communities.

Teresa Stacey – serving the North Franklin County area

Teresa Stacey

Teresa has served in a variety of roles, including Troop Leader, recruiter, SU event organizer, and new leader mentor. She's always admired for being very organized, helpful, and dependable. As Service Unit Cookie Manager for SU 51 North Franklin County, she recently welcomed a neighboring service unit to collaborate for cookie delivery. Thanks to her efforts, cookie distribution was smooth, quick, and efficient. In addition, she strives to ensure that Girl Scouts give back to the community, including leading local food giveaways. As a teacher, along with being a city clerk in Sesser, Teresa is very active and invested in making a difference in the community. "She wears many hats," said a fellow volunteer, "but still finds time to play a huge part in Girl Scouts."

Lisa Wagner – serving the Crawford/Jasper County area

Lisa Wagner

Lisa is known for being friendly, helpful, and involved. She serves as a co-leader of two troops, as well as Registrar, Fall Product Manager, and Delegate for Service Unit 544 Crawford/Jasper Counties. She is also on the Girl Scout Experience Fund committee and manages the community cookie cupboard.

She always helps share opportunities for Girl Scouts, and strives to help both girl members and adults have a great experience. "Lisa is one of the most deserving people for this award that I can think of," said a fellow volunteer.

Sustained Service Award

The Sustained Service Award recognizes a long-term Girl Scout volunteer who has continued to provide exemplary service at the service unit level for at least l0 years.

Sheila Jolly Scrivner - serving the Jefferson County area
Dawn Quicksall - serving the Effingham County area

Living Her Legacy Award

The Living Her Legacy Award recognizes a leader, co-leader, or member of the leadership team that started a troop as kindergarten Daisies and continued the same troop until the girls became high school graduated Ambassadors.

Rebecca Huller - serving the O’Fallon/Shiloh/Fairview Heights area

Appreciation Pin Award

The Appreciation Pin recognizes an individual’s exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. This service, which has had measurable impact on at least one service unit, contributes to expanding the council’s reach and surpassing its mission-delivery goals for that area.

Gretchen Critchley - serving the O’Fallon/Shiloh/Fairview Heights area
Katina Deremiah - serving the Western Coles/Cumberland County area
Lori House - serving the Waterloo area
Jessie Hull - serving the Belleville/Swansea area
Jennifer Mumper - serving the Troy/St. Jacob area
Sarah Spytek - serving the Perry County area

Volunteer of Excellence Award

The Volunteer of Excellence Award recognizes volunteers who have contributed outstanding service while partnering directly with girls to implement the Girl Scout Leadership Experience through the 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.

Victoria Birchem - serving the O’Fallon/Shiloh/Fairview Heights area
Sara Clough - serving the Lawrence/Wabash/Edwards County area
Joanna Dardeen - serving the Belleville/Swansea area
Dena Fox - serving the North Franklin County area
Leigh AnneGentry - serving the O’Fallon/Shiloh/Fairview Heights area
Jeanne Greuel - serving the Lawrence/Wabash/Edwards County area
Melissa Heuerman - serving the Effingham County area
Christina Mason - serving the O’Fallon/Shiloh/Fairview Heights area
Michelle Mater - serving the O’Fallon/Shiloh/Fairview Heights area
Patricia McDonald - serving the Western Coles/Cumberland County area
Rosalinda Molla - serving the Perry County area
Charlene Parsley - serving the Eastern Coles County area
Libby Pearson - serving the Lawrence/Wabash/Edwards County area
Brandi Sharp - serving the Edgar/Clark County area
Susan Sonderegger - serving the O’Fallon/Shiloh/Fairview Heights area
Adrian Summers - serving the Troy/St. Jacob area
Bridget Wilson - serving the Effingham County area
Casey Wilson - serving the Eastern Coles County area

President’s Award

The President’s Award recognizes the efforts of a service unit team 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 39 – serving the Lawrence/Wabash/Edwards County area
Service Unit 51 – serving the North Franklin County area
Service Unit 54 – serving the Perry County area
Service Unit 87 – serving the West Frankfort area
Service Unit 207 – serving the Belleville/Swansea area
Service Unit 211 – serving the Waterloo area
Service Unit 511 – serving the Effingham County area
Service Unit 522 – serving the Eastern Coles County area
Service Unit 531 – serving the Edgar/Clark County area
Service Unit 544 – serving the Crawford/Jasper County area

President’s Volunteer Service Award

In 2003, the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation founded the President’s Volunteer Service Award to recognize the important role of volunteers in America’s strength and national identity. This award honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires those around them to take action, too.

Tiffany Davis - serving the Waterloo area
Mary Anne Hopper - serving the Waterloo area
Kendra Kennedy - serving the Waterloo area

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois serves over 6,500 girls and engages nearly 3,400 adults in 40 counties in Southern Illinois. Call 800-345-6858 or email customercare@gsofsi.org. 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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