GLEN CARBON- Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) held its 7th Annual Meeting on April 9 at the Holiday Inn in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. During the 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, GSSI Board of Director Chair, and Villie M. Appoo, GSSI Chief Executive Officer.
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In addition, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois 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. The theme for this year’s GSSI 7th Annual Meeting was Golden Jubilee which celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the Girl Scout Gold Award.
Keynote speaker for GSSI’s annual meeting was 1st Lt. Alyssa Heimerman, who is the Operations and Training Flight Commander at Travis AFB, CA, where she serves as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer. Lieutenant Heimerman is originally from Belleville and was a Girl Scout for many years. She culminated her Girl Scout career by earning the Girl Scout Gold Award in 2009. The lieutenant says earning her Girl Scout Gold Award was a really phenomenal experience as a young leader.
“Girl Scouts gave me so many positive things…confidence to succeed, open-mindedness and the importance of Communications in leadership,” Lieutenant Heimerman added.
“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. I Can’t Wait To continue working with these amazing volunteers to ensure all girls in southern Illinois can benefit from a premier Girl Scout Leadership Experience,” Appoo added.
Following are awards presented at GSSI’s 7th Annual Meeting:
GSSI Heart of Gold
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 the maintaining and recruiting new girls and/or adults in one or more areas of the council. The GSSI Heart of Gold award was presented to:
Mary Lou McDermott, Service Unit #108, Edwardsville
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 II was presented to:
Stan Clark, Service Unit #202, Trenton
Rosemary Gruber, Service Unit #207, Belleville
Mary Anne Hopper, Service Unit #211, Waterloo
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:
Nancy Smallie, a Service Unit #102, Granite City
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.
Valeria Clark, Service Unit #544, Crawford/Jasper
Elizabeth Frisbee, Service Unit #108, Edwardsville
Beverly Vanover, Service Unit #60, Randolph South
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.
SU 202 - ClinClair
SU 107 - South Macoupin
SU 107 - South Macoupin
SU 202 – ClinClair
SU 15 – Clinton
SU 108 – Edwardsville/Glen Carbon
SU 544 – Crawford/Jasper
SU 9 – Centralia
SU 60 – Randolph South
SU 511 – Effingham
SU 101 – Alton/Godfrey/Wood River/Roxana
SU 90 – West Williamson
SU 57 – Randolph North
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 from SU 7 - Bond
Service Unit Team from SU 15 - Clinton
Service Unit Team from SU 30 - Jefferson
Service Unit Team from SU 51 - North Franklin
Service Unit Team from SU 54 - Perry
Service Unit Team from SU 57 - Randolph North
Service Unit Team from SU 60 - Randolph South
Service Unit Team from SU 107 - South Macoupin
Service Unit Team from SU 110 - Highland
Service Unit Team from SU 201 - O’Fallon/Shiloh
Service Unit Team from SU 202 - ClinClair
Service Unit Team from SU 211 - Waterloo
Service Unit Team from SU 544 - Crawford/Jasper
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.
Betsy Back, SU 72 - Union/Pulaski/Alexander (UPAC)
Deena Ballard, SU 511 - Effingham
Deb Beckmann, SU 15 - Clinton
Mandy Bizaillion, SU 30 - Jefferson
Elizabeth Bruchhauser, GSSI Intern
Holli Campbell, SU 202 - ClinClair
Jane Cornelius, SU 7 - Bond
Vanessa Downey, SU 81 - Washington
Natalie Durbin, SU 207 - Belleville/Swansea
Lucinda Fulton, SU 107- South Macoupin
Beth Gregson, SU 211 - Waterloo
Melissa Griffith-Olmstead, SU 544 - Crawford/Jasper
Audra Haarman, SU 511 - Effingham
Jaime Herman, SU 202 - ClinClair
Hannah Hodge, SU 511 - Effingham
Rebecca Huller, SU 201 - O’Fallon/Shiloh
Carol Kaempfe, SU 60 - Randolph South
Angie Koester, SU 511 - Effingham
Tracey Lamczyk, SU 81 - Washington
Jennifer Larrison, SU 45 - Massac
Shelly Lemons, SU 202 - ClinClair
Kristine Luth, SU 15 - Clinton
Kathleen May, SU 211 - Waterloo
Samantha McCann, SU 72 - Union/Pulaski/Alexander (UPAC)
Jennifer Melton, SU 101 - Alton/Godfrey/Wood River/Roxana
Kevin Ponciroli, SU 201 - O’Fallon/Shiloh
Tammy Spour, SU 544 - Crawford/Jasper
Krissy Rietz, SU 511 - Effingham
Angela Sewell, Program Volunteer
Sarah Smith, SU 57 - Randolph North
Cassandra Townsend, SU 109 - Troy/St. Jacob
Lisa Wagner, SU 544 - Crawford/Jasper
Dawn Walker, SU 57 - Randolph North
Lynn Westphaelinger-Torres, SU 201 - O’Fallon/Shiloh
Wendi Wilson, SU 51 - North Franklin
Melanie Wright, SU 78 - Wabash/Edwards
Marea Yagow, SU 511 - Effingham
Jennifer Zinschlag, SU 108 - Edwardsville/Glen Carbon
Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is a high-capacity Girl Scout council serving approximately 13,000 girls and 4,500 adult volunteers in 40 ½ counties in southern Illinois.
The mission of Girl Scouting states: Girl 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.