Nearly 800 supporters and friends of Girl Scouts gathered for a high-energy tribute honoring and celebrating eight outstanding women leaders at the third annual Girl Scouts Women of Distinction luncheon on April 14 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
Emcee Diana Pierce, KARE 11 news anchor and Girl Scout alumna, set the stage for the event by sharing recollections of her own Girl Scout experience and how Girl Scouting contributes to building leadership skills in young women.
While not a requirement to be recognized, all eight honorees have been either girl members or adult volunteers and understand the impact Girl Scouts has had on generations of girls.
Throughout the program, speakers highlighted various aspects of the Girl Scout experience, ranging from the personal to the broad community impact. Honoree Judge Mimi Wright spoke about her own Girl Scout troop leader, an inspiring role model who would have been proud to see Wright receive this award. Honoree Jan Yeomans, Vice President and Treasurer at 3M, emphasized the current economic realities and the importance of investing in today’s youth.
Linda Keene, River Valleys CEO, spoke about River Valleys’ plan to provide Girl Scouting to the 50 percent of girls who don’t have access to or participate in out-of-school time enrichment activities. Troop co-leader Tom Kendrick shared a compelling and heart-warming account of the vital difference Girl Scouting makes in the lives of the underprivileged girls at his St. Paul elementary school.
The event ended on a celebratory note with a special video message from Girl Scout alumna and Centennial Champion Marilyn Carlson Nelson, who shared how Girl Scouts shaped her leadership skills, and expressed her excitement for the Girl Scout 100th anniversary in 2012. She encouraged all past and present Girl Scouts to reconnect and celebrate this once-in-a-century milestone.