Upcoming luncheon to honor local women making a difference

Juliette Gordon Low believed in the power and potential of every girl. Through her vision, Girl Scouts was created to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. Four of the six honorees of this year’s Women Who Make A Difference award were personally involved in scouting at some level during their formative years. Another, while not a scout herself, made sure that her daughters reaped the benefits of scouting and is proud to point out that two of her granddaughters are currently Girl Scouts.

In an era in which donations made to organizations that serve girls still do not match donations made to organizations that serve boys, the Women Who Make A Difference awards luncheon provides an opportunity to raise necessary funds to serve local Girl Scouts as well as raise the awareness of Girl Scouting and how it plays a part in developing future community leaders.

The luncheon also provides a chance to gather together to highlight and honor seven women in Gainesville who are making a difference in our community. Chosen from a committee of former honorees and other community leaders, the women will share how participating in Girl Scouts (or having a mentor) helped them prepare for their current leadership roles in the community. “It’s very inspirational to hear their past experiences and how Girl Scouts has helped them to become a go-getter, an innovator, or a leader,” shared Mary Anne Jacobs, CEO of the Girls Scout of Gateway Council. “It’s important to understand why we not only highlight these women, but we highlight the fact that Girl Scouts plays a part in creating community leaders and civic leaders, as well. If we want more female leaders in the workplace or as elected officials, then we need more Girl Scouts. The Girl Scout leadership experience is the premier leadership experience for girls. The program really drives tomorrow’s leaders,” said Jacobs.

This year’s honorees include: Yvette Carter, Marie Herring, Candice King, Roslyn Levy, Jeanna Mastrodicasa, Julie Tjapkes Samples, and Ilene Silverman. Collectively, these women are making effective change in our community in the following public and private sectors: broadcasting, education, government, healthcare, higher education, ministry, non-profit healthcare, nursing, real estate, and retail. The women also give of their time in numerous ways to many volunteer organizations in the area.

We are fortunate that these seven women have chosen our community as their home and are, not surprisingly, living out the Girl Scout Law. They are honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, responsible for what they say and do, respectful of themselves and others, using resources wisely. They are, overall, making the world a better place. Juliette Gordon Low would be proud.

This year’s event will be held on Thursday, June 1 at the UF Hilton. A Lemonade Reception will run from 11:00 a.m. until noon with the luncheon following from noon to 1:00 p.m.

To attend the event, you may purchase a single ticket for $75.00 or sponsor a table for eight people for $1,000. To purchase a ticket, sponsor a table or become a sponsor of the event, please contact Kari Franceschia at (904) 388-9037 or kfranceschina@girlscouts-gateway.org.

By Amy Whitaker

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