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Leading the Way: Honoring Champions of Girls

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Leading the Way: Honoring Champions of Girls

April 6 was an extra special night for the supporters of Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois! Volunteers, donors, and organizations from across the council gathered to celebrate Girl Scouts and to honor the women and men that have gone above and beyond to continue building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. This evening was made even more special by a keynote address from Girl Scouts of the USA CEO, Sylvia Acevedo. Sylvia gave an inspirational talk over the importance of Girl Scouts, volunteers, and the community as a whole. She reminded us all of the power each and every member of Girl Scouts has to create a brighter, more inclusive future. This, combined with STEM events, book signings, and community events, made for a busy and memorable weekend for the council.

Thank you to everyone who played a role in making this weekend possible.

Congratulations to all of the honorees from the 2019 Leading the Way: Honoring Champions of Girls Celebration:

2019 President’s Award Recipients

The impact of our program is only made possible because of passionate community members who dedicate their time and resources to building girls of courage, confidence, and character.

To achieve the President’s Award, a Service Unit team surpassed their goals to deliver the Girl Scout mission to girls in their community.

SU 610 – Blackhawk Co. 

SU 616 – Winneshiek Co. 

SU 618 – Chickasaw Co. 

SU 619 – Howard Co. 

SU 621 – Benton Co.

SU 626 – Bremer Co. 

SU 770 – Dubuque Co. 

SU 771 – Dubuque Co. 

SU 780 – Clayton Co. 

SU 803 – Iowa Co. 

SU 806 – Linn Co. 

SU 807 – Linn Co. 

SU 808 – Linn Co. 

SU 809 – Linn Co. 

SU 810 – Linn Co. 

SU 811 – Linn Co. 

SU 812 – Linn Co. 

SU 816 – Johnson Co.

SU 819 – Johnson Co.

SU 821 – Washington Co. 

SU 831 – Jones Co. 

SU 836 – Muscatine Co. 

SU 841 – Jackson CO. 

SU 842 – Jackson Co.

SU 847 – Clinton Co.

SU 855 – Scott Co. 

SU 857 – Scott Co. 

SU 858 – Scott Co.

SU 859 – Scott Co. 

SU 867 – Rock Island Co. 

SU 868 – Rock Island Co. 

SU 870 – Rock Island Co. 

SU 886 – Henry Co.

SU 889 – Henry Co. 

SU 890 – Henry Co. 

SU 897 – Knox Co. 

SU 941 – Jefferson Co

2019 Outstanding Service Award

The Outstanding Service Award goes to Roberta Lympus, of Swisher, Iowa, for her volunteer help at a program or event. Roberta is a retired teacher who volunteered a great deal of time last summer to help troop 3122, with their Take Action Project, the Citizen Scientist Journey.

Roberta spent hours with the girls sharing her expertise on monarch butterflies. She brought caterpillars for the girls to observe, and magiscopes so they could look at them close-up; donated a flat of seedlings for the girls’ monarch garden; and shared several varieties of milkweed and nectar sources. After working with the girls, she presented the leaders with a folder of teacher resources so they could continue teaching the girls. As the girls learned that no effort is too small when it comes to making a difference, Roberta came to mind as the epitome of what an Outstanding Service Award recipient should be!

2019 Honor Pin Award

The following individuals earned the Honor Pin, recognizing them for their service in delivering the Girl Scout program.

Heather Bishop | SU 780 | Rock Island, Illinois
Heather has been a volunteer at Black Hawk Day camp for 10 years. She has created an amazing experience for hundreds of girls around the Quad Cities who come to Black Hawk Day camp. She always thinks outside the box when it comes to programing and always brings in a variety of guest speakers to enhance her daily program. She is an advocate for team building and encourages girls to continue on as Program Aides as they get older.   

Cindy Bloomer |  Bettendorf, Iowa
Cindy is a very dedicated volunteer who comes into the Bettendorf office on Mondays and works four to five hours each time on office and data related projects. To do many of these data projects she had to learn a different system than what was the norm. She has helped with projects for the Outdoor Program Department, entered Outreach membership registration, and cleaned up data for grant cases to name a few.

Lacy Bock | SU 810 | Ely, Iowa
Lacy is being awarded the Honor Pin for her unrelenting passion for Girl Scouts. She has led multiple troops and has served as director for her service unit. Lacy stands out because she is always conscientious about opening her events to all service units to give everyone a great experience.
She coordinated the Freedom Festival Paraded in which four service units participated and she hosted a
New Year’s Eve Bowling Party/Cookie Rally for girls from Linn and Benton Counties.

Nancy Engler | SU 855 | Walcott, Iowa
Nancy has been a phenomenal volunteer for Girl Scouts for many years. Nancy is a true advocate for the outdoors and Girl Scout camp. Nancy has been a facilitator for both archery and waterfront activities.  As a trained facilitator, Nancy has always been one of the first to sign up to spend her weekends facilitating these activities for other troops from all around the council. She is always willing to come out to camp to replace another volunteer so that girls are able to have a great experience at camp.

Chris Gjere | SU 619 | Cresco, Iowa
Chris Gjere became an active member of Girl Scouts in 2016 as a troop leader.  He has been dedicated to improving the access troop leaders and girls have to GSEIWI’s programs and training for his area.  In the process, he has grown to help many other areas as well.  He took the training to be an outdoor trainer and has traveled to Cedar Rapids, Camp Little Cloud and Camp Liberty to offer outdoor training to our GSEIWI leaders. 

Rebecca (Becky) Jordan | SU 807 | Marion, Iowa
After attending a weekend event at Camp L-Kee-Ta, Becky and a fellow volunteer were inspired to host a camp out at Camp L-Kee-Ta for Linn County. After nearly a year’s worth of work and planning, the camp out was held in June 2018. More than one hundred Linn County Girl Scouts enjoyed a fun-filled three day weekend event. 

Haley Mussmann | SU 806 | Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Haley was inspired to host a camp out for Girl Scouts of Linn County after a weekend event at Camp
L-Kee-Ta. Following a year of planning, Haley delivered a three day event – the first of its kind for this Service Unit – providing an amazing experience for 85 girls and 20 volunteers! Haley’s leadership ensured fun new activities as well as traditional camp activities like sing-alongs, outdoor cooking, skits and archery. Girls and volunteers are very excited for another camp experience in the future!

Cheryl Porter | SU 867 & SU 855 | Davenport, Iowa
Cheryl is an active volunteer for Girl Scouts. She works with two service units, is a leader for her niece’s troop, a Fall Sale and Cookie Program Product Manager, and volunteers in the Bettendorf office. She has helped with everything from data entry to helping troops pick up their cookie orders. She also helps with training for troop leaders. Without her, there would have been a huge delay in the process for contacting prospective members. She is a key volunteer for many aspects of our program!

Amy Wheeler | SU 831 | Anamosa, Iowa
Amy Wheeler, with the help of her daughter Ally-Anna, led You and Me events for Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois this past year. They put on quality programming where the girls and their gal pairs were able to share the experience together through outdoor activities, hiking, service projects, and bonding time with the Dove Project Self-Esteem activity.

Brian Wicks | SU 811 | Marion, Iowa
Brian has been a huge asset to the Girl Scout cookie program – serving on the cookie advisory board, as the Service Unit Product Manager, as the cookie cupboard, and as a Troop Product Manager! He puts the girls first, engaging them in discussions about what they want from their cookie program, and also listens to troop leaders and cookie volunteers, sharing their thoughts and ideas with the council. Because of him, the cookie program in Marion is thriving!

Krista Wylie | SU 811 | Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Krista has kept the Sunshine Valley day campers and staff well fed since 2014. She joined the day camp volunteer staff because she wanted her daughter to have a great experience, but little did she know she would end up doing the grocery shopping, meal prep, serving, and washing dishes for the five days of camp. In her five years, she has served meals to 414 girls, more than 100 volunteers, and more than 30 day care children. She has committed to work closely with the new kitchen manager to ensure continued success – which speaks to the kind of dedicated volunteer she is!

Volunteer Years of Service Award

20 Years

Alyson Anton
Kathy Canfield
Dorothy Cox
Drew Nagle

25 Years

Greg Carew
Joan Marie Leuenberger
Holly Manon Moore
Lisa Purdy-Ciesielski
Shirley Ungerer
Melena Urbanowski
Elizabeth Vanausdeln
Martha Wilson
Lora Wright

30 Years

Johanna Abernathy
Linda Neuman
Michelle Visokey
Heather Weber

35 Years

Alice Diehl
Tami Liljequist

40 Years

Barbara Jean Brown
Diane Johnson
Virginia Lyttle

45 Years

Joanne Dumar
Nancy Hudson
Judith Johnson
Julie Petherick

50 Years

Elaine Swails

55 Years

Charlene Dewitt Conklin
Vivian Fitzpatrick

60 Years

Marlys Schmidt


2019 Thanks Badge Award

Recipients of the Thanks Badge volunteer above and beyond to support the entire Girl Scout community with their dedication.

Theresa Bergthold | SU 855
Theresa Bergthold is a standout Girl Scout volunteer, helping girls as a troop leader, leading the entire Service Unit, and truly stepping up whenever and wherever needed. But it is her love of getting girls outdoors and connecting them with nature that sets her apart. She is an adult trainer for outdoor training for Girl Scout leaders. She is also building future outdoor leaders by providing camp experiences for older girls, with many going on to become program aides, role models, and adult leaders. 

Angelia Mitchell | SU 858
Angelia has been a troop leader for her sister’s troop since she became an adult. She is one of the leaders for a multi-level ‘super troop’ of more than 80 girls. When asked for volunteers to take First Aid and CPR instructor training, Angelia and her mother stepped right up. Since then, this dynamic duo has trained almost 100 volunteers throughout the council. She brings a new spin to engage girls and adults in trainings making them fun and memorable. Her great attitude is an asset as she mentors incoming trainers and leaders.

Sandra Mitchell | SU 858
As one of the troop leaders for the Pleasant Valley ‘super troop,’ Sandra provides a place for girls who don’t have a troop to go to. She has served her Service Unit as registrar, school organizer, leader mentor and director. As part of a dynamic training duo, Sandra and her daughter Angelia, recognized the need for additional outdoor and camping trainings. They took the lead to train girls to be program aides, while also helping more leaders be trained in outdoor skills. They even take their first aid training on the road to make it more convenient for others.

Mindy Stark | SU 836
Mindy is referred to as the glue that has held the Muscatine Service Unit together. She stepped up in 2008 and has become a great resource for the volunteer leaders. Mindy has served as a national delegate and as a member of the council bylaws committee. As part of that committee, she was instrumental and vocal in making needed changes that resulted in a smoother way of work. Mindy walked the walk when she used her voice to clearly explain the impact of making these changes.

G.I.R.L. Donor Awards

Thanks to the generous support of our partners, girls in eastern Iowa and western Illinois have the opportunity to develop the confidence that Girl Scouts nurtures. They are investing in the next generation of self-sufficient and capable women.

Russell Construction, Davenport, Iowa
Go-Getter Award
Russell Construction has been a Girl Scout partner for many years. While never one of their biggest clients, the Russell staff always worked with us as if we were. The Russell team brought an idea to life, turning the Rock Island office into a program center for girls. They continued the theme with the Bettendorf Office, ensuring a welcoming environment for staff, leaders, and girls. But it was the vision to rebuild Camp Liberty that blew it out of the water! They helped from concept to fruition. Through all of these projects, they have given generously as well, supporting Camp Liberty, sponsoring One Tough Cookie, and stepping right up as our premiere sponsor for Leading the Way!

John Deere, Moline, Illinois
Innovator Award
When council leadership approached John Deere with a BIG dream of renovating our camp in New Liberty, they responded with a vision which helped us secure more contributions and expanded our program to ensure low-income girls would get an outdoor experience. John Deere has always provided an amazing workforce during the United Way Day of Caring, and they have stepped up to support our robotics teams and sponsor special events like Journey the World. This year, they worked with council to deliver a national pillar program ensuring girls continue to change the world through STEM!

Hills Bank, Hills, Iowa
Risk-Taker Award
Seven years ago, Hills Bank took a risk and partnered with our council to remove obstacles so that all girls could get a Girl Scout experience. The program was delivered right after school and girls in Linn and Johnson Counties received financial assistance to cover their membership fees. Hills Bank continued to support that project and now invest greatly to ensure it continues for girls. Their employees have volunteered at our program to help teach girls financial literacy, helping them witness the impact first hand. They even invested in Camp Liberty to help get girls outdoors through an inviting and safe camp experience!

Toyota Financial Services, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Leader Award
Toyota Financial has developed a number of amazing opportunities to teach girls about financial literacy. This dedicated team of employees hosted events in Cedar Rapids to educate 4th & 5th grade girls on money management.  They participated in Toyota Days at Camp Liberty where girls built their dream camp and learned about budgeting, money earning and spending wisely. Toyota also provided a dedicated Advisory team for financial literacy programs resulting in serving more than 1,100 girls each year. They continue to host cookie booths on site for outreach girls to develop leadership skills for the future!

Thank you to our Leading the Way Planning Committee:

Chris Gjere, Cresco, Iowa
Kim Jeager, Dubuque, Iowa
Becky Jordan, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Peace Smith, Burlington, Iowa
Ronda Thompson, Marion, Iowa
Laura Torgerud, Bettendorf, Iowa