have been growing women of distinction for 101 years, and the troops of Western Pennsylvania will continue to present their Women of Distinction Awards
for the 17th year on March 13.
"Often they turned out to have been Girl Scouts in the past," notes Allison Burns, coordinator for the event, which also honors two outstanding current Scouts and a local corporation that has been teaming with the scouts to do good locally.
Past adult honorees have included philanthropists and political figures Elsie Hillman and Teresa Heinz Kerry. This year's awards in eight categories include:
- In Arts: Sarah Tambucci of the Arts Education Collaborative
- In Business: Karen Larrimer of PNC Bank
- In the Community: Anne Lewis of Oxford Development
- In Education: Phyllis Comer, State Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
- In Government: Judge Donna Jo McDaniel of the Allegheny Country Court of Common Pleas
- In Health Care: Tami Minnier of the UPMC Center for Quality Improvement and Innovation
- In Law: Margaret Joy of McCarthy McDonald Schulberg & Joy
- In Technology: Diane Watson of Bayer
The awards, says Burns, "show that we inspire girls to discover whatever they want to do and to find their voice."
The Girl Scout Humanitarian Award will go to Tiffany Trunk, a student at Peters Township High School, who is working toward her Gold Award, the equivalent of the Boy Scout's Eagle rank. She does restoration work at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, is being trained as a voluntary first responder, does fundraising for veterans' causes locally and also volunteers at a local library.
The Girl Scout of Distinction awardee this year is Jocelyn Perry of West Allegheny High School, who created a summer day camp for kids of working mothers by partnering with a local parks department and gathering donated supplies. She also created a middle-school girls' workshop, teaching that self-esteem is not centered on a girl's looks.
"She' such a hard-working and compassionate girl," says Burns. "She's really a role model to younger girls in teaching them self-confidence."
The Corporation of Distinction this year is PPG Industries, which created the PPG Science of Color program and patch for the Scouts. It teaches color theory, design, chromatography and pH’s effect on color, as well as corporate accountability for the environment and ways to make companies greener. It also encourages participants to explore careers in color. "We want to close that gap for women in the sciences," says Burns, "where traditionally these are fields where positions are not held by women."
Eden Hall Foundation is the presenting sponsor for this fundraising event, and the honorary chair is Agnus Berenato, head coach of the University of Pittsburgh women’s basketball team.
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Writer: Marty Levine
Source: Allison Burns, Girls Scouts Western Pennsylvania