Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Honored with 800+ Awards at Annual Distinction Ceremony

The Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida proudly hosted their annual Young Women of Distinction Ceremony on May 19th at the esteemed Charlotte Harbor Convention Center in Punta Gorda. This year’s ceremony, a celebration of excellence and achievement, honored an impressive cohort of 618 girls, recognizing their remarkable contributions with over 800 awards.

“During this inspiring ceremony, we witnessed the embodiment of courage, confidence, and character in each and every Girl Scout who received an award. As we celebrate their remarkable achievements, we reaffirm our commitment to nurturing the leaders of tomorrow with the same name, and the same mission for over 100 years. Together, we will continue to empower girls to unleash their full potential and shape a brighter future for us all,” said chief girl champion, CEO Mary Anne Servian. 

The event, a testament to the dedication and perseverance of these young women, showcased a diverse array of accolades, including the prestigious Girl Scout Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards, Journey Summit recognitions, Religious Recognitions, 10-Year Pins, as well as acknowledgments for graduating Girl Scouts, Girl Scout College Scholarship recipients, and accomplished Cookie Entrepreneurs. 

Sharon Matthews, esteemed co-chair of the GSUSA Governance Advisory Team, attended the ceremony as the keynote speaker. Drawing from her illustrious 40-year career in Human Resources, which encompassed senior leadership roles at industry giants such as Wells Fargo and IBM, Matthews shared invaluable wisdom and advice with the attending girls. 

The pinnacle of the evening was the announcement of the Girl Scout Gold Award winners, Ainsley Ellis, Michaela Fischer, Sarah Glass, Kaitlyn Jadevaia, Bryanna Sparks, and Gabriella Stafford. Their recognition was accompanied by the debut of their inspiring Gold Award videos. The videos are now available for viewing on the GSGCF YouTube channel. 

As CEO Mary Anne Servian articulated during her address, the Girl Scout Gold Award is “truly the mark of the remarkable.” It stands as the highest honor in Girl Scouting, symbolizing true distinction and accomplishment. Prior to the ceremony, the families of Gold Award Girl Scouts gathered for a special brunch buffet, where they received their award pins amidst joyous celebrations with family and friends. 

Another highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Dr. Elinor Crawford Girl Scout Scholarship Fund to six deserving recipients, including Tristan Blankenship, Harley Cross, Audrey Muller, Lilly Riggs, Bryanna Sparks, and Lucy Thomas. Established in 1987 by the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Inc. Board of Directors, the scholarship is named after Dr. Elinor Crawford, a lifelong Girl Scout and advocate for women’s rights in education. This scholarship fund has recognized the achievements of 315 graduating high school senior Girl Scouts, honoring their excellence in skills, leadership, and citizenship. 

Bryanna Sparks, a distinguished Gold Award Girl Scout, was additionally awarded the Lyndi Cyphers Memorial Scholarship, presented by Richard Cyphers, Board President, in loving memory of his late wife. 

Girl Scout entrepreneurs were celebrated for their outstanding achievements during the Fall Product Program and Cookie Program. Entrepreneurs who distributed over 1,000 boxes of Cookies were honored on stage, acknowledging their remarkable dedication to goal-setting, exemplary decision-making, exceptional people-skills, business ethics, and adept money management skills. Among these accomplished individuals, Savannah R. was the top entrepreneur during the Fall Product Program. The top Cookie seller, Grace P., distinguished herself by selling an impressive 7,437 boxes of Girl Scout cookies. Notably, Grace also secured the highest number of donations to military heroes through the council’s Gift of Caring initiative. 

The accomplishments of these girls serve as a testament to the Girl Scout values of leadership, generosity, and community impact. 

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