2020 Adult Awards
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2020 Adult Award Recipients

Each year, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois has the opportunity to recognize those volunteers who go above and beyond the call of duty on behalf of the girls served in our council. There are so many deserving individuals, and we are lucky to have such active volunteers and staff who work hard every day to serve as positive role models for girls. Congratulations to our very dedicated volunteers!

Appreciation Pin

The Appreciation Pin recognizes an adult who delivered outstanding service to at least one service area.

Tara Barker has helped numerous leaders, (and in turn, girls) from around the council through various council trainings. She is always willing to facilitate trainings, make leaders feel welcome at her trainings and is willing to add more participants, even at the last minute. She is an important member of the Volunteer Trainer group, with a great deal of knowledge and experience who contributed to the revised volunteer trainings. Additionally, she is involved with planning the training events. 

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Jill Buchanan Web

Jill Buchanan is volunteer cookie coordinator for her area. She helps to train new volunteers on the cookie program, and is always available to support the volunteers in her service unit during this time. She and her troop hold recruitment events, delivers recruitment flyers to schools and represents Girl Scouts in community parades and at fairs. She’s always willing to go the extra mile. She provides an amazing troop experience for the girls in her troop and is always willing to accept more girls in to her troop. 

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Dawn Crowell led one troop all the way through Ambassador level and is now on her second troop. This second troop has had 20-25 girls for the past two years. With a large troop sometimes it is difficult to take on extra positions, but not for this volunteer. She is also the Fall Product Coordinator for her service unit and always helps with product deliveries, trainings, events, all while making sure her troop has an active and diverse experience. 

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Sarah Daschner is a troop leader and member of the service unit team. She develops service unit events for her area and believes it is important to teach girls the importance of giving back during events. One of her most recent events was to bring the girls together to learn the importance of donating food to the members in their community. This past year, this volunteer moved to another town and brought the troop with her. The girls in the troop loved being part of her troop so much, she couldn’t leave them behind. She still meets with the troop on a regular basis.

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Tammy Fowler is one of those dedicated members that is always available for advice and mentoring to others. Just recently, she trained 20 troop leaders in a cookie training from service units 31, 33, and 34. For more than 5 years, this volunteer has had 2 troops that she leads. Both troops have received their Bronze Award where all of the girls learned planning, executing, teamwork and leadership skills.

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Lisa Haas leads one of the few troops that stay together from Kindergarten through 12th grade, and she has done that! She and her girls have always been the driving force in scheduling events and activities in their service unit. Community Service is a big focus, giving her troop a strong base to create their own ideas for service. This troop has stayed strong because of the dedication of this leader.

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Cathy Harmon serves as the secretary on the service unit team. She helps to communicate the events and decisions made by the team to all of the volunteers.  She also provides girls and leaders the opportunity to participate in programming in their area. While she leads a Junior Troop, she is always willing to add a girl to her troop until that age-level troop can be found.

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RaNelle Hartless and daughters web

Ra’Nelle Hartless leads 2 troops, is the Service Unit Treasurer, plans events for the service unit, and mentors new troop leaders. She is truly a lifeline for ALL leaders in her area. One of her nominators wrote that when she and her girls go on vacation they bring SWAPS so they may visit other Girl Scout offices and swap with them. She takes Girl Scouts everywhere she goes!

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Kristina Henneise web

Kristina Henneise has a very active multi-level troop of 73 girls in grades K-8th that meets weekly and earns badges and patches at every meeting. The troop is involved in doing community service, attending community events and many Girl Scout events. She even took her Girl Scouts Cave Camping to Wisconsin! On top of giving girls an amazing troop experience, she also is a new leader mentor and hosts service unit events.

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Abigail Houser Web 2

Abbey Houser is a champaion for her girls. Because of her volunteer leadership, many area girls have had opportunities to participate in parades and other activities in which that they wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity to participate. She truly believes in the Girl led portion of Girl Scouts and encourages her girls to make the decisions for the troop. There is a girl in her troop who is wheelchair bound. In 2018, the then Daisy troop voted to use their cookie money to purchase an adaptive swing for their elementary school playground. Because of their donation, administration of the other elementary school in the district decided to follow their lead and purchase one for their school as well. This leader is making a difference in the lives of these girls.

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Janet Lyman leads all of the Basic Outdoor Trainings in Springfield. She has facilitated several ‘Developing your GIRLs’ trainings in Springfield and Decatur. She is always willing to facilitate trainings – even if it is only for a few people. She never turns down anyone, and wants to make sure the volunteers have all of the tools they need to lead their troops. She offers her phone number to any of the adult volunteers to contact her if they have questions or need an additional adult for their outing. She is truly a sister to every Girl Scout.

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Laura Madsen volunteers countless hours for Girl Scouts, leading her 3 troops and being part of the Service Unit Team. However, that is not why she is being recognized today. She is being recognized because she works for a company that donates money to non-profit organizations for hours volunteered. With that donation, she has implemented a program through her service unit to reimburse new troops for their start up supplies for up to $50 with receipts turned in.

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Laura Mefford creates and runs multiple Girl Scout events for 3 service units and holds multiple positions on the service unit team. She shows other leaders in her area what hard work and dedication means. She is always willing to give 110%. Not only does she have home and family obligations, she is dedicated to the girls in her troop. She wants them to have a great experience and have fun along the way. She puts countless hours into an activity and she sees it all the way through. Her nominator says, “All of us leaders should follow her lead and become the best we can be so we can pass on the traditions. She is a great role model to leaders as well as to girls.”

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Michelle Olszewski web

Michelle Olszewski wants all girls to have an opportunity to have a fabulous Girl Scout experience. She has stepped beyond the role as troop leader to assist with recruitment, planning events and heading up product sales. This past fall, she was concerned that girls may have been missed in recruitment at her school and took steps to assure that all girls had an opportunity to participate. She is famous for giving quick, informal trainings to volunteers who have questions about running troops and the finer points of the product sales programs. Troops run more smoothly because she has shared her expertise and little tips and tricks.

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Lisa Small started the only troop in her small town and kept it running even after her daughter aged out of Girl Scouts. She has hosted numerous events over the years where she handled most of the details by herself and made sure each age level earned a patch at the event, and of course, enjoyed themselves.

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Jill Waltman has a take charge personality and she gets things done. She is extremely organized and because of her we have had other leaders step up and volunteer to coordinate events. At the beginning of the year, the goal was to start getting additional leaders to attend the service unit meetings. She helped implement an incentive program for leaders to attend to the Service Unit meetings. The first month there were 6 leaders the next meeting there were 10 leaders. She always takes time out to help with any event, and makes it bigger and better. 

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Spring Weygand is the Treasurer for the Service Team, and has gone beyond the expectations of the position by planning and executing Service Unit Events as well. When a staff member met with the Service Unit Team to give advice on planning and executing events, this volunteer’s initiative and great ideas for how to get all of the work accomplished was appreciated.  She is an excellent planner and great things happen because of her skills. Volunteers appreciate her attention to detail as she takes on a trouble-shooting role and makes events run smoothly. Girls have commented, "This is the very best day I've had in a long time" and it is because of her involvement in making these events happen.

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Tammi White is very active in her service unit as the Fall Product and Cookie Coordinator. Additionally, she helps with girl recruitment and events. She always makes herself available for training and supplying materials as needed. She is a wealth of information and wants to make sure everyone has what they need. 

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Melissa Williams has worked on several committees to rewrite trainings and plan training events. She is a very welcoming person which puts everyone at ease and makes them feel comfortable in the training environment. She is one who fosters an atmosphere where leaders learn, grow, and gain confidence so they may pass on to their girls. 

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Honor Pin

The Honor Pin recognizes an adult member who has delivered outstanding service to two or more geographic areas.  

Nicole Fundel 2

Nicole Fundell has taken on the Service Unit Manager role and has lead with strength and grace. She helps explain to volunteers the in's and out's of volunteering and makes herself available anytime to all of the volunteers and helps nurture their new troops. Her constant availability and openness is above expectation. She helps with member recruitment events for both girls and volunteers. Additionally, she plans and implements service unit events for her area and neighboring areas. Through all of this, she has impacted the lives of over 800 girls and more than 200 adults, as well as countless girls who are not yet members. 

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Kristie Parkins web

Kristie Parkins goes above and beyond for her girls, the service unit and the council. She is consistently helping at council events and product sales. She has even been confused for being a staff member! When she realized that many of the girls in her troop has not traveled outside the area, she planned a new experience to visit a sister Girl Scout camp and learn about that council and that area of the state. 

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Thanks Badge

The Thanks Badge is the highest award for a volunteer and honors adults whose ongoing commitment, leadership, and service have had an exceptional impact on the council or entire Girl Scout movement.

Terry Newlan has been a lifelong Girl Scout. She is one of the spearheads who brought back “Train the Trainer” and Leadership Trainings such as Thirsty Firsty to help new and experience leaders grow and stay “fresh”. Her Girl Scout knowledge and Girl Scout History knowledge is immeasurable and the fact that she wants to pass that knowledge along to the next generations speaks great volumes.