The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

April 22, 2013

Girl Scouts celebrate a year of achievement

Kelly Urban

— It was an evening for Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania to come together and celebrate another year of achievement.

The organization held its 36th annual Awards of Distinction dinner on Monday at Sunnehanna Country Club and honored leaders in the community who uphold the mission of Girl Scouting – to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who strive to make the world a better place.

“We want to remind the community how important Girl Scouting is for young girls,” said Joyce Murtha, the event’s honorary chairwoman.

U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, was the keynote speaker. She is the longest-serving woman member of the U.S. House of Representatives and a former Girl Scout.

“I have such wonderful memories from Scouting and it changed my life in many ways,” she said. “It builds leaders in every walk of life and helps young women find their path.”

This year, the 2013 Community Service Award was presented to Christine Cox, the regional sales director and community affairs liaison with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.

“It’s a tremendous honor and a surprise. The Girl Scouts is such a wonderful organization and to be recognized by them is special,” she said.

In addition, Catherine Clements, a senior at Ligonier Valley High School, received the Prudential Spirit of Community Award, which recognizes youth who are making a positive difference in their towns and neighborhoods.

Clements, who has been in Girl Scouts for 12 years, designed a playground at the Darlington Ball Field in Ligonier after writing and receiving a grant for nearly $8,000 to support the equipment and installation. She received her Girl Scout Gold Award for the project.

“This is the first time someone from the Girl Scouts is receiving this award, so it’s really exciting. I’m proud to showcase what Scouting is all about,” she said.

The awards program is the premier fundraising event for Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania, with all proceeds going to support Girl Scout initiatives.

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