On March 16, 2023, we celebrated our Tribute to Achievement Event at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago by recognizing our awardees who have made the world a better place by advancing opportunities for girls and women.
There was magic that could be felt around the room the entire night. From the smiles as Girl Scouts sold cookies during dinner (I mean, who could resist? Those Girl Scouts were on a mission!) to heartfelt emotions as awardees and Girl Scouts shared personal stories about what being a Girl Scout means to them.
Carole Brown’s acceptance speech for the Luminary Award was extremely powerful and touched the hearts of everyone in the room.
“When I look back on my time as a Girl Scout, I realize that Girl Scouts changed the trajectory of my life. The Girl Scouts gave a little Black girl her voice back. They let a little Black girl be seen for more than the color of her skin,” said Carole.
Carole’s remarks mirrored Girl Scout Sydney’s story about being resilient and wanting to be seen as smart, creative, and determined despite persistent stereotypes that “girls are for glitter; boys are for science.”
We also honored Josephine (Jodi) Bahl with the Girl Scout’s Own Award. A former board member and lifetime Girl Scout, Jodi was the perfect recipient of this year’s award. For our Corporate Award, we honored McDermott, Will & Emery, a long-standing supporter of our council and a fantastic partner. The award was accepted by Michael Boykins, Managing Partner of the Chicago office.
Another highlight of the evening was the video about how girls are learning to be Resilient, Ready, and Strong in the outdoors. You can watch the video below.
Thanks to your generosity, we raised nearly $540,000 and counting to provide life-changing experiences for girls and help them grow to be Resilient, Ready, and Strong. To relive the magic of the evening, or to share it with others, check out the slideshow here.
A special thank you to our 2023 Tribute to Achievement Sponsors!
Chicago, Illinois (May 17, 2019) — a day that forever changed the life of a young boy from Dolton, Illinois.
Today we have a special shout-out for a special Girl Scout. Junior Girl Scout Anne Nelson, 11, had a “simple” goal – sell 5,000 Girl Scout cookies to earn a trip to Disney World. But the goal wasn’t to do this for herself. Anne, inspired by a lesson in class about generosity, wanted to gift the trip to another child.
“Everyone should be kind to other people and generous because if someone wants to go somewhere or do something and they never have a chance to do it, it would make them feel amazing to do it.”
The Heart Behind the Gift
Anne went above and beyond those 5,000 boxes required to earn the trip for two to the ‘happiest place on Earth’ and is now a member of the Cookie CEO club at the council. Cookie CEOs are the top five local Girl Scouts who sell the most cookies during the season. With Anne selling more than 6,000 boxes total, she sets a wonderful example of diligence and dedication.
Anne’s mother, Michelle Nelson, encouraged her daughter’s dedication to her cookie sales endeavor, but even she was surprised by Anne’s desire to give back in such a grand way. “Anne learned about the needs of those less fortunate than others and it really resonated with her. She decided she want to give this trip away to a kid who wouldn’t be able to go otherwise, and she worked so hard to make it happen,” said Michelle.
The product team at Girl Scouts GCNWI was just as surprised, with this being the first time in the council’s history where a cookie program participant shared her travel reward so grandly. “Anne told our product team early on that this is why she was working so hard to sell 5,000 boxes and we are so glad to see that with Courage, Confidence and Character, any girl can meet and exceed her goals!” said Susan Rakis, Director of Product Program.
Anne’s surprise reveal took place on Friday, May 17th at the Disney Store located inside the Chicago Ridge Mall. Joined by her Girl Scout troop, family and friends, Anne was able to surprise the young boy, age 11, with a special Disney inspired video, detailing his gifted trip to Orlando.
When asked what she hopes to share with others about her gift she said, “I want all kids to know that they can do big things because kids have big hearts and enough in them to make a change. One small thing can make a big difference.”
Next year she hopes to sell 5,000 more boxes of cookies to give the Disney trip to another child in need and she encourages her fellow Girl Scouts to do the same, “What I like best about Girl Scouts is helping people. Helping other people makes me feel like I am making a difference and it can help to inspire other people to help out as well.”
What are your selling goals for next year? Next year I want to sell 5,000 boxes of cookies and I want to give the trip to another kid who is sick because, many of the kids in Dolton and Riverdale do not have the chance to travel and I want to give a sick kid the trip so they can forget about being sick for a few days and have fun like regular kids.
Anything else you’d like to share? Never give up on something you want.
What do you love most about being a Girl Scout? What I like best about Girl Scouts is helping people. Helping other people makes me feel like I am making a difference and it can help to inspire other people to help out as well.
What inspired you to donate your cookies/trip to a Girl Scout? And how close are you to your goal? I felt inspired to donate my trip after seeing a commercial with sick kids in it. It really made me sad for them because of how much they have to go to the hospital. It made me want to help someone.
What would you like everyone to know about your donation initiative? I want all kids to know that they can do big things because kids have big hearts and enough in them to make a change. One small thing can make a big difference.
Why should other Girl Scouts consider donating their rewards? Girl Scouts all over should consider donating their trip and other prizes because there are so many kids who are sick, poor, or going through tough times. Donating to needy kids will brighten their day because they know someone cares about them. It feels good to help out other kids and their families
Giving Back—it’s in a Girl Scout’s DNA!
Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.