Benefit: Girl Scouts Gala Nets $270K for Leadership Program

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Celebrate Leadership Co-Chair Donna Giordano, Girl Scouts of Orange County Board Chair Julie Miller Phipps, Girl Scouts of Orange County CEO Nancy Nygren and Celebrate Leadership Co-Chair Shannon Kennedy
Celebrate Leadership Co-Chair Donna Giordano, Girl Scouts of Orange County Board Chair Julie Miller Phipps, Girl Scouts of Orange County CEO Nancy Nygren and Celebrate Leadership Co-Chair Shannon Kennedy

Nearly 350 guests came together to recognize six extraordinary local female leaders, all Girl Scouts alumnae, and raise over $270,000 for Girl Scouts of Orange County at its Fifth Annual Celebrate Leadership event on November 7 at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach.

Each honoree was matched with a current Orange County Girl Scout, pairing the female leaders of tomorrow with current leaders. The Girl Scouts each created and presented a unique art canvas to her honoree, illustrating the woman’s leadership characteristics. The Girl Scouts, ranging in age from six to 16, also shared how these leaders inspire them to achieve greatness.

Guests at Celebrate Leadership sipped specialty drinks featuring flavors from iconic Girl Scout Cookies including Lemonade Coconut Margaritas and Caramel DeLite Martinis as they browsed more than 100 silent auction items.

Bidding was lively during the event’s live auction, which included a personal golf tournament for 12

Honorees with Girls: (Back row from left) Celebrate Leadership honorees Betty Mower Potalivo, Dr. Mildred Garcia, Joanne Leatherby, Jane Buchan, Lynn Jolliffe, Sheriff Sandra Hutchens with Girl Scouts (front row from left) Kassidy Lee, Alexandra Vasquez, Gracie Finley, Sharleen Loh, Christina Meyer and Moira Clark.
Honorees with Girls: (Back row from left) Celebrate Leadership honorees Betty Mower Potalivo, Dr. Mildred Garcia, Joanne Leatherby, Jane Buchan, Lynn Jolliffe, Sheriff Sandra Hutchens with Girl Scouts (front row from left) Kassidy Lee, Alexandra Vasquez, Gracie Finley, Sharleen Loh, Christina Meyer and Moira Clark.

at Shady Canyon Golf Club, a Lakers ticket package and a luxury getaway at a private home in La Quinta.

Guests went home with boxes of Thin Mints and a beautiful 2015 Girl Scouts Keepsake Calendar.

The event committee was chaired by Donna Giordano, President of Ralphs Grocery Company, and Shannon Kennedy, Regional President for BNY Mellon Wealth Management.

The Celebrate Leadership honorees included Jane Buchan, Managing Director & CEO of Pacific Alternative Asset Management Company; Mildred Garcia, President of California State University, Fullerton; Sandra Hutchens, Sheriff-Coroner, OC Sheriff’s Department; Lynn Jolliffe, Executive Vice President, Human Resources at Ingram Micro; Joann Leatherby, President of Leatherby Family Foundation; Betty Mower Potalivo, Region President of Northern Trust.

“We are proud to recognize these exceptional women,” said Nancy Nygren, CEO of Girl Scouts of Orange County. “They illustrate the power of what young girls with big dreams can achieve. Many of our honorees recall their first business experience selling Girl Scout cookies, and now they are leaders in our community who serve as amazing role models for our future leaders.”

Girl Scout Daisy Kassidy Lee presents an art piece she created for honoree Betty Mower Potalivo, illustrating how Betty “makes people’s money grow.”
Girl Scout Daisy Kassidy Lee presents an art piece she created for honoree Betty Mower Potalivo, illustrating how Betty “makes people’s money grow.”

Funds raised at the event will support Girl Scouts of Orange County’s leadership development programs for more than 22,000 Girl Scouts and to recruit, train, and support the more than 10,000 volunteers who guide and support them.

Event sponsors included Jane Buchan, BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Edison International, Kaiser Permanente Orange County, Northern Trust, Ralphs Grocery Company, Barbara U. Roberts & Brooke Ann Roberts-Webb, Joann Leatherby, Lesley, Thomas, Schwarz & Postma, Union Bank, and many others.

Girl Scouts has been building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place for over 100 years. In Orange County, more than 22,000 Girl Scouts from every social and economic background are developing values, skills and abilities for success in the 21st century.

According to a recent study conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute in conjunction with an independent research firm, women who were Girl Scouts as children display significantly more positive life outcomes than non-Girl Scout alumnae. Girl Scout alumnae have higher perceptions of self, higher rates of volunteerism and civic engagement, higher rates of college education and higher household incomes than non-alumnae.

To join, volunteer, reconnect with or donate to Girl Scouts, call (949) 461-8800 or visit GirlScoutsOC.org.

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