I returned from Panama on Monday to attend The Sun Coast Girl Scouts Women of Distinction luncheon held the following day in Tampa. That I was one of the five women to receive the distinction award was hugely meaningful to me and was the pinnacle of my lifetime association with the Scout movement.
I owe much to the positive influence of my active scouting years. It was through the examples and teaching of my scout leaders that I gained confidence and learned that, although I had difficulty learning at school, I had other strengths and abilities that would carry me safely through life.
Life’s course brought me success in art and that I have been able use my artistic talent to help raise funds for the scouts brings me much joy. The citation that accompanied my award speaks of my being a role model to the young. There is no greater compliment than that of being recognized as a positive role model. I know that I share this honor with many of you who read this letter and are linked to me through the common bond of my art. You share not only the images of the art but the ethics and standards it portrays and are equal role models.
The citation also praises the Society and the Foundation. In turn I thank you for your support of the both these organizations. Know that your generosity is well appreciated.
Mrs. Alma Powell, the wife of our Secretary of State, gave the keynote
address. She told of how her mother in 1940 in segregationist Alabama
had started the first Girl Scouts troop for black girls and of her own
life long commitment to the movement. She said that her message to girls
in this troubled time is that it is natural to feel frightened but to
have faith in the country’s leaders, to have faith in themselves
and to believe in the future. She stated "Don't discount the lessons–have
self-discipline. Know what you can do and what you can't."