Tuesday, May 19, 2020

2020 Joyce M. Murtha Excellence in Community Service Award recipient announced

GSWPA is pleased to announce our 43rd annual Awards of Distinction in Johnstown, a community dinner to benefit our council and celebrate excellence in community service.

Monday, September 28, 2020
Sunnehanna Country Club
Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Presented by:

Our annual community awards dinner in Johnstown has been a tradition for more than four decades. The event builds critical support to keep the Girl Scouting tradition strong in the greater Johnstown region, especially to reach new populations who may not otherwise have access to Girl Scouts' leadership programming.

The luncheon is presented by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and promises to be sponsored by numerous more national and regional companies. John Polacek of JWF Industries is the Event Chair along with Event Committee members Michele Adams, Jack Babich, Timothy Brown, Becky Styles, and David Zucco.

The dinner features a Girl Scout flag ceremony and testimonial, an inspiring keynote address by a local community leader, and the presentation of the Joyce M. Murtha Excellence in Community Service Award to an individual or couple who embodies the award namesake's values of improving the community through service, philanthropy, and leadership.

We are pleased to announce this year’s recipient of the Joyce M. Murtha Excellence in Community Service Award, Linda Thomson, President of Johnstown Area Regional Industries (JARI). JARI is a full-service economic development agency headquartered in downtown Johnstown. Thomson has worked personally and in her role at JARI to increase the quality of life in the Johnstown community.

“Linda has been instrumental in the strategy to revitalize the greater Johnstown area economy," says Event Chair John Polacek. "She has worked to put us on the map once again by bringing commerce, industry, and jobs to the area I am proud to call home. Not only does she excel in her role at JARI but gives back through her service on numerous boards and in her faith community. That captures the spirit of Girl Scouts who work to make the world a better place.”

Girl Scouts is committed to bringing the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to all girls. In addition to our traditional volunteer-led troop model, our grant-funded outreach team serves more than 100 girls in four public housing communities in the Johnstown area: Solomon Homes, Coopersdale, Prospect Homes, and Oakhurst. Proceeds from this event will continue to support programming in the region and initiatives such as these to make Girl Scouting accessible to more girls.

Tickets are $125 each, or $1,000 for a table of eight.  We invite you to also consider a program book advertisement or event sponsorship, which includes tickets to the dinner.  To learn more and purchase tickets, please visit gswpa.org/johnstownAOD.

Fortunately, and before the public health crisis, we shifted the timing of our annual Awards of Distinction dinner benefiting Girl Scouts from spring to fall 2020 to accommodate Johnstown’s busy charitable calendar. We have every hope to host our full dinner program, but will be sure to monitor and abide by all safety guidelines and communicate to you any changes.