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Girl Scouts Recognizes Seven OC Trailblazers, Nets Over $225,000 to Fund Vital Programs for Local Girls

Celebrate Leadership Honorees Ellen Bancroft, Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, Karen Caplan, Jackie Caplan Wiggins, Socorro Vasquez, Muff Tennyson, Lucy Dunn, CEO Nancy Nygren_0267
Celebrate Leadership Honorees Ellen Bancroft, Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, Karen Caplan, Jackie Caplan Wiggins, Socorro Vasquez, Muff Tennyson, Lucy Dunn, CEO Nancy Nygren

IRVINE, Calif. (November 7, 2016) –More than 260 community and business leaders came together on Friday, November 4th to recognize seven outstanding local female leaders, all Girl Scout alumnae and champions of Girl Scouting, and raised over $225,000 (net) for Girl Scouts of Orange County at its Seventh Annual Celebrate Leadership event. Held at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach, each honoree was paired with a current Orange County Girl Scout, providing an opportunity for girls who are just beginning their leadership journeys to interact with women who have achieved excellence in their lives.

The Girl Scouts each created and presented a unique art piece, a symbolic Girl Scout badge, to her honoree, illustrating the woman’s leadership characteristics. The Girl Scouts, ranging in age from seven to 16, also shared how these leaders inspire them to accomplish their goals and strive for greatness. Because Girl Scouts is Girl-Led, the evening program was emceed by Girl Scout Senior Khira Mistry (age 15) from Placentia and Girl Scout Junior Gracie Finley (age 10) from Mission Viejo. The evening’s entertainment opened with a rousing performance by Girl Scout alumnae representing UCI’s Jodiako Drumming Ensemble, followed by performances by pianist and Girl Scout Ambassador Isabel Nguyen and violinist and Girl Scout Senior Kimi Konishi.

Guests enjoyed Lemonade Martinis inspired by one of Girl Scouts’ favorite cookies while they browsed more than 90 silent auction items, including a stunning Tadashi Shoji gown, Kendra Scott and John Tolle Jewelry, Angel’s memorabilia signed by Andrelton Simmons and Jered Weaver, Social Membership at Old Ranch Country Club, and more. Bidding was lively during the event’s live auction, which featured a VIP experience in the Dodger Dugout Club, a luxury Villa at The Resort at Pelican Hill, a Polished Perfect Airstream nail polish party, and more. Guests went home with boxes of Thin Mints and Caramel deLites and a beautiful 2017 Girl Scouts Keepsake Calendar, featuring stunning photographs of the honorees with their Girl Scout partners. An outstanding event committee, chaired by Shannon Kennedy, President, US Markets- Southwest for BNY Mellon Wealth Management, and Ashleigh Aitken of Counsel at Aitken*Aitken*Cohn, helped make the event a tremendous success.

2016 Celebrate Leadership Honorees

  • Ellen S. Bancroft, office managing partner of the Orange County office of  global law firm, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Karen Caplan, president and CEO of Frieda’s Specialty Produce
  • Jackie Caplan Wiggins, vice president and COO of Frieda’s Specialty Produce
  • Lucy Dunn, president and CEO of the Orange County Business Council
  • Mary “Muff” Tennyson, CEO and founder of StashAll® LLC
  • Socorro Vasquez, community volunteer and philanthropist
  • Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, president and CEO of Earth Friendly Products

“We are proud to recognize these remarkable women, who serve as inspiring role models for today’s girls,” said Nancy Nygren, CEO of Girl Scouts of Orange County. “While they come from vastly different backgrounds and careers, all of our 2016 honorees embody the Girl Scout spirit through their dedication to achieving their dreams while making the world a better place. We are grateful to these outstanding women, our generous sponsors, and everyone who attended for supporting Girl Scouts, which prepares girls of every age to overcome obstacles, accomplish their goals, and embrace a lifetime of leadership.”

Funds raised will support Girl Scouts of Orange County’s leadership development programs for more than 21,000 Girl Scouts and to recruit, train, and support the more than 15,000 volunteers who guide and support them. The event would not have been possible without the support of generous sponsors, including:

  • Silver Sponsors: BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Earth Friendly Products, Frieda’s Specialty Produce, Grant Thornton LLP, and MUFG Union Bank, NA                                                                               
  • Bronze Sponsors: Aitken Family and Aitken*Aitken*Cohn, Ellen S. Bancroft & Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, KPMG LLP, PAAMCO, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, Ralphs Grocery Company, Southern California Edison, Ernesto and Socorro Vasquez and Family
  • Leaders of Tomorrow Underwriter: Teacher Created Materials Publishing
  • VIP Patrons: AECOM, Angels Baseball, Beacon Pointe Advisors, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., Coca-Cola North America, Epson, Orange County Business Council, Pepper Hamilton LLP, Victoria Shepp, Visit Anaheim
  • Event Patrons: Andrade & Associates, Becky Bailey-Findley and Gary Findley, California State University, Fullerton, Kimberly K. Cox, Deloitte, Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA, M. Hanks Gallery, Mercer, Nancy and Scott Nygren, Christine Shingleton, Community Strategic Advisors, Muff Tennyson, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, Vavrinek, Trine, Day & Co., LLP
  • Wine and Spirits Underwriter: Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

We are the Girl Scouts of Orange County.  We’re 35,000 strong— more than 21,000 girls and nearly 15,000 adults who believe every girl can change the world. Girl Scouts began over 100 years ago with one woman, Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low, who believed` in the power of every girl. Today, we continue her vision of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place by helping them discover their inner strength, passions, and talents. And with programs in every zip code in Orange County, there’s a chance for every girl to do something amazing. We’re the Girl Scouts. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit .