NEW YORK, NY (October 4, 2020)—The Board of Directors of Girl Scouts of the USA has created a new and prestigious Visionary Award to honor forward-thinking individuals who have engaged with Girl Scout donors, volunteers, and staff in new and profoundly meaningful ways, resulting in significantly strengthening the Girl Scout Movement.
National President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan presented the inaugural Visionary Award to Dianne Belk, Founding Chair of the Juliette Gordon Low Society and Honorary Trustee, on October 3 during the National Council Session virtual keynote address.
“Dianne’s vision and the impact of the decades of her extraordinary service and dedication to the Girl Scout mission inspired the creation of this award. To honor her legacy, the award will be named the ‘Dianne Belk Visionary Award,’” said Kathy Hopinkah Hannan.
During the keynote event, Dianne pinned 246 new Juliette Gordon Low Society members.
A Gold Award Girl Scout from Mississippi, Dianne volunteered for local Girl Scout councils for several decades, wherever she and her husband, Lawrence Calder, also a long-time Girl Scout volunteer, lived and worked, including Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, New York, Massachusetts, Arkansas, and California. In councils around the country, Dianne engaged in an eclectic array of volunteer opportunities, including but not limited to cookie volunteer, camp volunteer, strategic planning advisor, member of the board of directors for the San Fernando Valley Council, and member of the CEO search committee for the Gulfcoast Florida council.
In 2011, Dianne and Lawrence traveled to New York to meet with the CEO of GSUSA and other senior leadership. They informed GSUSA of their planned gifts to various councils and to GSUSA and volunteered to help grow planned giving for the Girl Scout Movement. In 2012, GSUSA named Dianne the Founding Chair of the newly created Juliette Gordon Low Society, formed during the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts to recognize individuals who have made legacy gifts to Girl Scouts by naming a council, group of councils, or GSUSA in their will or estate plans. At that time, there were 349 known planned givers across the Movement. Today, there are more than 4,750 Juliette Gordon Low Society members.
In June 2020, GSUSA named Dianne a national Honorary Trustee, who are individuals of national stature who champion Girl Scouts’ program and goals. Through their financial support, thought leadership, and strategic influence, they ensure GSUSA can continue to fulfill its mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.
“This Visionary Award is a humbling highlight of my lifelong support of Girl Scouts as the best organization to build girls who will run the world. My vision was and still is to find as many supporters as we can and ask each of them to remember Girl Scouts in their wills and estate plans. I’m honored to ask and I’m proud to represent those who choose to do so,” said Dianne.
To make the commitment to share your legacy with the next generation of Girl Scouts, learn more about the Juliette Gordon Low Society.