More than 200 Girl Scout supporters, friends and family attended the 21st annual Woman of Merit benefit dinner at the Stamford Hilton Thursday, June 19.
Girl Scouts of Connecticut recognized the accomplishments and achievements of Linda Houston, managing director, New England market executive for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, part of Bank of America. Houston acted as an extraordinary partner with Girl Scouts, organizing and leading a financial literacy event with the help of the Merrill Lynch Women's Exchange for a group of Fairfield County Girl Scouts.
"I am deeply humbled by this recognition," Houston said in a release. "I want to thank the Girl Scouts for their cultivation of girls' leadership. These girls here tonight are our future leaders -- business leaders, financial leaders, and government leaders. In their hands, we are in very good stead."
The Woman of Merit award recognizes leaders who demonstrate the Girl Scout values of leadership, personal achievement and service to the community. It is given in honor of Alice Pattison Merritt, who was the first woman elected to the state Senate and who was instrumental in bringing Scouting to girls in Connecticut.
Mary Barneby, CEO, Girl Scouts of Connecticut, said, "With incredible partners like Merrill Lynch, and with the continued support of local communities, we will be able to raise the funds necessary to better serve our girls and give them the tools they need to thrive and succeed. We are so grateful to the commitment of all those across the state -- as together, we can ensure a successful future for all girls."
In addition, the guests heard about Newtown Girl Scout Amylee Anyoha's Gold Award project, which brought together students in her town with students at a Nigerian school while educating them about Nigerian culture.
Net proceeds from the dinner will support programming that helps girls in kindergarten to grade 12 bring out the best in themselves and their communities.