FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2013
Contact: Kim Graves, Communications Manager (330) firstname.lastname@example.org
Macedonia, OH – Girl Scouts of North East Ohio (GSNEO) welcomed a visit from a local U.S. representative Monday, when Congressman David Joyce (R-Ohio 14) stopped by the Macedonia headquarters for an informal meeting (and some Girl Scout Cookies).
“As a former Boy Scout, I appreciate the hard work that all of you do to change people’s lives … it’s very important, and scouting certainly provided me with some wonderful activities early in life,” said Congressman David Joyce (R-Ohio 14).
Joyce is a co-sponsor of the Charitable Pension Flexibility Act (H.R.2134), legislation that affects Girl Scout councils across the country. Most Girl Scout councils, including GSNEO, participated together in the National Girl Scout Council Retirement Plan, a pension plan managed by the Girl Scouts of the USA. The plan benefits were frozen in July 31, 2010, but are currently underfunded due to the recession. Current law provides for an accelerated schedule of funding pension deficiencies in frozen plans. The proposed legislation lengthens that funding schedule so that each year’s contribution will be more easily absorbed into council budgets.
“This is a very real concern for us,” said GSNEO Chief Executive Officer Jane Christyson. “For many Girl Scout councils, the impact of the pension expense will take away dollars from operating expenses such as outreach programs for at-risk girls, scholarship support for low-income girls, and programming. We need to bring our plan to funded status in 10 years - by 2023.”
In comments about the national budget, Congressman Joyce stated, “The one thing I’ve been fighting for ever since I’ve been there is to get back to a budget – we have to get back to an appropriations process that will get us back into a rhythm where I think we can get more things accomplished and hopefully get some meaningful things like pension reform and tax reform done in the next year.”
Joyce listened to a presentation by Taylor Collins, 17, a Girl Scout Gold Award recipient; and girl board member-at-large on the GSNEO Board of Directors. She has traveled to international destinations with Girl Scouts and has mentored younger scouts.
“It’s exciting to have a voice in the community,” said Collins. “I’ve worked on committees to research our camp properties and plan our 100th Anniversary Camporee; being a National Delegate means that I get to vote on policies that will affect Girl Scouts across the country; and as a board member, I get to influence decisions that impact our council.”
“I only have nine months left as a girl member, and I’m excited to see where Girl Scouts takes me in the future,” Collins said.
Girl Scouts of North East Ohio connects girls to a world of possibilities in a positive and inclusive, girl-led environment. Girls are inspired to discover their passions and empowered to reach their full potential through a proven leadership development program. GSNEO serves 35,000 girls and 14,000 adult volunteer members throughout an 18-county region including Medina, Portage, and Summit counties; Cuyahoga, Geauga, and Lake counties; Carroll, Stark and Tuscarawas counties; Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties; Erie, Huron, Lorain, Sandusky and Seneca counties.
Since its founding in 1912, Girl Scouts has provided more than 50 million girls with time-honored programs that engage them with their communities; enhance self-esteem; increase financial literacy and interest in math, science and technology; encourage good health and nutrition and build leadership skills necessary for them to move confidently into their futures. Today, Girl Scouts is the #1 girl organization in the world, with 3.7 million members throughout the United States, including U.S. territories, and in more than 90 countries through USA Girl Scouts Overseas.