The house was packed on the evening of Wednesday, May 22, for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Host Committee Reception. Event Co-Chairs/sisters-in-law Bela Cooley and Ciara Cooley had arranged for the gathering to take place at the contemporary Bluffview home of Dianne and Mark LaRoe. And it’s fitting that the crowd was large, because Venise Stuart and Candace Winslow had some big news for the party-goers about the Girl Scouts’ upcoming annual “Women of Distinction Luncheon,” which Venise and Candace are chairing.
While the guests — including Mary Katherine Futrell, a Gold Award Girl Scout, and Noorain Aziz, a Cadette Girl Scout — listened eagerly, it was announced that Victoria Arlen will be the guest speaker at the 15th Annual Women of Distinction Luncheon presented by AT&T on Friday, October 18, at the Omni Dallas Hotel.
Victoria, who was a Girl Scout, is an on-air TV personality with ESPN, reporting for programs including X-Games, the ESPY Awards and Sportscenter. Perhaps more importantly, Victoria recovered from a rare viral disease called Transverse Myelitis, which left her in a vegetative state for four years, to win a Gold medal and three Silver medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. In 2017 she was also a semi-finalist on TV’s “Dancing With the Stars.”
The October Women of Distinction Luncheon will recognize Sabrina Martinez Harrison and Roslyn Dawson Thompson with this year’s Woman of Distinction Award. Jorge Baldor will receive the Man Enough to be A Girl Scout Award, and Mary Anne Cree will get the Lifetime Achievement Award. Fox4 news anchor Clarice Tinsley will return as emcee of the event, which raises funds to support programs for more than 25,000 girls. Jennifer Bartkowski is CEO of the Girls Scouts of Northeast Texas.