President Barack Obama signed today the Girl Scouts of the USA Commemorative Coin Act authorizing the minting of 350,000 silver dollar coins in honor of Girl Scouts and the achievements of the 50 million women across the nation whose lives have been influenced by Girl Scouting.
“This is a wonderful honor for Girl Scouts,” said Kathy Cloninger, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of the USA. “Congress only allows the minting of two coins a year and this is such a fitting way to honor our Movement and the million of girls and women whose lives Girl Scouting has touched. We are grateful to the President, the House and the Senate for their support.”
The bill in the House of Representatives (H.R. 621), sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), easily passed by a voice vote and with more than 300 cosponsors on October 15. A companion Senate bill (S. 451), sponsored by U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), also passed unanimously on October 19.
President Obama signed the bill at a ceremony at the White House that included Connie L. Lindsey, GSUSA National Board Chair, Laurie Westley, Senior Vice President, Public Policy, Advocacy & the Research Institute, and girls from the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital.
The legislation directs the U.S. Mint to produce 350,000 silver coins. Ten dollars from the sale of each coin will go to GSUSA to help fund much-needed renovations at the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in Savannah, Georgia.
The bill also calls for the Secretary of the Treasury, in collaboration with the GSUSA and the Commission of Fine Arts, to design the coin in a manner “emblematic of the centennial of Girl Scouts.” The coin will be minted and sold in 2013, marking the end of Girl Scouts’ yearlong centennial celebration and kicking off a new century of leadership and service to girls.
Girl Scouts was founded on March 12, 1912, when Juliette Gordon Low organized the first two troops consisting of 18 members in Savannah, Georgia. Today, Girl Scouts is the largest voluntary association for women and girls in the United States. More than 50 million women have been Girl Scouts, including 58 percent of the women in Congress.
“From their first meeting in Savannah of just 18 members, the Girl Scouts have grown into a worldwide organization,” Congressman Kingston said. “Today, Juliette Gordon Low’s legacy of friendship, education and ideals is shared by 3.7 million girls and women. We should be very proud to live in a country where such an organization exists.”
Senator Collins said: “The Girl Scouts have a tremendous history, which should be celebrated and remembered. The character, volunteerism, and leadership skills that Girl Scouts build contribute greatly to our society, and this commemorative coin will honor that tradition.”
The minting of the coin is only one of several events Girl Scouts has planned for its yearlong centennial celebration, including a National Community Action Project focused on girl leadership related to environmental issues, a Young Women’s World Forum, and a national gala event.