Two venerable organizations are marking their 100th anniversary this year. Both have positively impacted the ever-emerging role and status of women in our society.

Girl Scouts of America marked its 100th year on March 12, as they continue in what they are touting as the "Year of the Girl". Events are taking place with various chapters throughout the country, beginning with a two-day launch of their 2012 campaign inWashington, D.C., in which Honorary Girl Scout Troop Capitol Hill members participated.

Among those were Maryland's Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Maryland native Sen. Nancy Pelosi, now representing California, who shared their memories of Girl and Scouting and the valuable lessons they learned from the organization.

Girls Scouts of Central Maryland will honor Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as one of its 2012 "100th Anniversary Honorees" at its annual Distinguished Women's Awards Reception to be held on April 26 at the Baltimore County Club in Roland Park.


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Other honorees include Ava Lias-Booker, managing partner, Baltimore office, McGuire Woods; Harriett Dopkin, president, the Classic Catering People; Marianne Fishler, president, Foundry Wealth Advisors; Jeanette Glose Partlow, president, Maryland Chemical Co.; Bonnie Phipps, president, St. Agnes Health Care.

The event is also a networking fundraiser, and includes a silent and live auction, as well as an online auction, which goes live at 8 a.m. on April 4. For more info and to purchase tickets, contact Maria (Johnson) Darby: mjohnson@gscm.org, or call 410-358-9711.

Founded in Savannah, Ga., by Juliette Gordon Low on March 12, 1912, our Central Maryland Chapter of the Girl Scouts followed just one year later in 1913 with the Pikesville Poppy Group. Today the organization serves more than 30,000 girls throughout Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County, Harford County, Baltimore County, Howard County and Carroll County.

Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, was also founded in March of 1912 by Baltimore-born and raised Henrietta Szold. As this was around the time of the Jewish holiday of Purim, it influenced the naming of this then budding organization, for Hadassah is the Hebrew name of Esther, who was the biblical heroine.

Born in 1860, Henrietta was raised in a household, in which her father, a rabbi, believed that a woman's capabilities were no different than that of a man.

She subsequently went on to become the first female editor of the Jewish Publication Society, which was the premiere publisher of Jewish liturgical and secular texts of its day.

Though she was allowed enrollment in the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, it was made clear to her that she was not to pursue ordination as a Conservative Rabbi, which was the normal culmination of studies for her male counterparts.

Undaunted, Henrietta organized English language classes and American citizenship night schooling for those immigrants newly arrived from Russia and Eastern Europe. The advantage of speaking well helped with landing jobs and assuming a life in what was a strange land.

However, it was her 1909 trip to what was then pre-state Israel that became her defining moment. The witnessing of starvation and disease brought about the inception of Hadassah, which by 1918 had sent over an entire medical unit comprising 45 doctors, dentists and sanitary workers who brought with them all of the advantages of American medicine of its day. This was the beginning of the health care system Israel has in place today.

As a volunteer women's organization, its mission is to "promote the unity of the Jewish people in Israel, initiate and support pace-setting health care, education, and youth institutions, and land development to meet the country's changing needs."

Its American initiative involves the "enhancement and quality of Jewish life through its education and Zionist youth programs, provides health awareness, and provides personal enrichment and growth for its members."

Synagogues throughout the US participated in the celebration of Hadassah's anniversary with special events and fundraisers. Temple Oheb Shalom held a Family Celebration on March 4 that honored philanthropist Marlene Greenbaum by focusing on funds for the Marlene Greenbaum Multi-disciplinary Breast Center at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. The centennial celebration continues with Hadassah's annual conference, which will take place this year in Israel from Oct.15 to 18.

Glyndon Volunteer Fire Department held its annual Life Member Banquet on March 3. Honored for their years of service were the following:

Five Years: Judy Gore, Fred Lloyd, Jamie Lloyd, Tracy Pejouhy; 10 Years: Rebecca Aspden, Michael Mintz, Ben Rudow; 20 Years: Marty Listwan, Chuck Webster; 25 Years: Tom Curtis; 30 Years: Paul Wilhelm; 35 Years: Tim Jenkins, Dottie Schultz, Ted Schultz; 45 Years: James Warner III; 50 Years: Vernon Merkle, Richard Stem Jr.; 65 Years: Calvin Reter, Richard Stem Sr.

Congratulations to all and our thanks for keeping us safe.

The Hannah More School Foundation held its annual fundraiser on March 24 at the Gordon Center for the Performing Arts. This year's event featured a VIP Reception catered by Linwood's, followed by the Capitol Steps, which had enough fodder from this election year to truly put the "mock in democracy."

Event chairwoman Jaye Richardson extends her heartfelt thanks to the sponsors of this event, and the committee who made it all happen, including event sponsorship chairwoman Amy Hawkins, event ticket chairs Barbara Berg and Drew Cook, Hannah More art instructor Maria Wilson and her students for the centerpieces they created, and Hannah More culinary instructor Pearl Holland and her students for the desserts they provided

Eline Funeral Home is holding its fourth annual food drive throughout the month of April. Nonperishable foods can be dropped off at their facility at 11824 Reisterstown Road during business hours. Your kindness will be matched by Eline, with all donations going to the Community Crisis Center.

If your spring cleaning mission involves unloading sensitive paperwork from your home, then our Reisterstown Kiwanis Club has the answer. On Saturday, April 21, it will hold a community paper shredding event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cherryvale Shopping Center. There is no cost, but donations would be greatly appreciated.

My condolences on the passing of Suzanne Mensh, Jeanette Milstein.

Look for my next column on May 10.