SHEPHERDSTOWN – Ora Dixon says her selection as one of three Eastern Panhandle “Women of Distinction” would be a huge honor any time. But the fact that she’s being feted during the Girl Scouts’ centennial celebration makes it extra special, the Shepherdstown resident said.
“I’m truly grateful for this honor,” said Dixon, a former Girl Scout and longtime local Scout leader who will be recognized at this morning’s 11:30 luncheon at the Holiday Inn in Martinsburg.
Leslie Crabill and Stacy Dugan also will be honored.
The Girl Scout Council of the Eastern Panhandle is the sponsor of the eighth-annual event, which will be attended by hundreds of business and community leaders. Dixon, Crabill and Dugan were chosen for the award because they are positive role models for young Eastern Panhandle residents.
Berniece Collis, who is a member of the Girl Scout Council Board of Directors, said the three were selected from nominations from individuals, community leaders, business owners and government officials. An independent committee made up of former winners, unaffiliated with Girl Scouts, picked them, she said.
“Once again, we have an impressive group of honorees who are leaders in their professions, dedicated to the well being of their communities and committed to preparing girls for leadership roles,” Collis said.
Dixon, who started her career as a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Leetown and later served as a park ranger in Arkansas and elsewhere, today works as a microbiologist at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown.
Part of her job includes providing resources and coordinating efforts that benefit young people through a formal partnership with the Girl Scouts of the USA.
Dixon, who holds degrees from Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., West Virginia University and Mountain State University, serves on the Harpers Ferry Job Corps Community Relations Council.
She also is a leader with Asbury United Methodist Church in Shepherdstown and a graduate of Leadership Jefferson. Since earning certification as a Master Naturalist, she has volunteered with the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources and the Potomac Valley Audubon Society.
Also being honored today: Crabill, a vice president and trust officer with the Bank of Charles Town, and Dugan, a dietitian with War Memorial Hospital in Berkeley Springs and president of the Morgan County Commission.
Crabill, a Berkeley County native and WVU grad, has organized several unique fundraisers for CASA of the Eastern Panhandle. She also volunteers with the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle’s Day of Caring, the Junior Civic League, Coats for Kids, Heartland Nursing Home, Meals on Wheels and other groups.
Dugan volunteers with the Morgan County Rescue Auxiliary’s thrift shop and is active in Word of Deliverance Church. She earned degrees at Penn State and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
Sponsors for today’s luncheon includes BB&T, Bank of Charles Town, Minghini’s General Contractors Inc., Randy Smith, Trak and Christian Caine.
Proceeds from the event will aid Camp White Rock, a Girl Scout camp in Hampshire County.
The 2012 luncheon will be particularly memorable, predicts Cathy Slemenda, who coordinates publicity for the event. “It is the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting in the United States,” she said. “This year’s Women of Distinction luncheon will be a big birthday party to celebrate this momentous anniversary. We can hardly wait!”
The Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital includes more than 63,000 girls ages 5 to 17 in the Eastern Panhandle and four other counties in West Virginia along with the District of Columbia and parts of Maryland and Virginia.