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Contact: Aurrice Duke-Rollings
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
314.592.2397, 518.965.2990 (cell)

Blaise Hart-Schmidt
Communications Manager
314.592.2326, 314.315.6564 (cell)

Girl Scout scholarship recipients Lauren Gieseking, left, and Natalie Ried, right, pose with Bonnie Barczykowski, CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, at Dessert First. Both girls received $5,000 scholarships to use for higher education. Gieseking attends Parkway West High School while Ried attends Lindbergh High School.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri is thrilled to announce it raised $187,000 at Dessert First - more than any single event in recent Council history. Dessert First is the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri’s annual fundraiser, which took place February 27 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Clayton, Mo.

The event was a huge success with more than 460 guests in attendance. That’s 100 more attendees than anticipated in 2013. All proceeds from the event will support leadership development programs for girls.

Girl Scouts continues to provide program opportunities for all girls – girls in urban, suburban and rural areas. Currently, 25 percent of Girl Scouts live in areas where annual household income is under $20,000. Each year, Girl Scouts provide more than $2 million in program and membership assistance to girls. It is able to do this because of the generous support of individuals like those who attended Dessert First.

Now in its third year, the event, presented by Emerson, continues to garner acclaim from friends and supporters alike. Its format is unique. Guests taste original desserts inspired by Girl Scout Cookies and created by St. Louis chefs. Then, with the help of special guest judges, all guests vote for their favorite dessert.  

The event also honors one Individual Legacy Builder and one Corporate Legacy Builder. Both honorees are chosen because of the enormous support and service they have provided to Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. This year, the Individual Legacy Builder honor was posthumously awarded to Elsie St. Cyr, who was directly involved in Girl Scouting for more than 70 years, while the Corporate Legacy Builder is Ameren Missouri.

Finally, at this special event, Girl Scouts celebrate the leadership and service of two outstanding Girl Scouts and awarded two scholarships of $5,000 to be used for higher education. For 2014, the recipients are Lauren Gieseking, a senior who attends Parkway West High School, and Natalie Ried, a senior who attends Lindbergh High School. Scholarship recipients must be working on, or have completed their Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest recognition available to Girl Scouts. Those who receive the Dessert First Education Scholarships truly embody the very best of Girl Scouting and serve as a shining example of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience’s power as an initiative.

All proceeds from the event support leadership development programs for girls.

Participating Restaurants and Chefs 

  • Amy's Corner Bakeshop, Chefs Amy Verkamp-McArthy and Culley Freese
  • Bailey’s Chocolate Bard, Chef David Bailey
  • Companion Bakehouse, Pastry Chef George “Skip” Gauthier, Jr.
  • Cravings, Executive Chef Tim Brennan
  • EdgeWild Restaurant & Winery, Chef Aaron Baggett
  • Harvest, Executive Chef Nick Miller
  • La Patisserie Chouquette, Pastry Chef Simone Faure
  • Onesto Pizza and Trattoria, Pastry Chef Sally Sciaroni
  • Saint Louis Community College - Forest Park, Program Coordinator, Baking and Pastry Arts Casey Shiller
  • The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis, Executive Pastry Chef Nathaniel Reid and Pastry Supervisor Jeanine Edmonds

To learn more about Dessert First, contact Fund Development Manager, Emily Carroll, at 314.592.2373 or


About Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri

Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri is committed to building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. To join, volunteer or donate to Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, call 800.727.GIRL (800.727.4475) or visit Girl Scouts is a proud United Way member and is supported by the following United Way agencies: United Way of Greater St. Louis, United Way of the Mark Twain Area, United Way of Adair County/Northeast Missouri and Franklin County Area United Way. Follow Girl Scouts on... Twitter and Facebook

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