Monday, June 30, 2014

Meet Soiree Role Model Jason Eppenger

Jason is commercial relationship manager at Wells Fargo Bank. In his community he serves as a board member and treasurer for the Central Alabama Chapter of Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, a board member for the Jefferson County Child Development Council, a coach for Upward Youth Sports at Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, and a teen church instructor at Galilee Baptist Church.

Jason learned his most valuable lesson from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when he said, “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

Jason says this quote proved to him that a title or appointment is not required to create lasting change. “You just have to be willing to give of yourself for the greater good of others,” he said.

Jason is most proud of the accomplishments achieved by the staff and board of the Central Alabama Chapter of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America. Together they have raised more than one million dollars, which has led to the establishment of a new adult care clinic, improved access to services and resources, and additional support for research to cure the disease.

Jason is a Soiree Role Model. Watch him walk the runway on July 17 at Rosewood Hall:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Meet Danielle Downing, Soiree Role Model

Danielle Downing will walk the runway as a Role Model at the fifth annual Soiree on July 17. She is marketing manager for Burr & Forman LLP. She has been involved with Rotaract Club, Sight Savers for America Junior Board, Kings Home and Leadership UAB Class of 2011. She has also served as marketing chair for UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Young Supporter’s Board and as Birmingham membership chair for the Legal Marketing Association. Danielle was not a Girl Scout, but she has been an avid consumer and promoter for Girl Scout Cookies for about 20 years.

“I certainly admire Girl Scouts and its mission to create and develop courage and confidence in girls,” she says.

Danielle is no stranger to finding her own courage. Her proudest accomplishment is skydiving. She is proud of herself for finding the courage within herself to take the plunge. “It was one of the best experiences of my life [to see] things from that perspective,” Danielle says.

Serving her community is important to her. Danielle believes it is important to step back from the business of work and home routines, and think about what really matters.

“You could answer 1,000 emails a day, implement business strategies or get everything done on your to-do-list, and yet none of it will give you the joy and sense of accomplishment like serving others will,” she says.

Watch Danielle rock the runway on July 17! Get your early bird tickets here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Decatur Graduate Goes Gold with International Reach

Ashley, a graduate of Decatur High School, recently earned the Girl Scout Gold Award. Ashley earned her Gold Award for her project Healthy Starts Here. When Ashley became aware of complications children in Guatemala suffered because of poor personal hygiene, she acted. Ashley coordinated the donation of basic hygiene supplies like toothbrushes for the children, and she worked to teach the children how to maintain good personal hygiene when she traveled to the country. She made teaching plans and posters available for a local mission group to use when traveling to Guatemala. Ashley will continue to work with local dentists to make supplies available for every summer trip the group takes. Ashley’s project improved her communication and leadership skills.

“The most successful aspect of the project was getting the children excited about healthy habits,” said Ashley. “Many of them would tell me the next day that they brushed their teeth, and everyone seemed to be singing the songs I taught them about healthy habits.

“By earning the Girl Scout Gold Award,” said Melva Tate, interim chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama, “Ashley has become a community leader. Her accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart.”

The girl who goes for the Gold embraces challenges, achieves excellence, and works diligently to make the world a better place, in her own unique way. Her leadership, vision, and boundless energy is an inspiration to all Girl Scouts. Each girl earning her Gold Award demonstrates excellence through a leadership project totaling more than 65 hours. Girls who earn their Gold Award are also recognized by the President of the United States, the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Armed Services, state legislatures, colleges and universities for admission and scholarship opportunities, and the American Legion. Some universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.

About Girl Scout Gold Award
The Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting; it recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects. Since 1916, girls have successfully answered the call to go gold, an act that indelibly marks them as accomplished members of their communities and the world. For more information about the Gold Award, visit