RAPID CITY, SD (KELO AM) – Girl Scouts-Dakota Horizons honored a select group of women in recognition of their community leadership at their 20th annual Women of Distinction awards luncheon, Wednesday, May 14, at the Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn. This year, 13 Women of Distinction Awards were presented to recipients who inspire girls to lead. One of the awards, The Distinctive Woman of Service Award, was presented to three South Dakota Army National Guard Soldiers.
The Distinctive Woman of Service Award, which recognizes a member or employee of the U.S. Armed Forces who strives to make the world a better place and has made a contribution of time and support to the community, was presented to Lt. Col. Renel Hall-Beck, of Sturgis, State Command Sgt. Maj. Susan Shoe, of Rapid City, and Master Sgt. Mary Beth Mallow, of Black Hawk.
Mallow, who serves as the SDARNG’s resilience program and funeral honors coordinator, said community service was instilled in her at a young age by her family.
“My parents served in a variety of local and state service organizations and that inspired me to follow their footsteps,” Mallow said. “Growing up, I learned that serving the community in some capacity was just what you did – it’s a way to stay involved, assist with solving community problems and to pay it forward.”
In addition to her National Guard duties, Mallow served as a member of Lawrence County Search and Rescue, Timberline Road Homeowners Association and Sanitary Road District and a church group to assist with funeral meals.
Shoe, the SDARNG’s state command sergeant major, said it takes many people with different ideas and backgrounds to have a successful community.
“Knowing what makes the community works allows us to have more respect for others,” said Shoe, whose community involvement includes serving on the Girls Scouts-Dakota Horizons finance committee and Leadership Rapid City. “Leadership Rapid City allowed me to truly see how this city runs, what it offers, and all the great people who want to make a difference and make this a better place. I learned that our best resource is ourselves and the only way to ensure a community continues to be a better place is to get involved.”
Shoe said she is looking forward to committing more of her time to community service and the Girl Scouts in particular this fall.
“I am excited to take a more active role in helping this organization stay strong in Rapid City,” Shoe said. “Girl Scouts is an organization that teaches young ladies how to be leaders, which is so vital to future community success.”
Hall-Beck, who serves as the SDARNG’s contract management branch chief, was the first and only female manager of the Belle Fourche Irrigation District in its 100 year history. She was instrumental in starting Women of the Guard, a women’s mentoring and networking group, and she has been an active participant in the Sturgis Zonta Women’s History Month Board.
Mallow told the audience, ranging from business professionals to young Girl Scouts, that while her experience with Girl Scouts is limited, the benefits of the organization will serve the girls for the rest of their lives.
“I was a Brownie, and I wore that uniform and beanie with both pride and style!” Mallow said. “Girl Scouts empower girls and young women to seek opportunities to serve the greater good while developing skills that will serve them the rest of their lives. It is imperative that we serve as role models for women of all ages in our society to guide them in their growth.”