Girl Scouts celebrate role models
The Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital has named four women from the Eastern Panhandle as the 2015 “Women of Distinction.” They will be recognized at the 11th annual Women of Distinction luncheon on Wednesday, October 14, at the Holiday Inn in Martinsburg, W.Va.
The women were selected by their peers for outstanding work in the community, contribution to their professions, and serving as outstanding role models for young women. Bridget Cohee, Linda Largent McGraw, Lynne Seibert Steptoe and Pam Wagoner join the distinguished rank of women who have received the Women of Distinction honor over the past ten years.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts’ highest award – the Gold Award – the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s capital is raffling a beautiful 16-inch, 14- karat white gold necklace with station pearls, valued at $395. Donated by Christian Caine Jewelers of Shepherdstown, this necklace commemorates the sale by the Girl Scouts’ founder, Juliette Gordon Low, of her own wedding pearls to fund the beginnings of the Girl Scout movement in 1912.
Raffle tickets can be purchased for $5 a piece or six for $25 through the local Girl Scout office, 304-263-8833. Tickets can also be purchased at Depot Florist or Minghinis’ General Contractors in Martinsburg, or at the door on the day of the annual Women of Distinction luncheon. Purchaser does not need to be present at the luncheon to win the necklace. All proceeds will benefit the Girl Scout Gold Award Scholarship Fund.
Bridget Cohee’s determination and strong work ethic have contributed to positive change in the Eastern Panhandle. She has been involved in Shepherd University Board of Governors; United Way of the Eastern Panhandle; Contemporary American Theater Festival; Young Professionals of the Eastern Panhandle; Court Appointed Guardian ad litem; and St. Joseph Angels. Since 2000 she has practiced in the litigation department of Steptoe & Johnson PLLC’s Martinsburg office, and is presently managing member there. Cohee has been named a Best Lawyer in America. Additionally, she has been recognized by The State Journal as one of West Virginia’s Top Lawyers and as part of their Generation Next: 40 Under 40 in 2006. She has been admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and is a member of the WVU College of Law Visiting Committee. Locally, Cohee has been awarded the Marvin Yurish Award for Excellence in Community Service, and has received similar recognition from Berkeley County Council. Her latest project is spearheading the development of the Burke Street Promise Neighborhood Initiative in Martinsburg. Seeing a need in the community and moving forward to make a difference takes a committed effort, not only by the community, but also by someone who is willing to be the backbone of the movement. For all her countless volunteer hours and her commitment and passion for the cause, Bridget Cohee is a role model for girls and women in the Eastern Panhandle.
Linda Largent McGraw
Linda Largent McGraw’s service to her community is vast and expansive. A lifelong resident of Morgan County, McGraw is retired from Morgan County schools where she was an English teacher, guidance counselor, and Director of Student Services. She is a member of Trinity Asbury United Methodist Church in Berkeley Springs where she has served as treasurer, chair of the finance committee, and Staff Parish Relations Committee chair. She helps with Children’s Church, Vacation Bible School, and is a member of Women’s Christian Service. She is an active member of Eta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, an honorary affiliation of women educators, where she has mentored young teachers and guidance counselors as well as participated in projects benefiting various community agencies. She also served as capital campaign chair in Morgan County for Hospice of the Panhandle in their efforts to build a new inpatient facility, and continues now as a board member there. McGraw serves as Vice President of Foxglove Garden Club, is a Read Aloud volunteer, and a founding member of WISH (Women Investing in Shepherd University). She’s a former member of the Boys and Girls Club and helped start Teen Court in Morgan County. She was named Outstanding Volunteer of 2015 by both the Lions Club and Ye Towne of Bath Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She has been honored by the Community Partnership of Morgan and Berkeley Counties for her contributions to the prevention of substance abuse, and has worked with Blue Ridge CTC and the Eastern Panhandle Tech Prep Consortium to bring college courses to Morgan County students. Linda McGraw truly demonstrates the art of “giving back and paying it forward,” modeling the gift of service to girls of all ages.
Lynne Seibert Steptoe
Lynne Seibert Steptoe generously serves and supports her community through her time, talent, and treasure. For many years she was a social worker for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services, after which she became an active volunteer with numerous Eastern Panhandle organizations. She serves on the board of CCAP/Loaves and Fishes, and has been involved with other organizations including the Adam Stephens House, Hospice of the Panhandle and Berk-Mar Garden Cub. Steptoe is a former Board member for the Girl Scout Shawnee Council and is a member of the Juliette Low Legacy Society. She also served as Vice President for Membership for Shenandoah Area Council Executive Board of the Boys Scouts of America and currently serves as Finance Chair of Potomac District. Steptoe’s dedication to Trinity Episcopal Church in Martinsburg is seen in her many roles there: convener of St. Mary’s Guild, lector, Eucharistic minister, acolyte supervisor, wedding coordinator, and member of altar guild. She has served as a Sunday school teacher, Vacation Bible School leader, vestry member, and diocesan convention delegate. She has been honored as Beta Sigma Phi’s annual First Lady of Martinsburg in 2002, and received the Boy Scouts’ Silver Beaver Award in 2013. In 2015 she was awarded the Girls Scouts’ Thanks Badge II, recognizing her outstanding commitment, service, and leadership. Lynne Steptoe graciously embodies the Girl Scout Mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.
Pam Wagoner serves the Eastern Panhandle and its constituents in myriad ways. She is president of CCAP/Loaves and Fishes, and has been president, vice-president, and program chair for Martinsburg Rotary; she currently is Assistant Governor of Rotary Area 16. At Trinity Episcopal Church in Martinsburg she’s taught Sunday school, chaired Vacation Bible School, served on the vestry, and been active with altar guild for many years. Wagoner has been a judge at the Berkeley and Jefferson County Fairs and has volunteered with 4-H, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and Young Lives of the Eastern Panhandle. She opened Depot Florist in 1998, and in 2011 was recognized by the Martinsburg- Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce with the C. Leslie Golliday Business Person of the Year Award. She was named Beta Sigma Phi’s First Lady of Martinsburg in 2015 for her community and volunteer efforts, and has received the Peace Through Service Presidential Citation from Rotary International. She is a graduate of Leadership Berkeley and a member and past officer of Main Street Martinsburg. Pam Wagoner is a strong role model for girls — and for everyone everywhere. She is always thinking of how to help other people, and lives her life to serve others, out of deep love and passion for her community.
For more information about the Women of Distinction luncheon, contact Kathy Deffer, area membership manager for the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital, at 304-263-8833 or firstname.lastname@example.org.