United We Lead Gala


Saturday, August 17th 2019 - Regency Conference Center, O'Fallon IL

The Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is hosting our inaugural United We Lead Gala on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at the Regency Conference Center in O’Fallon, IL. At this event we are fundraising to help support and establish scholarships and financial assistance for our Girl Scouts here in Southern Illinois. United We Lead (UWL) Gala is a formal event and fundraiser that includes a four-course meal, keynote, music and dancing while supporting our Girl Scouts.

We are highlighting women’s leadership in Southern Illinois featuring emcee Laura Hettiger of KMOV and a keynote address from Judge Sarah Smith of Madison County, IL. Join us for a night to remember and celebrate women’s leadership!


For more information about supporting our United We Lead Gala, please see our 2019 Sponsorship Packet! If you have any questions, please contact the Fund Development Team.

For more information about Event Program Advertisements please click here! If you have any questions, please contact the Fund Development Team. 

Linda Yates      800-345-6858

2019 Emcee
laura headshot

The Flora, Illinois native wants everyone to have a great day, St. Louis. Laura spearheads the Traffic on the 4's coverage on News 4 This Morning then co-hosts KMOV's mid-morning lifestyle show, Great Day St. Louis.

Laura started with KMOV in August 2012. The University of Illinois alumna won her first Emmy Award for General Assignment Reporting for her coverage during the Ferguson unrest.

Charity work and giving back are two of Laura's greatest passions. The marathon runner created Laura’s Run 4 Kids benefiting The Little Bit Foundation in 2018 and hosted the second run this past April. Right now, she is preparing for the third Laura’s Run 4 Kids in the spring. 

2019 Featured Speaker

Judge Sarah D. Smith is a lifelong resident of Madison County.  She joined the U.S. Army Reserve as a mechanic right out of high school and served to put herself through college. Upon graduation from law school, she commissioned with the Illinois Army National Guard as a First Lieutenant. 

Judge Smith is a former litigation attorney and Madison County prosecutor.  In 2015, she was appointed to serve as an associate judge in the Family Division, Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County, Illinois. In 2018, she was elected Circuit Judge for the Third Judicial Circuit serving both Madison and Bond counties.

Judge Smith is a Colonel and the highest-ranking Judge Advocate General in the Illinois Army National Guard.  She competed and was selected for a seat at the United States Army War College, and will graduate Class of 2020.  In 2016, Sarah was appointed to serve as the first Military Judge for the State of Illinois, Illinois Army National Guard.
Judge Smith was mobilized in support of Hurricane Katrina, deployed to Kosovo in 2007, and immediately thereafter spent 13 months in Afghanistan. While deployed, she served as a volunteer firefighter for Camp Phoenix and was selected to mentor and train the only female General in the Afghan National Army. For her service in Afghanistan she was awarded the Bronze Star.
Judge Smith lives in Edwardsville with her husband Michael (who is also a 3-time combat veteran) and her three young sons.

2019 United We Lead Gala Committee

Committee Chair
Linda Manley - Edward Jones

Committee Members
Priscilla Jacks - U.S. Bank
Paula Nixon - Ameren Illinois
Shelly Price-Williams, Ph.D. - SIUE

2019 Entertainment

Kim Massie is one of the most recognizable vocalists in the Midwest. Her ability to sing not only the blues but rock, pop, country, gospel and R&B has earned her two Best Female Vocalist of the Year Awards from the Riverfront Times as well as the Grand Center Visionary Award in 2005. Kim made her television debut in 2016 covering “I Finally Forgot Your Name” by Long Tall Deb during the season premiere of Good Behavior on TNT. This proud grandmother of six has shared the stage with artists such as Cyndi Lauper, India Arie, Nelly, and Chuck Berry. Kim has performed for organizations such as Major League Baseball, Purina, Boeing, and at esteemed venues and events such as the Missouri History Museum, Big Muddy Blues Festival, Fenton Days Festival, Peacefest, Pride Fest, Davenport Blues Festival, Emerald City Blues Festival, and the Blues Rising Festival. When Kim is not on tour or playing premier events she can be found with her band the Solid Senders at her favorite venue and Saint Louis blues mainstay Beale on Broadway.

Kim Massie’s reign in the St. Louis entertainment scene pushes beyond the gates of the stage: her personality is a drawbridge to the audience. Kim’s audiences can expect to make requests and hear her make every note of it.  “Diva” is a title that Kim Massie proudly embraces, and this award-winning vocalist has earned it. A boomerang child who moved to Ohio and later returned to the Gateway City, the “Siren of Song” has claimed Beale on Broadway as her home, performing celebrated, groove-inducing tunes several times a week. Often classified as a blues songstress, Massie isn’t content to limit herself to one genre; her legendary voice also packs punch on rock, gospel, funk, jazz and more.

2019 Sponsors

Thank you to our 2019 Sponsors!


Leading Sponsors: Nine Network

  • NineN_web

Community Sponsors: Ameren Illinois, Mathis, Marifan & Richter, LTD. and St. Louis Public Radio

  • Ameren_web
  • MM&R_web
  • STLPR_web

Supporting Sponsors: The Korte Company and WSIE The Sound

  • Korte_web
  • WSIE

Mentoring Sponsor: Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery & Boeing

  • WoodRiver_web
  • boeing

Custom Sponsors: Terra Properties and The Regency Conference Center

  • Regency_web
  • TerraProp
  • WRPrinting
  • HLW
Special Discount: Stay At the Hilton Garden Inn

A special discount is available for an overnight stay at Hilton Garden Inn (attached to The Regency Conference Center)! 

Hilton Garden Inn
360 Regency Park, O'Fallon, IL 62269
Phone: (618) 624-4499

Rooms are available at the discounted rate (GSofSI room block) of $129 a night. Please call (618) 624-4499 for reservations. Rooms must be reserved before 7/23/2019. 


Reserve your seats now!

Individual seat sales are $175 and Tables (8 seats) are $1,400 until August 1st, 2019. Individual seat prices increase to $200 after August 1st and no tables after August 1st, 2019. Sponsorship opportunities will be available!

CLICK HERE to download and print a Gala RSVP Card!

Please notify GSofSI of any special dietary needs or request at

If you do not know all the names in your party, please check the box. If you are experiencing any issues purchasing seats or tables, please call Michelle Ochsner at 618.307.3622 or email                                                                                                                         

More Information

Gala Volunteer Opportunities:
Ways to Support GSofSI Fundraising Events

Girl Attendance:
The Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois Board of Directors made a one-time exemption that girls may attend the Gala with parental notification although alcohol will be available on premises for those 21+.