Thank you for supporting our 13th annual Dessert First! It was an incredible evening celebrating the accomplishments of our three Changemaker Scholarship Recipients, Coumba, Mira and Gracie, and three Legacy Builders, Jo Ann Taylor Kindle, the William T. Kemper Foundation, and FIRST in Missouri.

The event, which was held at The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta, began with more than 550 guests sampling Girl Scout Cookie-inspired desserts created by eleven local chefs. Chef Cati Stumbaugh from Sarah’s Cake Shop won the night’s People’s Choice award with a Lemon Blackberry Gooey Butter Cake made with Lemon Up Girl Scout Cookies.

Thanks to you, close to $300,000 was raised in support of our Eastern Missouri Girl Scouts! We are grateful for your generosity!

See the Girl Scout experience Through the Eyes of Eastern Missouri girls. Your support has a life changing impact by allowing all girls in our region access to our leadership development programs.

To view pictures from the event please click the button below!

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All proceeds support our leadership development programs for girls.

Mark your calendar for next year’s Dessert First event! Join us back at the Chase for another unforgettable evening.

Dessert First honors one Corporate/Foundation Legacy Builder, one Individual Legacy Builder and one Community Legacy Builder. The honorees are chosen because of the enormous support and service they have provided to Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri.

2023 Legacy Builders

2023 Corporate/Foundation Legacy Builder: William T. Kemper Foundation

The William T. Kemper Foundation was established in 1989 and is dedicated to continuing Mr. Kemper’s lifelong interest in improving the human condition and quality of life. The William T. Kemper Foundation makes a positive and enduring impact in our region by thoughtfully supporting organizations that catalyze new approaches or funding projects that grow and sustain proven models. The Foundation provides project-based and capacity building grants primarily to educational, civic and regional arts organizations.

Through the generous support of the Kemper Foundation, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri has been able to significantly upgrade technology in support of innovative Council-led programming, like Live from Girl Scouts. Live from Girl Scouts is a unique program format that reaches all girls, everywhere with fun, skill-building opportunities so participants can join live or watch the recorded link later. The Kemper Foundation’s commitment and support of our Girl Scouts provide them with the tools needed to become tomorrow’s leaders with vibrant futures.


2023 Individual Legacy Builder: Jo Ann Taylor Kindle

Jo Ann Taylor Kindle is a powerful advocate for young change-makers in the City of St. Louis and the 28 surrounding counties. Serving on the Girl Scouts board of directors from 1994-1996, Jo Ann is a true champion of girl leadership development. Jo Ann has been instrumental in the success of the recent Her Future is Our Future Campaign, serving as campaign chair and helping to raise an unprecedented $50 million in support of girl leadership development. Jo Ann’s vision and guidance have expanded opportunities for girls so they can grow into the leaders we need in our homes, workplaces and communities.

Jo Ann is the chairperson of the Enterprise Holdings Foundation and is the heart of the organization’s charitable giving worldwide. In addition to her leadership of the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, Jo Ann manages additional philanthropic endeavors for the Taylor family, including the Crawford Taylor Foundation, and serves on the Crawford Group board of directors. A mother of two former Girl Scouts, Carolyn Kindle and Ali Kindle Hogan, and Girl Scout volunteer, Jo Ann is committed to supporting the long-term success of Girl Scouts and investing in the next generation of female leaders.


2023 Community Legacy Builder: FIRST® in Missouri

FIRST® is a global robotics community that prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs. Teams operate under a signature set of FIRST core values to conduct research, fundraise, design, build and showcase their achievements during annual challenges. Our local partner organization, FIRST in Missouri inspires the next generation of science and technology leaders through self-confidence, communication and leadership.

Since 2009, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri has partnered with FIRST to encourage a love of STEM and robotics in more than 3,000 Girl Scouts across eastern Missouri. Teams, led by adult volunteer coaches and mentors, follow an innovative curriculum combining basic engineering and science concepts with an exciting season theme. Serving Girl Scouts from Kindergarten through high school, FIRST has been an integral partner, helping girls discover how to blaze trails to achieve their goals—especially when those goals take them into traditionally male-dominated professional fields.


Past Legacy Builders

  • PNC, 2022 Honoree
  • Cynthia Heath, 2022 Honoree
  • The St. Louis Zoo, 2022 Honoree
  • Boeing and the Employees Community Fund of Boeing, 2021 Honoree
  • Megan and Tim Piechowski, 2021 Honoree
  • The Magic House, 2021 Honoree
  • Myrtle and Earl Walker, 2020 Honoree
  • Edward Jones, 2020 Honoree
  • Camp Fury STL, 2020 Honoree
  • Ann and Doug Teske, 2019 Honoree
  • Wells Fargo, 2019 Honoree
  • Operation Food Search, 2019 Honoree
  • Berges Family Foundation, 2018 Honoree
  • Centene Charitable Foundation, 2018 Honoree
  • Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, 2018 Honoree
  • Mary Ann Altergott, 2017 Honoree
  • Express Scripts, 2017 Honoree
  • Commerce Bank, 2016 Honoree
  • Maurita Stueck, 2016 Honoree
  • Crawford Taylor Foundation, 2015 Honoree
  • Elsie St. Cyr, 2015 Honoree
  • Ameren Missouri, 2014 Honoree
  • Laurna C. Godwin, 2014 Honoree
  • Monsanto, 2013 Honoree
  • Marilyn Fox, 2013 Honoree
  • Carolyn Losos, 2012 Honoree
  • Emerson, 2012 Honoree

At this special event, we celebrate the leadership and service of outstanding Girl Scouts and award three scholarships of $5,000 to be used for higher education. Scholarship recipients must have earned their Gold Award, the highest recognition available to Girl Scouts.

2023 Scholarship Awardees


Coumba Diallo

Coumba Diallo, a freshman at Tufts University, saw an opportunity to support the mental health of her peers and make a positive impact in her community to earn her Gold Award.

To earn her Gold Award, Coumba partnered with the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition to provide a creative outlet for teens in foster care to promote expression and mental health stability. Coumba began by collecting art supplies, writing art prompts on cards, and assembling 150 art kits. She then invited teens who used the art kits to submit their artwork for a virtual exhibition that Coumba organized for the public. Finally, Coumba coordinated with teaching artists and facilitated ten virtual painting workshops with children in St. Louis, Senegal. Coumba took photos and footage from the workshops and created a video to post on YouTube.

Through her project, Coumba reached more than 100 teens and provided them with tools for self-expression. Coumba provided an instructional guidebook to the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition to continue assembling and handing out her art kits to ensure her project will continue in the future.

Coumba will receive the 2023 Changemaker Scholarship made possible by Laurna Godwin in memory of Corrynne Godwin.

Mira Iyer

Mira Iyer, a senior at Rockwood Summit High School, is a founding member and co-captain of the P3 Robotics team as well as a member of the GSEM Media Team. In 2020, Mira joined GSEM’s board of directors as a girl representative.

After reading the nutrition label for her favorite and seemingly healthy snacks, like protein bars and veggie chips, Mira realized a large amount of sugar and preservatives in these foods. Recognizing that these snacks are marketed to busy teens, Mira decided to take action and combat the issue of unhealthy snacking among her peers. Mira committed more than 213 hours to develop her app, CHOMP, an innovative nutrition app created for users to understand better their bodies and the foods they eat. Mira developed her app to ensure an easy-to-use interface and utilized unintimidating nutritional terminology to help teenagers understand their bodies and process the foods they eat daily.

Mira worked with a local SSM Hospital dietician, who provided knowledge and guidance, so the app better equips users with the tools to read nutrition labels and choose healthier snack options.

Mira will receive the 2023 Changemaker Scholarship made possible by Penny Pennington and Michael Fidler in honor of every girl making her mark on the world!

Gracie Steinmeyer

Gracie Steinmeyer, a senior at Rockwood Summit High School, is an eight-year Girl Scout Robotics team member and a founding member and co-caption of P3 Robotics team.

Gracie recognized first-hand the need for more in-depth programming tutorials. After advancing to the FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC), Gracie and her team struggled to find comprehensive tutorials on Java programming. So, to earn her Gold Award, Gracie filmed five tutorial videos on how to set up and program for FTC Robotics teams. Gracie then hosted a workshop for more than 20 robotics teams which covered TensorFlow software and how to program for machine learning. Gracie also visited three elementary schools to present FTC demo bots and other STEM activities to more than 80 students.

Gracie’s 11 videos have generated more than 13,000 views on YouTube. Gracie has recruited a local robotics team and has shared her video tutorial instructions so they can continue creating their programming videos.

Gracie will receive the 2023 Changemaker Scholarship made possible by the William R. Orthwein and Laura Rand Orthwein Foundation.

Past Scholarship Recipients:

  • Anushka Rawat, Parkway South High School, 2022 Recipient
  • Nichole Hofmann, Troy Buchanan High School, 2022 Recipient
  • Zoey Knight, Kirkwood High School, 2021 Recipient
  • Shruti Panda, Parkway West High School, 2021 Recipient
  • Alexis Edgar, Francis Howell High School, 2020 Recipient
  • Nicole Licavoli, Marquette High School, 2020 Recipient
  • Molly Frei, Visitation Academy High School, 2019 Recipient
  • Lillian Orskog, Kirksville High School, 2019 Recipient
  • Brianna Dale, St. Dominic High School, 2018 Recipient
  • Sarah Eisenman, Ladue Horton Watkins High School, 2018 Recipient
  • Sarah Ayers, Parkway West High School; 2017 Recipient
  • Allison Licavoli, Marquette High School; 2017 Recipient
  • Myra Dotzel, Parkway Central High School; 2016 Recipient
  • Jessica Thoelke, Ladue Horton Watkins High School; 2016 Recipient
  • Amanda Blythe, Ft. Zumwalt West High School; 2015 Recipient
  • Jamielee Buenemann, Washington High School; 2015 Recipient
  • Lauren Gieseking, Parkway West High School; 2014 Recipient
  • Natalie Ried, Lindbergh High School; 2014 Recipient
  • Julia Brose, Eureka High School; 2013 Recipient
  • Melissa LaChance, Central R-3 High School; 2013 Recipient
  • Carolyn Beard, Clayton High School; 2012 Recipient
  • Jazmyn Ferguson, Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School; 2012 Recipient

All girls who earn their Gold Award at the 2023 Reflections Ceremony will be considered for the 2024 Dessert First Scholarship. Finalists will be notified in October 2023 that they have been selected by the Dessert First Scholarship Committee for a presentation and interview. (All finalists selected for the presentation round receive a $1,000 scholarship.) The committee will announce final award decisions immediately following the presentation round in November 2023. Girl Scouts can contact Shannon Bodenschatz at with questions regarding the Dessert First Scholarship.

Dessert First corporate sponsors invest in Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri to develop strong, well-equipped, and service-minded leaders for tomorrow’s workforce.

Girl Scouts develops a pipeline of future leaders in your organization. Girl Scouting works, and your investment in girls will impact the future leadership of your organization, of Missouri, of the United States and of the world.

Interested in a corporate sponsorship?
Contact Erin Vlasaty at

Interested in being one of our featured chefs for next year?
Please reach out to Shannon Bodenschatz at

2023 Chefs

21c Museum Hotel St. Louis
Matthew Daughaday
Executive Chef
Baileys’ Restaurants
Amanda Jaspering
Pastry Chef
Bowood by Niche
Suji Shaw
Executive Pastry Chef
Butler’s Pantry
Julie Weldele
Pastry Chef
Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta
Sara Alderson
Pastry Sous Chef
Momma Boogie’s Small Batch Cakery
Amber J
Patty’s Cheesecakes
Pat Upchurch
Head Chef/Owner
Sarah’s Cake Shop
Cati Stumbaugh
Head Pastry Chef/General Manager
Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream
Beckie Jacobs
Strange Donuts
Ellie Brink
Head Baker
Mary Boehne

2022 People’s Choice Award Winner:

  • April Mathews, Peachy Keen Culinary Consulting

Past Participating Restaurants have included:

  • 23 City Blocks Catering
  • Bailey’s Chocolate Bar
  • Brasserie by Niche
  • Butler’s Pantry
  • Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta
  • Edibles & Essentials
  • Greenbriar Hills Country Club
  • Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Co.
  • Juniper
  • Olive + Oak
  • Peachy Keen Culinary Consulting
  • Russell’s
  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House
  • Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream
  • Sidney Street Café
  • Southern
  • St. Louis Science Center
  • Yolklore

Presenting Sponsor

Legacy Sponsor

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Wine Sponsor