One ‘Tough Cookie’

Madison’s Modisett to be honored
at Girls Scouts luncheon

Retired physician delivered
many babies in her time

MADISON, Ind. (April 2013) – A person who lives 95 years has either contributed greatly to the community around him or wasted a lot of time. Retired physician Dr. Marcella Modisett exemplifies one who has contributed greatly.
Modisett moved to Madison, Ind., in 1943 with her husband, Dr. Jack Modisett, where they opened the Madison Clinic with Dr. Zink and Dr. Jolly. It grew to be the largest practice in the area.
Modisett went on to “deliver Madison,” working as an obstetrician for more than 40 years. In addition to her busy practice and growing family (she raised four children), she invested in the girls of Madison by serving Girl Scouts for nearly 50 years.

Dr. Marcella Modisett

Photo provided

Dr. Marcella Modisett (right) poses with Joyce Seymour, the retired CEO of Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana.

Modisett’s service will be honored at a luncheon sponsored by Girls Scouts of Kentuckiana on Thursday, April 18, at Clifty Falls State Park Lodge when the Council presents her with the “Tough Cookie” award. The award singles out those who have given exemplary service to Girl Scouting and who embody the traits of courage, confidence and character that are part of the Girl Scout mission. The Council, which oversees Girl Scouting in 64 counties in Indiana and Kentucky, created these luncheons both to honor the long-term service of former members and to reconnect former Girl Scouts to the current vision.
Suzy Gessler, Corporate and Foundation Resources Manager for the Kentuckiana Council and one of Modisett’s long-time friends, says, “Whenever we meet women who grew up with scouting, they break into a huge ‘Brownie grin’ and start recalling the great experiences they had. We hope to reconnect them to scouting so they can take benefits they received from their scouting and make those resources available to today’s girls. We hope these luncheons help create that connection.”
When asked what inspired her to give so much to scouting, Modisett says, “When I first got to Madison, boys had so many options – baseball, basketball, scouting and others. I got interested because I had daughters and wanted something for them. I think girls today still need the opportunity to be with someone who can teach them.”
When asked what it means for her to receive this award, Modisett humbly responds, “Oh, I don’t know. I appreciate it. I do think for adult women it’s worthwhile. They can be leaders among girls. I’m grateful to be part of that. I paid $100 for a lifetime membership in scouting. I’ve gotten so much more than that.”
This is the second award Modisett has received in as many months for her service to the girls in Madison. In March, Girls Inc. recognized Modisett, along with Mary Louise Eisenhart and Bonnie Hare, with the “She Knows Where She’s Going” award.
Gessler offers Modisett as the perfect recipient for the “Tough Cookie” award as well. “Marcella has given so much to scouting. She was instrumental in acquiring the land for Camp Whippoorwill (a Girl Scout camp located northeast of Madison). Marcella spearheaded the fund raising to buy the land, organized the work with the Green Thumb Men to build facilities at the camp, and served as site manager for many years.”
In addition to her work on Camp Whippoorwill, Modisett served as a senior troop leader, served on the Council Board and actively raised funds for Girl Scouting. “When the annual campaign rolled around, people would see her coming and knew it was time to pull out the checkbook,” says Gessler. “Dr. Modisett is the perfect person to receive this honor in Madison. She symbolizes what scouting is all about. What better person to mentor the girls today than Dr. Modisett who has been so integral to this community?
“Girl Scouting just celebrated its 100th anniversary, and so much has changed,” says Gessler. “We’re now looking forward to the next 100 years and how to prepare girls for their future.” Gessler notes that Girl Scouts continues to be a major influence in girls’ lives. “Girls who participate in scouting have higher self-esteem, are more likely to go to college, and are more likely to give back to their community, thus scouting remains a crucial part of advancing women. Whether women can lead a troop, volunteer for a day camp, or assist in administration, we have a role for them, and the girls need their involvement. We hope these luncheons inspire women with the stories of those who have contributed and encourage them to get involved.”

• The luncheon will take place in the Clifty Lodge dining room. Those interested in attending can contact Penny Sanchez at (812) 599-2967. The luncheon is free but donations will be requested. Former scouts who would like to honor Modisett or who would like to gain insights into the future of scouting are invited to attend. Advance reservations are required.

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