The IWGA is pleased to announce we will now be awarding four Junior Girl awards to outstanding high school seniors. Two awards will be in honor of Mrs. Julia H. Dodds, who was the first 50-year member of the Illinois Women’s Golf Association. This award was established in 1992. The other award has been establishment to honor Helen Spencer. Helen played in the IWGA State Amateur and Senior State Amateur Championships from 1958 to 1994 – spanning 36 years!
2022 Winners Elaine Grant Chillicothe, Laci Novosel Quincy, Allison Pacocha, Eureka, and Dani Grace Schrock, Pontiac,
The Julia Dodds Junior Girls award was established in 1992 to honor an outstanding graduating high school senior. The award is in honor of our first 50-year member of the IWGA – Mrs. Julia Dodds.
This award is presented to an accomplished young woman as she embarks on her college career. The award criteria for selection include Character, Scholarship, Leadership and Sportsmanship. The winners will receive the $2,000 award, which will be directed to their college choice to assist in their educational expenses. Our winners exemplify the qualities and are outstanding young woman. This year, the IWGA Committee selected Allison Pacocha and Dani Grace Schrock as the winners of the Julia Dodds Award.
Allison Pacocha, from Eureka, served as treasurer, secretary, and vice president of the Eureka High School Student Council. Their Student Council leads the largest teen led St. Jude fundraiser in the nation. She was also in National Honors Society, science club, served as a class officer, member of the assistant principal’s advisory committee (APAC), and served on the district handbook committee. Each club or organization delivered different life lessons that she will continue to use throughout her life.
Golf has played an integral part of her life for thirteen years. Golf has helped develop the social skills to talk to new peers and adults. Allison states that her best friends have been made through golf. She will always remember the players and conversations had while playing at tournaments.
Outstanding teachers from Eureka High School have impacted Allison’s decision to study chemistry in college. She will be attending Bradley University and play on the women’s golf team. Her goal is to work in the pharmaceutical industry designing and creating medicines to help others.
Allison looks forward to what her future holds in the classroom, on the golf course, and in everyday life! Based on the values her parents ingrained in her from a young age, she is confident that she can be successful in what she sets her mind to!
Dani Grace Schrock, from Pontiac, has been involved in Key Club, Student Council, Peers in Action, Madrigal Brass, Jazz Band, Tri-M, National Honor Society, and Golf at Pontiac Township High School.
Her involvement in Key Club helped her develop her leadership skills. Dani Grace served as the Key Club President for the past three years. She was responsible for communicating with members as well as other officers, and in charge of running the monthly club meetings.
Dani serves her community by playing violin at church, nursing homes and at local businesses.
Being on the girls’ golf team helped her develop as a golfer, as a person and as a teammate. Dani was the captain for all four years of a team with varying levels of golf experience. She had to learn to listen to her teammates while also being a person that they could always turn to for support and guidance.
Dani plans to pursue either a finance or accounting major at Illinois State University. Her goal is to be a professional golfer, but she excited to study business in college where she will be playing on the women’s golf team with her sister, Ali.
Congratulations Dani Grace!
The Helen Spencer Junior Girls award was established in 2019 to honor an outstanding graduating high school senior. The award is in honor of Mrs. Helen Spencer. Helen played in the IWGA State Amateur and Senior State Championships from 1958 to 1994.
This award is presented to an accomplished young woman as she embarks on her college career. The award criteria for selection include Character, Scholarship, Leadership and Sportsmanship. The winners will receive the $2,000 award, which will be directed to their college choice to assist in their educational expenses. Our winners exemplify all these qualities and are outstanding young women. This year, the IWGA Committee selected Elaine Grant and Laci Novosel as the winners of the Helen Spencer Award.
Elaine Grant is from Chillicothe, Illinois and attended IVC High School. Elaine has devoted her time to extracurriculars as a member of the boys’ varsity golf team, the Junior Optimist International Club, National Honor Society, and Spanish Honor Society. One of her biggest leadership roles was being a captain and overall number one player on the golf team. Because her high school did not field a girl’s golf team, she was a member of the boys’ varsity golf team for four years. As a freshman, she was the number 3 golfer on the team, and she spent a lot of time playing with and learning from the senior captains. They were great role models and Elaine decided to take over the leadership role when they graduated. In addition to becoming a leader on the golf team, Elaine has grown into a more confident individual because of her participation in the sport.
Elaine attributes her strong work ethic and dedication to her parents, Shaun and Monica.
Elaine will be attending college next year at the University of Illinois in Springfield. She plans to major in Business. She hopes to have a career in the golf industry where she can share her passion for the game with others and help them see the life-long benefits the sport has to offer.
Congratulations to Elaine Grant!
Laci Novosel is from Quincy, Illinois and attended Quincy High School. Laci played varsity golf and basketball all 4 years, while staying in all honors and Advanced Placement classes and maintaining a 4.516 GPA. She was an active member of National Honor Society, Beta Club, Student Council, Women of Christ, and Spanish club. These organizations and clubs strive towards making a positive impact on the world and are always giving back to the school and community. Being involved in these activities has made her the person she is today. She learned responsibility, leadership, integrity, and the value of hard work.
Covid-19 helped to strengthen these skills, while having to adapt to a new normal. From being surrounded by support in the form of teammates and peers, to having to learn how to work in solitude was a drastic change in her life, but this change made her stronger. She had to learn good communication skills to fulfill her leadership roles and obligations. She had to continue to strive toward goals and hold herself accountable. These are now qualities she applies to her daily life.
After going through quarantine and Covid-19, she has a great appreciation for the simplest things that before were taken for granted – spending time with loved ones, being on a team, and going to school every day. She now values these pieces of her life and takes full advantage of them.
In the fall Laci plans to attend the University of North Carolina- Asheville, and will carry the qualities of responsibility, leadership, integrity, and hard work, while balancing playing Division I golf and majoring in biology on her path to becoming a Pediatric Dentist.
Congratulations to Laci Novosel!
HOW TO APPLY
Applications are made on-line at the IWGA website (iwga.org). Criteria for both awards include: Character, Scholarship, Leadership, and Sportsmanship. Only one application should be submitted; all applicants will be considered for each award.
Those interested in applying should send documentation of academic status (year in school and gpa) and name of high school. Two letters of recommendation are required and can be from high school principal, high school teachers, or anyone who has knowledge of the applicant. Each applicant should write a personal narrative which describes your extracurricular activities, expresses things that have impacted your life, and outlines your plans for the future. Also, please enclose a recent photo.
Application will be accepted beginning on February 1 and deadline for submission is May 1st by 5:00 pm.
The $2,000.00 award will be directed to the award winner’s college to assist with her educational expenses. If the honoree is unable to accept the cash award, the IWGA will determine an organization to receive the money in her honor.
Dodds/Spencer Award Application Form
Questions should be e-mailed to:
IWGA Dodds/Spencer Committee