Pleasantville's annual Girl Scouts awards ceremony drew local and regional officials to Mount Pleasant on Sunday.
Among them were Pleasantville Mayor Peter Scherer and Trustees Mindy Berard and Colleen Griffin Wagner; Westchester County Legislator Michael Smith (R-Mount Pleasant), New York State Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti (D-92) and New York State Senator Greg Ball (R,C-Patterson). Mary Fox-Alter, the superintendent, also attended to commend the scouts.
"It is a pleasure to be here today with all of these young leaders. There is a very small percent of girl scouts that ever make it to this ranking and I would like to congratulate each and every one of them for all of their hard work to achieve this great honor," said Ball in a statement to the 10 high school-aged scouts received the Gold Award—scouting's highest honor.
Thank you to Patty Tanner for supplying the following descriptions of the Gold Award Projects:
Rebecca Aschen—Pleasantville Troop 2688
Rebecca’s Girl Scout Gold Award Project was designed to collect and raise awareness of the dyer need for soap that can save lives. The statistics are staggering of the number of child deaths related to poor sanitation in developing nations and countries in need. Rebecca worked directly with the AFYA Foundation located in Yonkers to collect and send bars of donated soap to Haiti, Africa and other areas in need. Rebecca set up various collection boxes through out the Pleasantville community and was able to ship more than 2,000 bars of soap.
Aileen Collins—Pleasantville Juliette
Aileen’s Girl Scout Gold Award Project was designed to raise funds and awareness for victims of domestic violence. Aileen worked directly with a company named Shelter Alliance to collect and refurbish used cell phones. Aileen set up collection boxes at more than 15 locations throughout the community and collected over 200 phones. All proceeds were donated Hope’s Door, a local shelter for victims of domestic violence.
Patricia Garibaldi—Pleasantville Troop 2689
Patricia’s Girl Scout Gold Award Project was designed to raise awareness and education for children with special needs in the Pleasantville school district. Patricia worked directly with Colleen Wagner, coordinator for the VIP Athletic Program for Kids with Special Needs in Pleasantville, to educate and train volunteers. Patricia efforts educated “buddies” to work with athletes whose physical and mental disabilities make it difficult for them to successfully participate on the mainstream soccer and basketball teams.
—Pleasantville Troop 2689
Bridget’s Girl Scout Gold Award Project was designed to raise awareness and collect canned goods to help address the issue of hunger in our community. Bridget decided to collect thousands of cans of food and create a sculpture in the shape of a “helping hand.” This sculpture was displayed in the social hall of in an effort to inspire others and raise awareness. All of these cans were donated to the local Interfaith Emergency Food Pantry.
Jennifer Grom—Pleasantville Troop 1218
Jennifer’s Girl Scout Gold Award Project was designed to increase global awareness between students in Pleasantville, NY; and Ajijic, Mexico. With the understanding that prejudices are grown from ignorance, Jennifer established pen pal relationships between school children from Pleasantville and Ajijic. 338 letters were exchanged and many friendships were created. Jennifer also arranged for the Mexican orphans to receive a gift from Pleasantville. The art students created portraits of the Mexican orphans; Jennifer then delivered them and celebrated with the orphans as they received their cherished portraits. Jennifer’s Gold Award Project was a natural extension of her ten-year dedication to helping the indigent children of Ajijic.
Jacqueline Marra—Pleasantville Juliette
Jacqueline’s Girl Scout Gold Award Project was designed to create and implement a program to offer tennis clinics for 5th and 6th graders who attend the Pleasantville School District. As captain of the high school tennis team for two years, Jackie wanted to leave the team better than it was when she started. Prior to Jackie’s efforts, there was no tennis training in our district, as well as no modified team, and no JV team. Jackie has raised awareness that the varsity team is for 7th-12th graders, and greatly improved participation.
—Pleasantville Troop 2689
Jillian’s Girl Scout Gold Award Project was designed to ease the stress and worry of parents who have had their child suddenly hospitalized. Jillian worked directly with the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center to implement a program that provides toiletry kits to parents of children who are hospitalized there. Often when there is a medical emergency, parents do not have the forethought to bring the basic necessities that are needed for an overnight stay in the hospital. Jillian solicited various donations and provided the hospital with more than 500 initial care packages.
Rebecca Moore—Pleasantville Troop 2689
Rebecca’s Girl Scout Gold Award Project was designed to raise funds and renovate the teacher’s lounge located in the . Rebecca felt that her teachers in middle school had a profound influence on her life, and she wanted to find a way to give them all some thing back in return. Rebecca was able to totally redo the space, including painting and providing new furniture.
Emmalisa Stangarone—Pleasantville Troop 1159
Emmalisa's Girl Scout Gold Award Project was designed around “Bringing the Arts to Pleasantville” by creating a website for a not for profit music school, called the Academy of Music Arts. Emmalisa designed the site, took photographs for it, and worked with the director to gather all of the information needed on the site. She also helped them with their music series by taking pictures, advertising and volunteering at the event. In addition, Emmalisa designed and carried out a series of music workshops with children at the .
—Pleasantville Troop 2689
Samantha’s Girl Scout Gold Award Project was designed to create and implement a system for parents to voluntarily register information about their child to be kept on record with the Village of in case of an emergency. Samantha worked directly with Detective Wollman to run an event where children with special needs in our community could register, be photographed and meet a uniformed Police Officer to become more comfortable and familiar with a first responder. Samantha was also responsible for recruiting and training over 20 volunteers to work with the children during this event.
"They are all great leaders that we can all be proud of. I look forward to great things from them in the future!" Ball said.
Also on Sunday, Pleasantville Troop 3013 received the Bronze Award, the highest recognition for Junior Girl Scouts.
Troops 1161 and 2136 received their Silver Award, the highest award for Cadette Scouts.