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GC Girl Scouts Honored For Community Service

Political dignitaries praise Gold, Silver and Bronze Award-winners

The Garden City Association of Girl Scouts held its fourth annual awards ceremony on Friday, June 8, to recognize Girl Scouts for their community involvement. Scouts of all ages, their families and local government officials piled into the Garden City Middle School auditorium, where honorees received their respective Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards.

“It’s a pleasure to be with you here this evening,” said New York State Assemblyman Edward Ra. “Garden City has quite a substantial share of the Gold Award winners this year from Nassau County,” he added. Indeed, 12 local “Ambassador” Scouts received the prestigious award that represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouts and is given to recognize community service initiatives. Ambassadors range in age from ninth grade through twelfth grade. “It shows such a maturity at a young age to see the value of community service, to see the value of mentoring the younger Girl Scouts.  I can’t commend you enough and congratulate you enough on behalf of myself as well as Assemblyman Tom McKevitt with whom I have the privilege of representing Garden City in Albany.”

Deputy Mayor John Watras echoed Ra’s praise. “On behalf of Mayor Brudie and the trustees of Garden City, congratulations. It’s all about you guys tonight. Thank you so much for everything you do.”

In addition to the dozen Gold Award recipients, 61 “Cadette” Scouts earned the Silver Award and 57 “Junior” scouts earned the Bronze Award. Cadettes range in age from sixth grade through eighth grade, and Juniors are in fourth or fifth grade. Completing both Junior and Cadette journeys are prerequisites for earning the Gold Award.

“Someone once described the Girl Scout Gold Awards as being ‘what you really want to be remembered for’ in Girl Scouting,” said award ceremony emcee Christine Bernhard.  “For many, the leadership skills, organizational skills, and sense of community and commitment that comes from ‘going for the Gold’ set the foundation for a lifetime of active citizenship.”

This year’s Gold projects included everything from building bilingual libraries in classrooms in a struggling preschool in Brentwood, to creating lifetime memory books, wherein an Ambassador scout worked one-on-one with seniors from the Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation. Some of the other projects focused on raising awareness about illiteracy, homelessness and HIV/AIDS.

“These girls really do demonstrate that Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character, and we can see that these girls are already making our world a better place,” said Dr. Laura Schramm, a member of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County board of directors, which represents 20,000 girls and 7,000 adult volunteers across Nassau County. “The Girl Scout alumni study released earlier this year found that women who have been part of Girl Scouting compared to women who did not share that experience have a stronger sense of self, contribute more to their communities through volunteerism and civic engagement. They are more educated and have higher incomes and economic status. And for those that have three or more years of Girl Scouting, they are also more satisfied with their lives, display more leadership and have reported having more satisfaction in their relationships,” she said.

As Schramm congratulated the award recipients, she also saluted the parents and leaders for their support. “I especially want to commend the Girl Scout leaders and other volunteers who have worked with these girls over the years.”

Outstanding Leader Awards were presented to AnnMarie Marciano and Carol Anne Matina, and Outstanding Adult Volunteer Awards were presented to Bernhard, Jill Debany, Matina, Joanne Meyer-Jendras, Dale O’Brien and Kathie Wysocki.

Following the awards ceremony, which was co-chaired by Marciano and Jacqueline Herrmann, honorees and guests were invited to a reception in the cafeteria, where Gold and Silver project boards were on display.