Girl Scout Troop 80344 received the Gold Level President's Volunteer Service Award for outstanding community service. A ceremony was held at Roosevelt Elementary School in McDonald on April 27, 2012, and included special guests Jon Wike from the Office of Ohio State Senator Capri Cafaro, Ohio State Representative Sean O'Brien, McDonald Mayor and Mrs. Glenn Holmes, Pastor Carla Davies of Woodland Park United Methodist Church, and Roosevelt Elementary School Principal David Vecchione.
As the Girl Scouts were congratulated by their special guests, Principal Vecchione, Troop Leader Candice Ward and Assistant Troop Leaders Lori Gillespie and Patricia Vilk-Worrell presented the awards, which consisted of the Gold Level Service Pin, a letter signed by President Barack Obama, Official Service Recognition Certificate, and a certificate stating the activities each girl completed to earn the award. As a special surprise, Jon Wike presented the Girl Scouts with individual resolutions from the Ohio Senate recognizing them for earning the prestigious award. The Arbor Day Foundation and Dominion generously provided the "Gift of Trees" for the Girl Scouts, who each received a pine tree seedling.
After morning announcements, a summary of the accomplishments and congratulations was announced to the student body. The Girl Scouts were called on to be individually recognized by the troop leaders and special guests.
This past year, Girl Scout Troop 80344 of McDonald served 1,293 hours helping others and is already working hard toward next year's award. Three Girl Scouts contributed an additional 100 hours each toward the troop's total. As an added surprise, the dedicated parent volunteers who met the eligibility requirements for the award were also honored, including Assistant Troop Leaders Lori Gillespie and Patricia Vilk-Worrell, JoMarie Jones, and Greg Ward. Troop Leader Candice Ward recently earned the Gold Level Award through her employer.
These Girl Scouts have participated in 39 projects during 2011, some of which include: St. Jude's Recycled Card Program, Project Linus for the Akron Children's Hospital Beeghly Campus, Woodland Park United Methodist Church Replenishment Project, AdoptaPlatoon Soldier Pen Pal Program, Veteran's Day Cards for the Cleveland Veteran's Hospital, Reverse Trick-or-Treat and Holiday Project at the Woodland Park Retirement Apartments, Make It Don't Take It Card Project, National Emergency Responder's Day Cards for McDonald EMT, Police and Firefighters, and Angel Tree Packages. They also took up various product collections for Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley, Animal Welfare League, Angels for Animals, Goodwill, Woodland Park United Methodist Church, USO, and Socks for Soldiers.
This troop is also very excited to receive a competitive grant from the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation in support of The People's Garden Project.
"Our "Plant"iful Garden Project, which the Girl Scouts will be working this summer right in our own community, will enable the scouts to design, plan, implement, and maintain a project from start to finish," said Cadice Ward. "This is an amazing opportunity for the Girl Scouts to partner with our village leadership, residents of the Woodland Park Apartments, and our troop families to create a wildlife garden for the enjoyment of our residents. We truly appreciate the community support."
"Our troop is very appreciative of all the support we receive from our Girl Scout families, service organizations, Woodland Park United Methodist Church, school administrators, state and local government leaders and Girl Scouts of North East Ohio. With all of us partnering together we can continue working to make the world a better place as we put the principles of the Girl Scout promise and law into action. Our scouts are definitely learning the life skills needed to become tomorrow's leaders, and it is a privilege for our troop leadership to work with each and every one of them."