Five Yorktown Girl Scouts recently received their Gold Awards, which is the highest award girls can earn in scouting.
The girls, from Yorktown Troop 1386, are Julia Gonfiantini ("Spread a little Sunshine" project), Laura Leddy ("125 Years of helping Others"), Emily Monigan ("Sweet Dreams"), Anna Sommer ("The Joey Project") and Nina Wahl ("Yorktown Girl Scout.com").
Julia Gonfiantini loves children and is a natural-born entertainer. She has combined those two attributes and decided to work with profoundly disabled children at Sunshine Hospital to make their world a little brighter. Over several months, she arranged various events and activities to reach out to these kids – singing, bird house painting, Christmas parties and more. The director and staff of the Sunshine Hospital were overjoyed by the obvious caring and commitment she brought to the project.
Laura Leddy discovered the Visiting Nurse Association of Brooklyn was getting set to celebrate their 125th anniversary in 2013. She was also aware that they had a room full of historical materials that was not catalogued or organized. She offered to help the organization put together a display of their history in time for the anniversary. Laura encouraged the younger Girl Scouts to help her. She taught them how to handle the archival material property and how to create a catalog of the items. Through her perseverance and determination, Laura preserved the cherished historical records and memorabilia of the community organization.
Emily Monigan learned that children in foster care have lost not only their family, but also a feeling of security and belonging. They have few things to call their own and never know when they will be moved onto another situation. Emily worked on educating people, especially children, about this situation and collected hundreds of pairs of pajamas and story books during the process. The books and pajamas collected are being distributed to the kids through the national non-profit "The Pajama Program."
Anna Sommer is passionate about photography and animals (especially those who need a home). She is convinced people need pets to enhance their lives, especially after her family adopted their dog Joey from a shelter. Anna created a photo exhibit and encourages people in the community to take pictures of their pets and write a paragraph about why this animal is important to them. Instead of the traditional reception for the opening of the exhibit, Anna created an event to teach about the plight of animals in shelters. She invited organizations who work with animals to attend.
Nina Wahl worked with the leadership of the Yorktown Community Service Team to create a website for the exchange of information and a go-to place for any scouting questions – yorktowngirlscout.com. The site is easy to navigate and full of forms, fliers and other "stuff" leaders need, but dont' always have the tools at their home to use. Now, Girl Scout leaders, community members, parents and scouts will have a quick and easy place to go for info on anything Girl Scouts.
Their Girl Scouts leaders are Susan Sommer, Julia Liucci and Joyce McCoy.
Photos are courtesy of Yorktown councilman Vishnu Patel.