December 2019

Happy Green Holidays!

Green is the symbol for nature, youth, and the hope of a long life. That is why since ancient times, this color has been associated with the holidays. Some historians believe it began with a plant, because holly is the one bright thing in colder climates. Nature has given us it as a symbol. I also like to think that is why green is associated with Girl Scouts as well. We Girl Scouts are often that one bright thing in our community that shines, spotlighting our girls and bringing happiness and hope. My sincere best wishes for a shiny, happy holiday for you, your family, and friends, saturated in Girl Scout green.

Serving Their Community by Serving Pancakes

Troop 70563: Brigit M., Maddie M., Natalie F.

Girl Scout Troop 70563 have been supporting local veterans by volunteering at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) spring pancake breakfasts for years. Now they are seniors at Chardon High School and are working on their Gold Awards. When one of the troop members, Brigit Morgan, approached the VFW leadership about hosting a pancake breakfast to raise funds for all the young women pursuing their Gold Awards, the members of the VFW were glad to oblige and their members volunteered to help! 

Brigit M., approached the VFW leadership about hosting a pancake breakfast to raise funds for all the young women pursuing their Gold Awards, the members of the VFW were glad to oblige and their members volunteered to help! 

The three seniors have all chosen projects for their Gold Award to improve Chardon Local Schools. Brigit M. is renovating portions of the Chardon Middle School band room. Maddie M. is installing a handicap railing at Chardon Memorial Field. Natalie F. is building a reading hut at Munson Elementary. Two other members of the troop are juniors in high school who are already working to conceptualize a project for their Gold Awards. Thanks to Troop Leader Anne Morgan for the invitation! An added bonus to this event was having the best blueberry pancakes ever with real maple syrup!

A Shed for Good

Troop 70852 at the shed dedication

Girl Scout Troop 70852 invited me to the dedication ceremony of the new Chagrin Falls Park Community Center sheds. This organization provides critical donations, services, and support to the most needy in their community. The Community Center was running out of space to store donations like cribs, household supplies, and toys, and had to turn much needed items away.

These Girl Scouts didn’t hesitate when they heard about this need in their community and made it their Silver Award project. They built a beautiful storage shed from the ground up, digging the foundation, nailing every board and roof. They didn’t stop there! They rehabbed an existing shed by replacing rotten boards and missing shingles and then sought donations so they could paint the two sheds to match. Congratulations Sophie, Charlotte, Lindsey, Madison, Emma, Ashley, Lisa, Sabrina, and Sammy!

A Journey Panel

Troop 70539 of Strongsville recently convened a panel on women in typically male-dominated fields of employment. This was part of their work on the MEdia Journey.  I was pleased to be asked to represent the non-profit community. Other panelist included: Marcie Finney, Executive Director of the Cleveland Core Blood Center, Stephanie Malanowski; Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Lorain County, Vicky Kelly; Software Developer for OverDrive, Elizabeth Radachi; Professional Dancer at North Pointe Ballet; and Domenique DeMaria, Transition Specialist with Paycomm. The girls in the troop were well prepared with questions for the panelists on their backgrounds, challenges, struggles, and pressures. They also got great advice for anyone interested in these fields. Thanks to leader Samantha Hovanic for the invitation. 

A Vision for the Future

Thanks to the Future Vision Foundation for inviting me to their annual event. Future Vision Foundation is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to inspire and celebrate breakthroughs in vision research through powerful documentaries of discovery, impact, and hope. The Foundation honors three individuals each year and their extraordinary accomplishments in vision care. The journeys of these medical pioneers are documented by the Foundation to show at major events around the world. I, along with a few staff and some lucky Girl Scouts, were able to see these documentaries and learn about the newest discoveries to help those suffering from eye disease. Honorees will be able to show these films to raise awareness and foster additional funding for their research. I was proud to see our Girl Scouts interviewed and talk about their inspirations and aspirations. 

An Award for Nordonia

I was pleased to represent Girl Scouts at Nordonia High School’s annual awards event celebrating athletic and scholastic accomplishments. Many Girl Scouts were among the hundreds of awardees and Girl Scouts of North East Ohio’s Nordonia Service Unit received a special IMPACT Award in recognition of their dedication and continued commitment to Nordonia High School students. The principal of the school mentioned several recent Gold Award projects that made lasting impacts on the students and faculty. Tammy Guy received special recognition as the long-time GSNEO Service Unit Director in Nordonia who has been and continues to be a catalyst and mentor to so many Girl Scouts. Thanks so much to everyone in Nordonia for our strong partnership! 

Baldwin Wallace University Scholarship

I am pleased to announce Baldwin Wallace University is partnering with a select number of organizations in Northeast Ohio that are preparing young people to live productive, fulfilling, and service-oriented lives and Girl Scouts of North East Ohio is one of these organizations. The awards are designed to encourage future college students to participate in community-based organizations and be in a stronger position to gain access to a high-quality college education. Students simply list their involvement with the community-based organization on their application to Baldwin Wallace and provide a letter of reference from the community organization to be considered for the related community-based award. $12,000 will be awarded to qualifying students and the award can be renewed for four years! Check out our Scholarships page for this and many more exciting offers. 

Sprucing up the Chickadee Diner

I hope some of you have had a chance to stop at the Chickadee Diner at Camp Ledgewood, a new spot to interact with wildlife. Troop 90494 turned into “mulch warriors” cleaning up the area for their Junior Animal Habitats badge. The eight girls in the troop shoveled, hauled, dumped, and spread almost 20 carts of mulch! They also lined the path with fallen branches. Their leader Alice Incorvia stated “These girls were so awesome tackling this project with a smile on their face and love for the chickadees in their hearts.” Thanks so much girls.

Women of Distinction Nominations

2019 Women of Distinction recipients

I always look forward to the Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon and meeting the new class of Awardees and Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship recipients. If you know someone who you feel has made their community a better place to live and work, nominate them! Nomination forms will be open until December 31 at 5 p.m. Fill out the forms here.

Save the date for the 2020 Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, May 12 at the InterContinental Hotel Cleveland! Tickets go on sale February 24.

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