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Girl Scout Community Service Day helped others

Nearly 300 Girl Scouts and volunteers from Rowan and Cabarrus counties gathered at Concord Senior High School recently for Community Service Day.

The gathering was organized by Girl Scout volunteers Beth Leet and Janine Girard with the support of the Trailblazers Girl Scout Service Unit and additional Girl Scout service units in the two counties. This was the fourth year for the event.

The Northwest Cabarrus High School JROTC provided the opening-flag ceremony under the direction of Lt. Col. Calvin Martin and Briana Leonard-Lott.

Troops participated at stations that included stuffing comfort pillows for cancer patients; making children’s toys and blankets for families displaced by fire or crisis situations; creating pet toys for animal shelters; weaving sleeping mats for the homeless; filling health and hygiene kits for homeless veterans; writing cards to military personnel in the hospital and oversees; and bagging pet food for animal shelters and the Meals on Wheels AniMeals program.

The community care stations were hosted by leaders, Girl Scouts and community volunteers.

Girl Scouting begins with learning how to do new things, demonstrating that skill and then teaching the skill to others. Girl Scout Troops 152, 460, 1486, 1584, 167 and 1938 had a part in teaching new skills and hosting the projects.

The corporate sponsor was Rack Room Shoes, which provided refillable water bottles to each participant and promotional items for tote bags. S&D Coffee provided gift baskets for the speakers. Morning snacks were provided by Canteen Vending Services, Food Lion and Frito Lay. Each Girl Scout brought a bag lunch. All snacks left at the end of the program were donated to Esther’s Heart for its children’s backpack program.

Many of the organizations receiving donations from the day provided speakers during lunch, including Torrye Thompson and Robin Holland of Esther’s Heart; Nancy Krapf of Faithful Friends; Cindy Fink of Meals on Wheels Rowan; Brad Hunt of the Concord Fire Department; Beth Crosby of Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte; Michael Dorman of Military Missions in Action; Cacky Higgins of Atrium Health Northeast Cancer Center; and Brittany Ruff Richardson of Sky Candy Balloons.

Several of the speakers told of their personal Girl Scout experiences and encouraged girls to make the most of their time with Girl Scouts. Girard thanked the speakers, sponsors, donors and volunteers who contributed to the success of the event.

After lunch, the girls enjoyed a dance party provided by DJ John Merry of RK Entertainment. Throughout the day, they made crafts, took selfies in the photo booth and had their faces painted. Wilson Thomas and Willmarie Austin, community coordinator for Hornet’s Nest Girl Scout Council, provided face painting.

Hot air balloon rides by Sky Candy Balloons had to be canceled because of stormy weather. Brittany Ruff Richardson offered a brief STEM program.

Ranger Rick volunteered as the Trailblazer first aider, and nurse Dawn Williams was on site in case of emergency.

Allstate volunteers included LaVon Bauer, Melanie Elliot, Tamara Marshall, Mathew Miller, Taylor Osterhout, Dennis Sanchez and Thomas Wilson. These employees volunteered their time before the event by preparing items that would be used in completing the projects. They also worked many of the stations. By volunteering 16 hours, each Allstate volunteer earned $500 Helping Hands Grants through the Allstate Foundation for the Girl Scout Sister 2 Sister Program.

Additional volunteers included Boy Scouts from Cold Springs United Methodist Church Troop 5 and employees of Rack Room Shoes. Adult volunteers from surrounding communities included Mark and Cathy Gaskey, Linda Grebler, Marie Maurer, Patty Murray and Davena Nadell.

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