Thursday, May 26, 2016

Honoring awesome: Volunteers presented with awards at annual meeting

Karen Facteau, a Girl Scouts volunteer in Indiana, earned the Thanks Badge I, a national award, from Girl Scouts of the USA.

This honor is given to a registered Girl Scout volunteer whose service continues to impact the entire council of Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania or the Girl Scout movement in extraordinary ways and is separate from service that has been previously recognized.
A Girl Scout volunteer for 25 years, Facteau is a Service Unit team member in Indiana, a Program Team member, and co-director of Blue Spruce Day Camp.

Lindy Fails, co-director of Blue Spruce Day camp, nominated Facteau for the award. "Karen is always enthusiastic about Girl Scouts and gives it her all," Fails said. "She has a Girl Scout heart."

Fails isn't the only one singing Facteau's praises. GSWPA staff also applauds her hard work and commitment to the Girl Scout movement.

"Karen is amazing," said Brandy Varner, GSWPA Recruitment Specialist. "Her love of Girl Scouting and commitment to supporting our mission is evident in all that she does."

Annie Wardrop, Girl Experience Specialist, added, "Karen is 110 percent dedicated to helping girls reach their full potential. I admire her dedication and enthusiasm!"

Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania CEO Patricia A. Burkart presented the award to Facteau at the annual meeting in April.

Several other amazing Girl Scouts volunteers were presented with awards at the annual meeting as well:

Volunteer of the Year
This award celebrates the work of a volunteer who has made a significant impact on the entire council with their time, talent, and treasure in the last service year and which merits council-wide recognition. This award is only given to one volunteer per year, and candidates may not receive the award more than once.

Elizabeth Schendel, Allegheny County, nominated by Sharon Enslen

Previous Awards: Appreciation Pin. Honor Pin. Thanks I. President's Award.

“In the past year, Betty was instrumental in forming the council-wide Travel Committee for GSWPA. The goal is to offer girls the trip of a lifetime and the Travel Committee will ensure that these adventures will be fun, full of learning, and safe,” said Enslen. “Betty's hard work and determination made this committee happen.”

Appreciation Pin
This pin recognizes an individual’s exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience primarily within one geographic service area.

Amy Dobbins, Cambria County, nominated by Leslie Adams 

Adams said that Dobbins “works to provide Service Unit programming based on the girls' interests.”

Shelda Repko, Blair County, nominated by GSWPA staff member Davina Bixby 

Bixby said that Repko “is a mentor to her fellow leaders and has taught them the core fundamentals of what Girl Scouts is all about.”

President's Award
The President’s Award recognizes the efforts of a service-delivery team or committee whose exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience surpassed team goals and resulted in significant, measurable impact toward reaching the council’s overall goals.

5904-Gateway SU, Allegheny County, nominated by GSWPA staff member Deb Gerhard

“They encourage the GSLE, set goals, travel every other year and work with the community: clothing drives, caroling for cans to support food pantries, birthday bags for Salvation Army,” Gehrard said.

5306-National Pike, Fayette County, nominated by GSWPA staff member Janelle Upole 

Upole said, “National Pike mentored another Service Unit, offering guidance, support and strong communication, offering financial management planning so that the other SU could stay on its feet.”

2642-Freeport Area, Butler County, nominated by GSWPA staff member Deb Gerhard

“This service until works tirelessly to give the girls the programs they want” Gerhard said. “All SU team members are Outdoor, Archery, American Canoe association level 2 trained.”

Celebrate the outstanding work of Girl Scout volunteers!
Consider nominating the outstanding volunteers in your area for a Girl Scouts award. The deadline to nominate is Wednesday, August 10! Learn more about adult awards on our website.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Greensburg Girl Scouts to deliver cookies to local first responders

Girl Scouts from troops 27038 and 26831 in Greensburg delivered Girl Scout Cookies to local police, firefighters, paramedics and other emergency personnel in April.

The girls collected donations for the cookies at booth sales in the month of March during the annual Girl Scout Cookie Program.

They raised enough donations to purchase 300 boxes of cookies, which they will deliver in person to volunteer fire departments, the police department, the emergency room at Westmoreland Regional Hospital and other local agencies throughout the Greensburg area.

“The girls wanted to thank the men and women who work to keep us safe,” said Chrissy Schaeffer, leader of troop 27038. “We’ve always had great support from them, especially from the Crabtree Volunteer Fire Department, so the girls wanted to find a way to give something back.”

The two Girl Scout troops include 50 girls in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program not only helps Greensburg Girl Scouts say thanks to local first responders, it funds many exciting adventures for them this summer.

The girls are planning a trip to Savannah, Georgia, in July to visit the birthplace of Girl Scouts’ founder Juliette Gordon Low. They will also attend a day camp, visit Idlewild and Soak Zone and enjoy a day at the Pittsburgh Zoo this summer.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

One girl, one goal and 17,000 smiles

Since 2014, Greensburg Girl Scout Emily Ruggieri has led an effort to deliver Girl Scout Cookies to patients, family and staff at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

She started the program in memory of her late father, Ethan Milliron, who received care there while battling bone cancer.

Milliron died when Emily was only 18 months old.

Over the past three years, Emily and her network of supporters have collected donations to send 17,000 boxes to the hospital.

Girl Scouts from Greensburg, Sharpsville, Indiana, Brackenridge, Cranberry, Ford City, Latrobe, and Ligonier joined together in this bold mission, collecting donations during the Girl Scout Cookie Program.

Emily’s parents Suzanne and John Ruggieri coordinated a social media campaign to help the girls cast a wider net for donations to the program, which is named GSCOOKIES4CHP.

Donations for the Girl Scout Cookies rolled in from all 50 states and from countries around the globe. Emily enjoyed tracking all the locations that donated on a large map on the wall in the Ruggieri’s home.

Gina Cassidy, from Bedford, New Hampshire, heard about Emily through a friend in Florida.

“My friend knew that Emily was looking for someone from New Hampshire to donate,” she said. “He tagged me in a Facebook post from Emily’s mother and I thought it was great, so I donated!"

A former Girl Scout leader, Cassidy was happy to see Girl Scouts working together to make a difference. “I never met Emily, but hearing how she wanted to bring joy to sick children in memory of her dad was without a doubt a great cause.”

Australian Lisa O’Malley also heard about GSCOOKIES4CHP through a friend on Facebook and decided to put her country on the map of locations that had donated to the cause.

“I thought Emily was very brave and her story so inspiring,” said O’Malley. “She turned what was a very personal loss into a positive and put her energy in to trying to help others. I am very proud of her.”

For Emily’s mother, Suzanne, GSCOOKIES4CHP not only benefits the patients at the hospital, but also helps the girls learn skills and meet new people. “Girls met other Girl Scouts, they made friends, shared in a common goal, learned about philanthropy and public speaking,” she said.

Take action projects like GSCOOKIES4CHP highlight what Girl Scouting is all about—building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.