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Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Girls Scouts recruitment this Saturday

post by Steve Ognibene in batavia city schools, girl scouts, Recruitment

The Girl Scouts of Western New York is having a Great Girl Scout Sign-up Day. The recruitment is to get new girls of all ages to sign on to experiment in being artistic and creative. Come join us! The event will be this Saturday Sept. 21, from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. at the Batavia Girl Scout Office, 5 Jackson St., Batavia.

For more information contact Melissa Landers at 585-993-0462 or [email protected]

Pictured above from left are: Allison Lougheed finance consultant, Jessica Costley events coordinator, Melissa Landers registrar, Michelle Maniace service unit manager/product sales manager and Laura Ranalli secretary/recognition the new service unit team. (They are also leaders and co-leaders.)

Monday, December 10, 2012 at 10:17 am

Byron-Bergen third-grader founds 'Jr. Angels in Action' -- for kids, by kids

It all started with a little girl with a big heart.

Angelique Heick, the 8-year-old from Bergen who competed as a finalist in the "American Miss" pageant in August, spent a large part of the last year taking money from her monthly allowances and using it to purchase toys for underprivileged children in Genesee County.

She donated 12 toys for each month of the year to Community Action Angels of Genesee County, which is the volunteer arm of Community Action of Orleans & Genesee. It's made up of volunteers dedicated to gathering donations for toys, food, clothing, extra money and other necessities for Genesee County residents in need.

But this wasn't enough. When Angelique learned about all that the "Angels" do to support needy kids and families, she was bothered that there was no such volunteer program for kids her age.

"I wanted to know why there was no Community Action Junior Angels," she said, "so I decided to start my own."

Now, with the help of 100 Girl Scouts -- officially dubbed "Jr. Angels" -- their families, Community Action and others, Angelique has achieved this dream.

Angelique -- a third-grader at Byron-Bergen Elementary School, a Girl Scout since age 4 and a member of Troop 42174 -- inspired her Girl Scout Troop with her idea and efforts to collect funding promises from local businesses along with three friends -- Pat, Lisa and Annet.

Troop 42174 Leader Rene Vurraro gathered Girl Scout Troops from Byron-Bergen, Pavilion and Le Roy to help with a community service event in response to Angelique's vision.

When Community Action, in turn, heard about what the Scouts were doing, they decided to partner with them to make this a much bigger, annual event called "Circle of Giving" and to develop a Community Action Jr. Angels program.

The first "Circle of Giving" was held on Saturday at Byron-Bergen High School.  The Jr. Angels were there to collect donations of food, clothing and toys, and to make cards for the recipients.

The goal is to eventually turn this into an opportunity for area Girl Scouts to earn a badge.

Beyond that, Community Action has included this project in a book of statewide initiatives so that people in other areas of New York State can read about it and get similar projects started.

"One 8-year-old's dream could turn into thousands of Girl Scouts doing the same thing," said Pat Standish, founder of Community Action Angels of Genesee County.

Standish gave the Scouts an inspirational talk about her experience with the "Angels" and told them how much people will appreciate what they are doing.

"When I first started (with Community Action Angels)," she said, "I thought kids would want things like bicycles and iPods. But what's important to them is not what you give, but that you show that you care."

She also stressed the importance of team effort when it comes to the "Angels" and similar volunteer initiatives.

"I may have had the idea (as founder)," Standish said, "but I needed the help of volunteers to make it happen. And Angelique had an idea, but she couldn't have done it without help from all of you and your families."

Organizations that sponsored this endeavor include Stahlka Agency, Complete Payroll Processing, the Sallie Mae Fund and First Niagara Bank.

"They gave money so the kids wouldn't have to wait (to get started)," Standish said.

Dee Dee Hintz, Angelique's grandmother and legal guardian, expressed gratitude to Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High School Principal Aaron Johnson and Elementary School Principal Brian Meister for handing out fliers for this event.

"I think this is the beginning of something big," Hintz said, noting the number of volunteers involved in the overall project.

"Next year will be even bigger," she said. "(Angelique) already knows what she wants to do next year. She'll carry this on for at least two or three more years."

A final note

"Circle of Giving" is the philosophy of Community Action Angels, which encourages its beneficiaries to "pay it forward."

According to Standish, many of the people helped by the "Angels" over the years have become volunteers.

Special thanks to Angelique's mom, Jennifer Cejka, for sharing background information prior to the event and for providing the inspiration for the article's title.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Girl Scout cookie campaign begins Saturday

post by Billie Owens in announcements, girl scouts

Press release:

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is America’s leading business and economic literacy program for girls. During the 2012 sale, which begins Oct. 6, local Girl Scouts will put their sales and marketing skills into action as they strive to reach an unprecedented goal: Sell 1.7 million boxes of cookies.

“When a Girl Scout sells you cookies, she’s doing more than just handing you a box. She’s creating a plan, interacting with customers, and working as part of a team. She’s building a lifetime of skills and confidence which validates an important part of Girl Scouting which is to inspire girls to reach their full potential,“ said Cindy L. Odom, chief executive officer.

No matter which cookie is your favorite, each cookie has a mission -- to help girls do great things. Girl Scout cookies are once again $3.50 per box. All the popular favorites are back, with a NEW packaging look, including Caramel de Lites, Lemonades, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Peanut Butter Patties, Thanks-A-Lot, and Thin Mints.

NEW THIS YEAR -- Mango Cremes! "Eat with health in mind — Mango Crèmes with Nutrifusion™ Girl Scout Cookies is a tangy, refreshing tropical treat." Girl Scouts go greener with new Lemonades™ and Thanks-A-Lot® cookies. These cookies are offered in a tray with film overwrap and no carton. By removing the carton, 300 tons of paperboard a year is saved. Cookies in these film overwrapped trays freeze well so consumers can stock up.

Over the next two and a half months, girls will take orders door-to-door in their neighborhoods, and set up “cookie booths” at convenient locations and organize neighborhood walk abouts. Participating in the cookie program provides an opportunity for girls to develop budgets, design and implement creative marketing strategies, and master the art of both sales and customer service.

They actively participate in setting goals for their sale and in deciding how they will spend the proceeds. Most troops use their cookie revenue to pay for troop activities, special interest projects or for a wonderful trip. 

Besides using traditional marketing and sales techniques, Girl Scouts will also use the cookie program as an opportunity to spark some creativity. Some will make formal presentations; others will create displays that outline their troop goals and how they will use the money. Last year, one local Girl Scout set up a “drive-thru” cookie booth in her circular driveway. Her signage directed customers to the booth where each day she had established hours for customers to drive through and purchase cookies.

This year our community service organization is a partnership between Girl Scouts of Western New York and the Niagara Falls Air Force Base to provide Girl Scout cookies to men and women in our military and armed forces in WNY and overseas.

It costs roughly $320 to provide a year’s worth of opportunities and volunteer support for each Girl Scout.

 “Through the cookie program, the Girl Scouts of Western New York is able to achieve its mission of developing leadership, decision-making skills, and commitment to community.” Odom says.

**********************

Young entrepreneurs have been at work in the Girl Scout organization since 1917, when girls baked the cookies in their own kitchens and sold them door-to-door. Their efforts helped build a long-standing tradition of girls working together to achieve their goals and become leaders in their own communities and beyond. The skills they develop and the memories they make will last long after the cookies are gone.

Girl Scouts of Western New York (GSWNY) serves over 20,000 girls and 9,000 adult volunteers across the GSWNY jurisdiction; including Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming counties.  The council’s administrative headquarters is located in Buffalo. GSWNY program and service centers are located in Buffalo, Batavia, Jamestown, Lockport, Niagara Falls and Rochester.

Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Through the Girl Scout Leadership Development Program, girls discover their personal best and prepare for a positive future, connect with others in an increasingly diverse world, and take action to solve problems and improve their communities.  

A premier voice for girls and a leading expert on their growth and development, Girl Scouts is a highly regarded, contemporary organization. Girl Scouts offers girls ages 5-17 remarkable opportunities to develop values and contribute to society as leaders, thinkers and responsible citizens.

Founded in Savannah, Ga., on March 12, 1912,  GSUSA continues to be the leading authority on girls, with a membership of more than 3.7 million girls and adults.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 8:04 am

Le Roy 5K to support Girl Scout's trip to Washington, D.C.

post by Jamie VanWyngaarden in announcements, 5K, girl scouts, Le Roy

Girl Scouts of WNY are hosting its first ever Running of the Greens Walk/Run in Le Roy to raise funds for the Junior Troop's trip tp Washington, D.C. this spring.

The girls are planning on joining around 200,000 other scouts and families at the nation's Capitol in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts on June 9.

It's not every day you can celebrate this 100th birthday and for these fourth grade Wolcott Street students, this trip is once in a lifetime.

In March of1 912, with one woman's vision and just a handful of girls, the first ever Girl Scout meeting was held in Savannah, Georgia. Today with millions of members worldwide, the organization aims to empower and strengthen young girls.

In LeRoy, race organizers, Melissa Cone and Kate Flint are empowering and improving the lives of their Girl Scout troop by inspiring them to action. The 5K  race integrates perfectly with the "getting fit" theme they are currently teaching the girls.

Instead of doing the usual fundraisers, they had a vision of activating the community in an unusual way.

"We wanted to do something out of the ordinary, create a family event, and get the community active," Flint said.

As these young girls awareness increases of living healthy, so is their excitement for the walk/run.The 9 and 10-year-olds will be there early race day to set-up and will also be seen running and walking the course with the other racers.

"You will be able to identify the girls by the Girl Scout sash they will be wearing that day," Flint said.

Even though this 5K is to raise funds for the upcoming trip to D.C., it is also meant to raise awareness of the benefits of getting up and getting moving. The race parallels the organization's earliest goals in 1912 of getting people outdoors doing something together.

Organizers hope to see the community take a step towards fitness and join these Girl Scouts at the finish line.

Both walkers, runners and people of all ages and fitness abilities are welcome. Music entertainment, post-race refreshments, and prizes for top finishers are included in the event.

The race begins at 9 a.m., Sunday, March 11.

The start and finish lines are at the Summit Street tennis courts.

The pre-registration fee of $20 includes a long-sleeve race shirt. Deadline is March 1. Fee increases to $25 after March 1.

Forms and more details can be found at www.gswny.weebly.com.

Contact Melissa Cone at 507-5437 or Kate Flint at 813-9557 with any questions or to sponser the event.

Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Grown-up Girl Scouts giving back

post by Will Barton in 90th Birthday, girl scouts, Gregorina Cooper

Gregorina Cooper, known to friends as "Greg," is turning 90 on Jan. 16. For Greg, a volunteer with the Girl Scouts for more than 70 years, turning the page to a ninth decade and heading toward the century mark is pretty remarkable, but Greg's story is about more than longevity.

Saturday, in the community room at Monsignor Kirby Apartments here in Batavia, where Greg has resided since 2008, a celebration of her milestone birthday was attended by grown-up Girl Scouts from destinations spanning Canada to Buffalo and Warsaw to Rochester.

Though Greg was married to Kenneth D. Cooper -- who shared a love of children, and was very involved in Boy Scouts -- the couple never had children of their own.

Six of the Girl Scouts, now adults in their 50's and 60's, and a couple of husbands, formed a support group for Greg Cooper. 

It started with a few of the girls visiting Cooper's place in Warsaw, and helping her with maintenance on her home, cleaning up the yard, and decorating for the holidays.

Members of the group include: Ann Salter, an administrator at the Research Foundation for the State University of New York; Jane Gerken, a teacher; Elle Howard-Fronckowiak, a nurse, plus her husband, Ron; Carol Van Tassel-Creighton, a clinical social worker; Cherie Seifert-Corey, a nurse; and Mary Ann Faulring-Kreuder, a teacher, and her husband, Tom.

For years, Cooper would go to Florida and skip the WNY winters, and the girls would help her to pack up for the trip down South.

Some even flew down to Florida to help her get ready for the return trip. More and more Cooper depended on the girls for extra help, and in 2008, Cooper had a chance to move to the apartments here in Batavia, to be closer to one of her former scouts who is a nurse.

"I figured, I'm safe here, so I moved in," Cooper said.

The group now helps Cooper with shopping, getting around town and medical care.

Even at a time when she needs extra help, Cooper continues to live and love life, she said, enjoying reading, crafts, card games, shopping, farmer's markets, going to concerts and attending church on Sundays.

Cooper doesn’t miss a birthday or anniversary of all these girls and their spouses, always remembering to send a card or make a phone call, and her situation is a great example of that old saying, "You get what you give."

Cooper was awarded the Thanks Badge by the Girl Scouts on her 75th year.

When asked how long she'd been involved with the Girl Scouts, she said, "I'm still involved!"

The community room was bustling Saturday with multiple media outlets and many visitors filling the room.

"I didn't know they'd do all this," Cooper said. "I didn't expect all of this."

Cooper's friends and fans said they were "privileged" to give back to a woman who had given so much to them.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Girl Scouts tour to give thanks

Some members from local Brownie Girl Scout Troop 42001 went around to visit some local places today to give thanks before the upcoming holiday. First stop was at Community Action of Orleans and Genesee to present some donations of goods to help familes for Thanksgiving.

We presented to Lisa Wittmeyer, case manager (left), some donations from our troop shown above. Next to her are Noelia Ventura, Alyssa Ognibene, Portia Ranalli, Co-Leader Steve Ognibene and Brandi Lang-Smith.

Then our troop visited and donated Girl Scout Cookies to Justice for Children pictured below.

Accepting the cookies was Julie Walsh (pictured middle holding our letter).

Our last stop was M&T Bank to give our thanks to Bank Manager Mike Easton (left, below) and present him with a Certificate of Sponsorship for allowing us to use his bank for our cookie booth sales this year. 

Our troop did very well in cookie sales and together with individual sales we sold 1,000 boxes of cookies. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

(Photos submitted by Steve Ognibene)

Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Santa visits Oliver's Candies in Batavia

post by Rick D. Franclemont in girl scouts, holiday, jaycees, Oliver's, Santa

Today was Santa's annual visit to Oliver's Candies in Batavia. Store Manager Jeremy Liles said that the event is held to kick off the Christmas season every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The line of kids waiting to see Santa stretched across the store to the door.

Some of the kids, happy to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas.

Outside was a petting zoo for the kids.

The Batavia Area Jaycees were on hand with refreshments.

Just in case you weren't prepared for Santa's Christmas visit, the Girl Scouts had plenty of cookies. Just add milk.

Friday, November 18, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Photos: Girls selling Girl Scout cookies

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, girl scouts

When I stopped into M&T Bank in Batavia late this afternoon, I was greeted by an enthusiastic group of Girl Scouts selling Girl Scout cookies. It's that time of year -- have you bought yours yet?

Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Girl Scouts collect cans for ailing child, will present money to family tomorrow

post by Daniel Crofts in brooklyn sputore, fundraisers, girl scouts

Daisy Girl Scouts Alyssa Ognibene, Lidia Pehrson, Brooklynn Pariso, Arianna Armstrong and Kelsey Verton (front, left to right) were on Thomas Avenue in the city today along with troupe co-leader Tara Pariso (back).

They were collecting cans to raise money for Brooklyn Sputore, a baby girl who suffers from a life-threatening condition called Vein of Galen Brain Malformation. Click on the following link for previous coverage: www.thebatavian.com/tags/brooklyn-sputore

Tara attends Northgate Free Methodist Church along with the Sputore family. She wanted to do something to help Brooklyn while at the same time giving the Daisies a community service project.

As of noon today, the girls had been to 25 houses in Batavia and collected more than 2,000 cans and bottles. They will present their proceeds to the family tomorrow at a fundraiser for Brooklyn, which will take place at St. Joseph's School, 2 Summit St. in Batavia and include a spaghetti dinner, Chinese auction and other raffles.

Pre-sale tickets to tomorrow's fundraiser can be purchased from Paul Sputore, 781-8138, or at the door. Cost is $8 for adults and $4 for children 12 and younger. But you might want to hurry, because there are less than 50 tickets left.

For more information on Brooklyn and the fundraiser, please visit the family's Facebook page via the following link: www.facebook.com/pages/Brooklyn-Grace-Sputore/122679241137680?sk=info#!/pages/Brooklyn-Grace-Sputore/122679241137680?sk=wall

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 12:05 am

Batavia Girl Scouts move into new location on Jackson Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, girl scouts, Jackson Street

The local Girl Scouts have a new home, 5 Jackson St., Batavia.

After the location the Girl Scouts occupied in City Centre was sold, the local office and retail shop was relocated to vacant retail space just about a block away.

It took about a month to get settled in, but the retail shop is now set up and the staff is ready to help local scouts and leaders.

The scouts will host an open house at its new location from 3 to 6 p.m., Monday, Feb. 28.

The grand opening will include free drawings, prizes and discounts on scouting items as well as a food drive for the Salvation Army and Batavia Agri-Business Child Development.

The shop is open from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with the service center opening at 8:30 a.m.

Pictured above, from left, Stephanie Burgett, customer service, Marlene Worthington, membership manager, Kathie Waika, program manager and Robin Ettinger, membership manager.

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