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21 local Girl Scouts earn highest honor, the Gold Award

The Girl Scouts of Western Ohio will award 21 local girls the Gold Award this weekend, the highest and most prestigious award that Girl Scouts in high school can earn. 

To get the award, girls must complete a service project that reaches beyond the Girl Scout organization and provides lasting benefit to the larger community. Girls commit a minimum of 80 hours to a specific project over the time span of one to two years. The project must include community involvement; an innovative approach; project sustainability; and educating and inspiring others.

The 21 Dayton-are recipients this year are joined by 23 others from Lima, Cincinnati and Toledo in being honored at the Sinclair Community College Ponitz Center at 3 p.m. today. 

RELATED: Here’s how to buy Girl Scout cookies online

The keynote speaker is Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, president of Central State University and 2016 Woman of Distinction. 

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Before the awards ceremony, girls will have a meet and great with local lawmakers: 

State Sens. William Coley, R-Liberty Township, and Steve Wilson, R-Maineville; and State Reps. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, Jim Butler, R-Oakwood, Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek, and Scott Lipps, R-Franklin.

Local Girl Scouts look over the projects that won Gold Awards this year, the top honor for high school Girl Scouts. 21 Dayton-area Girl Scouts received the award this year and were honored at a ceremony at Sinclair Community College Sunday, March 4, 2018. (Katie Wedell)

Here’s a list of the local winners and their projects:

  • Brittney Cook, Conover. Brittney addressed the lack of healthy eating by designing and leading volunteers to construct raised gardening beds in her community to grow fresh vegetables.
  • Maeve Curliss, Beavercreek. Maeve impacted more than 500 people who hopefully will be inspired to evaluate and change their buying habits by making them aware of how Fair Trade operates. 
  • Elizabeth Duckett, Franklin. Concerned for the older patrons unable to climb stairs, Elizabeth created a video showcasing the second floor of an historical museum that could be shown on the first floor.
  • Alyssa Embry, Centerville. Alyssa convinced her church to allow a shortened dress rehearsal of the annual musical specifically for people with special needs and sensory limitations.
  • Gabriella Ferguson,  Beavercreek. With the help of volunteers, Gabriella created a garden with plants and flowers that the disabled will engage in and enjoy for years to come.
  • Anneliese Fisher, Yellow Springs. To teach children good sportsmanship and safety in sports, Anneliese implemented a Sports for More clinic which included a collection of sports items to be donated to an agency connected to the homeless.
  • Ashley Huddleson, Jamestown. Ashley created and implemented a presentation at various locations that focused on how to be safe around horses, impacting more than 200 children.
  • Erica Justice, Fletcher. To spread her love of baking, Erica created and implemented a two-week baking camp at her church for 24 kids ages 6 to 13 that made a lasting impression.
  • Vismaya Manchaiah, Springboro. Vismaya collected over 750 books for the lending library that she established at a local food pantry, holding story time for children one day a week.
  • Emilee Lynn Mason, Miamisburg. Emilee developed a professional pamphlet detailing the background of 10 historical buildings in her area, making it a permanent resource.
  • Megan Maurice, Springboro. Megan created a workshop about women in STEM careers for elementary and middle school aged girls to encourage them toward engineering and STEM related classes in high school.
  • Kera Michaels, Beavercreek. Kera created a workshop so participants at a local bowling alley could improve their math skills in scoring the games. She also created a bowling game for the classroom.
  • Grace Mumford, Beavercreek. Grace held events for middle school kids using board games and emphasizing alternatives to technology, such as reading and cooking, resulting in social interaction and development.
  • Sara Mumford, Beavercreek. Sara created and implemented a presentation all about bats and how to build bat houses, encouraging all of us to do our part in bat conservation.
  • Stephanie Pierce, Fairborn. Stephanie created opportunities for high schoolers to feel more comfortable with senior citizens and who came regularly to play games and talk with them.
  • Ruvi Ranatunga, Springboro. Addressing the issue of illiteracy in Sri Lanka, Ruvi traveled to one of their primary schools with books she collected to help build their library and develop a check-out system.
  • Maria Schlegel, Beavercreek. Maria created and implemented a one-day cost-free retreat for families from a local church to focus on each other without the stresses and distractions of everyday life.
  • Heather Schwarzman, Kettering. Addressing the lack of attention given to the elderly, Heather gathered peer volunteers to organize activities at an area nursing home that included a senior prom.
  • Kade Slonaker, Fairborn. Drawing awareness to the need for feminine hygiene products for homeless women, Kade held six collection drives in the community to donate where needed. 
  • Elizabeth Anne Wiese, Beavercreek. Elizabeth held workshops, impacting over 200 middle school aged girls, to teach them about good lifestyles through dance and healthy eating. 
  • Rebecca Williger, Springboro. She researched and developed a tool kit which included learning activities and games to improve the English language skills of hispanic children in her community.

RELATED: Georgia dad, daughter sing their way to Girl Scout cookie sales

The Girl Scouts of Western Ohio has more than 41,000 members in 32 counties throughout western Ohio and southeastern Indiana.

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