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Millstone Township officials recognize Girl Scout Silver Award winners

MILLSTONE – Five Girl Scouts from Millstone Township have been recognized by the Township Committee after earning their Silver Award and helping the community.

Ninth-graders Georgia Kuchar, Erica Layman, Maeve Muha, Alyssa Pugliese and Sophia Schindel of Girl Scout Troop 1098 received certificates of achievement from the committee on May 2. Each young women earned her Silver Award in November.

Girl Scout leader Theresa Pugliese said the Silver Award is the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn.

“Completing the award requires girls to identify an issue in their community they feel deeply about and develop a project to meet the need,” Pugliese said. “The girls complete at least eight steps, from choosing a service project to seeing it through to completion, and must log at least 50 hours for their project.”

Erica, Maeve and Alyssa worked together on a project they called “Paws 4 a Cause” to spread awareness of abandoned and homeless animals and to seek to help the animals.

Maeve coordinated four fundraising and donation drives to benefit Adopt-A-Pet, Erica created a PowerPoint presentation providing statistics and information about abandoned and homeless animals and how they can be helped, and Alyssa created welcome bags and a brochure containing tips for families that adopt a pet.

The young women said their love of animals and a desire to help inspired them to choose a project that would benefit abandoned and homeless animals, according to the committee.

“Together, we volunteered at a therapy dog clinic where we helped train therapy dogs and my part of the project was I made care packages for dogs that would be adopted,” Alyssa said.

“I helped organize the care packages and worked with our school to raise awareness,” Maeve said.

“I made a PowerPoint presentation including statistics about animal cruelty and euthanization of animals around the world and in [Monmouth] County,” Erica said.

For her project, “Mini-Comfort Library,” Georgia organized book donation drives and built a bookshelf to hold a mini-library for individuals who must spend time in a waiting room at CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township.

“Georgia felt she could make someone’s day a little bit brighter by creating a pastime for them,” committee members said.

Sophia’s project, “Social Buddies,” saw her organize and participate in outings in which teenagers with and without special needs were paired and took part in activities such as basketball, bowling and pizza dinners. According to committee members, Sophia enjoys working with individuals who have special needs.

“My Silver Award was to work with the special needs kids and do peer mentoring,” Sophia said. “We did buddy systems; we would [put] non-special needs kids and special needs kids together. We would go bowling, to the movies and things teens would do this age.”

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