By Natalie MAIER
The La Cañada Service Unit of the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles Central Region were recently presented with a medal award ceremony on Sunday at the Lanterman Auditorium.
A total of 192 local girls were awarded the bronze, silver and gold medals for community service and outreach programs through the Girl Scouts of United States.
The ceremony began with the flag presentation led by junior Troop 16691 followed by the recitation of the Girl Scout Law and Promise.
The keynote speaker was former California State Assemblymember Anthony Portantino.
Ceremony chairwoman Christy Frandsen gave the welcome and addressed each troop and their medal award project.
The Girl Scout juniors were presented with the bronze medals first. In order to achieve a bronze medal, a Girl Scout must be in either fourth or fifth grade and have completed at least 15 hours of community service.
The silver medals were presented next. For a Girl Scout cadette to receive this medal, each troop member must complete a project that involves at least 30 hours demonstrating leadership and commitment to the community.
According to Frandsen, only 5% of all Girl Scouts in the nation go on to receive the gold medal. However, in La Cañada Flintridge, 50% of all Brownies stay in the organization long enough and work hard enough to eventually earn the gold medal.
After the silver medals were distributed, La Cañada Flintridge mayor Laura Olhasso gave a speech congratulating each Girl Scout and encouraged each to continuing serving their community.
“I’m a firm believer in the saying “It takes a village to raise a child,’” Olhasso said. “Tonight we celebrate the village that helped raise [these girls].”
A total of 33 senior Girl Scouts were presented with the gold medal, the highest national award that a Girl Scout can achieve. To receive the medal, each troop member must create and complete a project that focuses on change within their community. Many of the Girl Scouts in the LCF area each completed more than 100 hours of community service.
Each girl gave a brief description about her gold medal project. One standout was a senior at CVHS, Courtney Lee DePaoli. She collected books, art materials and school supplies for children attending a school in the Dominican Republic for her project “La Romana Education.” While on a mission trip, DePaoli was able to personally give each child their own notebook and writing utensil.
After the gold awards were given out, each high school senior Girl Scout was recognized.
The ceremony concluded with TAPS performed by Tracey Andrews from troop 8021.