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Girl Scouts of Nassau County - News
Lynbrook, New York Residents Achieve Highest Honor in Girl Scouting



Garden City, NY July 12, 2012 – While some high schools now require a few hours of community service for graduation, none go as far as the Girl Scouts who earn the Gold Award. This year Gina Girardi, Mary Obanhein and Marion Schwaner of Lynbrook join the record number of 121 Girl Scouts in Nassau County that have woven a minimum of 80 hours of community service into their busy schedules. These young women developed Gold Award community action projects that address social issues in their community or promote acts of kindness and goodwill throughout Nassau County. Their efforts earned these girls the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor that a young woman can achieve in Girl Scouting.

"We are so proud of all the young women who earned their Girl Scout Gold Award this year,” said Donna Ceravolo, Executive Director of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County. “Through their projects, these women have changed the lives of others and improved their communities in significant ways. We couldn’t be happier that 121 girls chose to take this rigorous path towards earning their Gold Award and succeeded in accomplishing their goals.”

Gina Girardi’s Gold Award project addressed the issue of childhood obesity. She created a presentation for children that educated them about nutrition, taught them recipes and tactics for making healthy food choices and showed them that making healthy snacks can be easy, fun, and delicious. To further spread her message, she wrote an article for the local newspaper and placed her project information on a website. Ms. Girardi is a junior at Lynbrook High School, where she is an active participant in student government and a member of the varsity swim team. She has also worked as a camp counselor and is a certified lifeguard.

Mary Obanhein’s Gold Award project helped children become closer to nature, while being able to creatively express themselves at the same time. She created an art program that will be used on a weekly basis by the nursery school program at Tanglewood Preserve. Ms. Obanhein built four wood benches for her young artists and tested all of her activities at a local event. Ms. Obanhein recently graduated from Kellenberg Memorial High School, where she was a member of Sodality, CROSS (Christians Reaching Out, Spreading Spirituality) and portfolio prep art class. She played CYO basketball and was a member of her church youth group. Ms. Obanhein plans to attend LIU Post in the fall.

Marion Schwaner’s Gold Award project taught those who use a local shelter, soup kitchen or food pantry how to eat healthier by growing an organic vegetable garden on the site. She partnered with a local gardening group to plant the garden and taught the residents how to care for it. To ensure that the garden will continue, Ms. Schwaner created a book of how-to instructions for the shelter and also posted the information on a website. Ms. Schwaner recently graduated from Sacred Heart Academy, where she was a member of the Catholic League, the drama club, and National Honor Society. She currently takes voice lessons, enjoys skiing and ice-skating, and is an active member of her church. She plans to attend Marist College in the fall.

On June 12th the Girl Scouts of Nassau County honored Girl Scouts Seniors and Ambassadors between the ages of 15 and 18 at a special ceremony held at Adelphi University in Garden City. In addition to the Girl Scout ceremony, on June 21st, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano will present the girls, along with their Eagle Scout counterparts from Boy Scouts, with certificates for their achievements at the Theodore Roosevelt Legislative Chamber in Mineola. Town of Hempstead Supervisor also honored Girl Scout Gold Award recipients and Eagle Scouts on June 3rd in an event at Levy Preserve.

"Girl Scouts Gold Award recipients are ambitious and dedicated individuals with strong time management and organizational skills. They have joined an elite group of American women, who are part of the Girl Scouts of the USA's Gold Award Alliance," said Ms. Ceravolo.

The Gold Award project helps high school-aged Girl Scouts develop leadership skills and explore various career paths. Overall, the Gold Awards require up to a three-year commitment from each young woman. It affords the teen the opportunity to learn about arts and humanities, cultural and global relations, personal well-being, technology and science, environmental concerns and many of the innumerable issues facing young women and the world today.

Girl Scouts of Nassau County builds girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Girl Scouting in Nassau County creates an accepting and nurturing environment, which gives girls a chance to build character and develops leadership skills for success in the real world. In partnership with committed adult volunteers, girls develop qualities that will serve them throughout their lives, like strong values, social conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth. With almost 21,000 girl and 7,000 adult members, Girl Scouts of Nassau County has become the preeminent organization and leading authority for girls. The organization, now in its 100th year, continues to make the world a better place one girl at a time.

For more information on the Girl Scouts of Nassau County call Donna Rivera Downey 516 741-2550 at ext. 260, or visit


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