Guilderland Chamber gives Girl Scouts a boost

Area Girl Scouts got a boost from Guilderland businesses at a fundraiser Thursday, March 19, at the newly opened Tesoro's restaurant in the 20 Mall.

Members of the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Group attended a kickoff luncheon sponsored by the Chamber. The event featured a 50/50 raffle to help raise money, said GCC Executive Director Kathy Burbank.

Burbank said a silent auction will be held Wednesday, May 6, and the GCC is hoping to raise close to $3,000 for local Girl Scouts through those combined efforts.

Sue Stoddard, a representative of the Girl Scouts, spoke about the importance of developing strong young girls.

We want to be the premier girl's leadership provider, Stoddard said. "The Girl Scouts is not an organization, it's a movement."

Stoddard said the Girl Scouts are looking for more philanthropic individuals and businesses to supplement fund-raising efforts such as selling cookies.

Melissa Brooks, the regional community relations specialist for Girl Scouts of America, said the organization offers several programs, in addition to troop meetings, for girls to get involved with their communities. Brooks said the Girl Scouts are looking for people with special "skills, especially in their professional life, that they would be willing to teach the girls about."

Stoddard said programs such as self-defense are offered. Brooks said a healthy foods program is offered, where the basics of healthy eating are taught to the girls. They are then encouraged to bring in healthy ingredients to make the food.

"We would want the girls to be involved in the decision making process," Brooks said.

Girl Scouts also offers a number of summer camp programs. The region spans from Columbia and Green counties all the way to the Canadian border, Brooks said.

There are camps available in East Greenbush, Queensbury, Galway, the Adirondacks and other locations, she said. Each one provides a different experience.

"We want to give them a lot of experiences. We want to give them a lot of options," Stoddard said. We need to give them the courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place." ""

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