By Stephanie Beach
Traverse City Record-Eagle
TRAVERSE CITY — Girl Scout Troop 10037 invites the community to help them pack 1,800 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to be sent to Michigan troops serving abroad.
The “Packing Party” will start at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 6, at Bowen-Holliday American Legion Post #35, 1231 Hastings St. Donations of other items to send to American soldiers also are sought, including AAA batteries, hand or foot warmers, canned fruit, feminine hygiene supplies and baby wipes.
The Girl Scout troop adopted Michigan soldiers from National Guard Units 1432nd and 1433rd who are stationed in Afghanistan as recipients of the troop’s “Gift of Caring” project. In addition, soldiers from other units who don’t have family members will receive cookies.
“The ‘Gift of Caring’ cookies are sold during the annual cookie sale and donated to a charitable cause,” said Troop Leader Venus Tondreau, adding that Meredith and Amanda Allen were the top cookie sellers, with 1,700 boxes for the troops.
Operation American Soldier has partnered with the Girl Scouts to pay for shipping. VFW Cherryland Post 2780, American Legion Auxiliary, Disabled American Veterans and Korean War Veterans also have contributed to the project.
“We are glad to assist with the shipping to our men and women in uniform across the globe fighting for our freedom,” said Neal Horning, chairman of the Grand Traverse Veterans organization.
“We appreciate the efforts of Girl Scout Troop 10037 and we appreciate the support from the community in purchasing the wonderful cookies,” said Cristine Stalsonburg, chair of Operation American Soldier. “We know our military men and women overseas appreciate this special treat of cookies as they continue to sacrifice for our freedom.”
To volunteer for the packing party or to donate additional items, contact Meredith Allen, 922-9892 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Judy Goodrich, volunteer coordinator for Munson Hospice, wrote on behalf of Munson Hospice to thank Moomer’s Ice Cream for the wonderful “Friend-Raiser” benefit. The annual Gourmet Sundae Bar has raised more than $12,000 since 2006 for Munson Hospice.
“The stories shared by families who were there were very heartwarming to hear,” Judy wrote. “Our thanks to those who spread the word, brought a friend and supported the Munson Hospice program while enjoying delicious homemade ice cream and a great Gourmet Sundae Bar. A special thanks to the Plummer family for a great day!”
When Paulino Cecilio Jr. was growing up, he and his mother first came to northern Michigan not as vacationers or summer residents, but to escape domestic violence. Now, 35 years later, Paulino has given back to the agency that helped his family over the years by donating one of his original paintings to the Women’s Resource Center.
A U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Northwestern Michigan College graduate, Paulino’s work also is represented at Traverse City Art and Design Studio, Jacob’s Well, the Coho in Frankfort and God’s Kitchen in Grand Rapids.
The painting, titled “Awaiting as Autumn Comes,” depicts the time in nature when inevitable change is coming. It is valued at $1,000.
“Life, as in nature, has unforeseen troubles ...,” Paulino said. “There are times when it feels as though there is no hope ... . This painting is that glimpse of hope that reminds us to keep our head up, to believe that a new day is coming and everything is going to be all right.”
Jo Bullis of the Women’s Resource Center says the painting and what it represents is appropriate for what many agency clients experience. It is perfect timing also, as Helen’s House Emergency Shelter is undergoing a complete remodel. When construction is finished, it is expected that the painting will grace the wall space over the shelter’s mantel.