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Ridgefield Girl Scout Helps Families Keep Their Pets To Earn Gold Award

Colleen McCarthy of Ridgefield has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting. Photo Credit: Contributed
A total of 86 Girl Scouts earned their Gold Awards for the Class of 2016, including 40 from Fairfield County. Photo Credit: Girl Scouts of America

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — Colleen McCarthy of Ridgefield has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting.

To earn her aware, McCarthy completed 'a project to help families keep their pets during times of financial hardship.

She made a county-wide petition to allow pet food to be purchased with food stamps and increase donations of pet supplies. 

She also designed a website and a brochure promoting her cause that she handed out at a Memorial Day Parade. 

McCarthy also created a “Real Life Room” at her local shelter to provide a supportive and comfortable environment for animals. Her “Real Life Room” will continue to provide comfort to animals.

She also implemented a permanent ROAR (Ridgefield Operation for Animal Rescue) Committee at her high school’s Key Club, which will hold regular pet food drives to keep the project going.

McCarthy plans to study environmental studies in college after graduating.

Celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year, the Gold Award requires a high school age Girl Scout to spend at least 80 hours researching issues, assessing community needs and resources, building a team and making a sustainable impact in the community.

A Gold Award recipient’s accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart as a community leader. Nationally, only 6 percent of Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award.

The Girl Scouts all began more than 100 years ago with one woman, Juliette Gordon Low, who believed in the power of one girl. Girl Scouts of Connecticut are now more than 52,000 members strong. They are part of a sisterhood of 2.7 million around the globe.

“Since 1916, approximately 1 million Girl Scouts have made a sustainable impact in their communities,” said Mary Barneby, CEO of Girl Scouts of Connecticut. “We are so thrilled to honor a record number of girls this year and we are excited to see how many more incredible young women will continue to change the world in the next 100 years.”

For more information about the Gold Award or how to become a Gold Award volunteer or mentor, click here.

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