More than 50 volunteers of The Girl Scouts of Nassau County were honored Sunday at the 19th Annual Adult Recognition Award Ceremony at the DeMatteis Center in Greenvale for their continued efforts supporting Long Island troops.
President and Chief Volunteer Officer, Diane M. McFarlane, and Executive Director and CEO of The Girl Scouts of Nassau County, Donna Cervalo, served as mistresses of the ceremony, announcing the honored volunteers.
"This a real celebration for our council," Cervalo said. "This afternoon is a celebration of 7,000 volunteers and 22,000 Girl Scouts."
In honor of the volunteers, The GSNC Ceremonial Unit performed a flag ceremony and the Girls of the County Chorus sang songs for the audience like "(I Love) Being a Girl Scout."
Catherine Azzara, the chorus director, was awarded with the GSUSA Honor Pin for her community contributions and has been a part of the chorus for 10 years.
"I'm very proud, they did a wonderful job. They're a talented group of young ladies," Azzara said.
Azzara's chorus group ranges in group ranks from second year Brownies to Ambassadors. She thinks that that being a part of these troops gives the girls great life experiences. "It's important for girls to be a part of the Girl Scouts because it opens up doors to new opportunities that they might not even know were out there. They get to experience so many new things that they might not even have been given the chance to do or even know they liked doing." Azzara said.
Eleanor Molina has been with the Nassau County scouts for more than 19 years and received the GSUSA Honor Pin at the event.
"It teaches them values, how to get along and how to have fun, all good things. It helps them learn how to get along with everyone and teaches them that even though we are different, we are all the same," Molina said.
East Meadow volunteer, Ethel Carson, received the highest honors during the ceremony by being presented with the GSNC continued service award, GSUSA years of service pin and tenure pin for her 45 years of dedication and 50 years of being part of the Girl Scouts.
"It's been an honor and a privilege to be a Girl Scout all of these years. I'm proud to be a member of this wonderful world of girl scouting," Carson said.
Jayne Zimmerman, of Oceanside, thinks girl scouting makes the world a better place but that the social connections the girls making during their time with their troops is the most beneficial aspect. "It's all about doing things for the community, like planting flowers. But friendship, the camaraderie the girls have together, is by far the best part," Zimmerman said.
Volunteers of the Hardscrabble troop in Farmingdale, Carolyn Bove and Helen Hayes, were both honored at the event. "I got into the Girl Scouts one year and now I'm getting more out of these girls then they every got out of me," said Bove, who was given the GSUSA honor pin.
Hayes, whose daughter and granddaughter are now a part of the Girl Scouts, said that being a part of a troop is a positive experience for all young women. "It is a place where girls can be girls, a safe place."
Overall, McFarlane was pleased with the turnout of the event. "It always good to see everyone show up for the event to honor our volunteers who help girls to make our world a better place," she said.
McFarlane closed the recognition ceremony with a quote she said best captured the spirit of the event.
"One minute can change a day, one day can change a life and one life can change the world," she said. "Look at all you have done, you have changed the world."