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November 9, 2004 > Kate Aspell Earns Highest Girl Scouts Honor

Kate Aspell Earns Highest Girl Scouts Honor

by Praveena Raman

Kate Aspell, a junior at Mission San Jose High School, was recently awarded The Gold Award the highest honor that a Girl Scout between the ages of 14 and 17 can earn. To earn this award a Girl Scout has to complete a project that is more than a good service project and that fills a need in the local or global community. The project develops organizational, leadership and networking skills and is something that a scout can be passionate about. To earn this award Kate organized a Fun Run fundraiser at Central Park/Lake Elizabeth and collected toiletries for veterans on July 24, 2004.

Going for the Gold had taken a few years of commitment on Kate's part. Before even starting the planning of the Fun Run Gold project, she had to complete a two-hour training program on how to organize a Gold project and complete four interest projects related to the Gold award project such as "Sports for Life" and "From Stress to Success." Completing these interest projects earned her the leadership charm, and doing a 40 hour career exploration project earned her the career award charm, both of which are pre-requisites to the Gold award.

Planning and organizing the Fun Run not only included securing the community center at Central Park, but also publicizing the event for a good turnout. The slogan she used for publicity was Run/Walk for your Health and Remember the Veterans. Prior to the event she had also collected donated items from neighborhoods and sold them at the Ohlone and Kennedy Flea markets to raise money. Community members participating in the Fun Run paid a $4 registration fee on the day of the event. People could also donate toiletries or money for toiletries on the day of the event. Family and friends volunteered their time in helping in the registration process. Before the Fun Run, while people waited to register, they could make cards for the veterans at a table. Kate had also secured donations in kind from local businesses. Trader Joe's donated water for the participants, Michaels donated card supplies and Safeway donated $10. MetLife provided pamphlets on Exercise and Eating Right that were handed out during the Fun Run. There were 33 people of all age groups, including mothers with babies in strollers, who had participated from 9:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Louise Aspell, who helped her daughter at the registration table said, "It was great when a veteran signed up at the spur of the moment and did the Fun Run." A total amount of $2000 was raised, and the registration fees helped defray the expenses for renting the center and making flyers. The toiletries and cards were given to the veterans at the Menlo Park VA hospital.

Kate Aspell has been a Girl Scout since she was a five-year-old and had done various projects and earned different badges through the years culminating in the Gold Award. She feels a sense of accomplishment and says that, "Contrary to common belief, Girl Scouts is more than singing and selling cookies. We also contribute to the community through service projects that accompany each badge we earn."

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