Saturday, October 21 , 2017, 11:40 am | Fair 67º


Washington School Girl Scouts Show Off Their Talents For a Schoolmate

Troop's showcase raises funds for Gwendolyn Strong Foundation and fight against spinal muscular atrophy

Girl Scouts with Washington School's Troop 50382 give it their all for the second annual talent show, this time benefiting the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation. (Gabriella Slabiak / Noozhawk photo)
Girl Scouts with Washington School's Troop 50382 give it their all for the second annual talent show, this time benefiting the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation. (Gabriella Slabiak / Noozhawk photo)

[Click here for a Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Once a year around 50 Girl Scouts show off their talents to raise money for a local nonprofit organization.

This year, marking the second annual event, the Washington School-based Troop 50382 chose the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation. The foundation was started and named for their schoolmate, Gwendolyn Strong, who has spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disorder causing damage and weakness to the tissue.

“We were just blown away,” said Victoria Strong, Gwendolyn’s mother and co-founder of GSF. “They see us rolling around campus, and they’re all so sweet. We feel so lucky to be in this community, at Washington.

“We’re really hopeful that she can be a Girl Scout, too,” Strong told Noozhawk.

The GSF aims to increase global knowledge about the neuromuscular disorder and to help other parents of children with SMA.

The money raised from the show, held Friday evening on the Mesa campus of the Santa Barbara elementary school, will go specifically to the foundation’s Project Mariposa, which provides grants for iPads. The tablets have shown to been of great benefit to children with SMA, especially in speech and communication.

“She told me she loved me for the first time,” Strong said of her daughter’s first use of the device. “The iPads are truly changing lives.”

The Girl Scouts who set up and coordinated the show raised $2,850, troop leader Linda Meyer said.

“It teaches (the Girl Scouts) to give back,” Meyer said of the fundraiser.

Gwendolyn and her parents sat in the front row of the audience, which was mostly parents and siblings of the talents. A bake sale was held in the back of the room. In between the performances the scout hostesses entertained the audience with jokes and gave out gifts to lucky raffle winners.

The girls were happy to have entertained Gwendolyn and agree that raising money for people in need is necessary.

“I really liked seeing the smile on Gwendolyn’s face,” said 11-year-old Hannah Meyer.

“We don’t really need the money as much as (people in need) do,” said her fellow scout, Madison Jaimes, 10. “It put a smile on my face seeing Gwendolyn smile.”

Last year, the Girl Scouts showcased their talents to raise money for the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.

“It makes you feel special to feel like you’re helping someone else,” said 11-year-old scout Claire Konen.

Noozhawk intern Gabriella Slabiak can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >