Tribune Print Share Text

Ann’s Choice gets dirty for good cause

Heather Leah Huddleston

Created date

June 22nd, 2010

Recently Ann s Choice residents got their hands dirty alongside local Girl Scouts to make Warminster Park a little brighter. [caption id="attachment_12879" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Twenty Girl Scouts from St. Jude s Elementary help plant perennials to brighten up Warminster Park. (Photo courtesy of Ann s Choice)"][/caption] On a spring afternoon, they planted two beds of perennial flowers at NGA (also known as New Clothes for New Tomorrows), a nonprofit in Warminster Park that borders the Ann s Choice campus. From Ann s Choice, volunteers from the Doing Good Committee and the Keystone Krafters as well as the grounds and transportation departments all pitched in. A total of 20 Junior and Daisy scouts from St. Jude s Elementary in Chalfont also participated. Working toward their Your Outdoor Surroundings badge and the Bronze Award (the highest level a Junior Girl Scout can earn), contributing to the community service project not only allowed the girls to have fun in the sun but also it was a great intergenerational experience, says Penne Riggs, founding member of the Keystone Krafters.

Generations inspiring each other

Karen Pye, who leads the Junior troop, said the scouts have always enjoyed working with the ladies fromAnn s Choice, and this event just made them feel that much closer. The girls loved planting, watering, and especially mulching the flowerbeds. They would jump up in the truck and shovel the mulch into the wheelbarrow with huge smiles on their faces, Pye says. Working with these women has helped them to be comfortable with older adults, and they ve also learned the value of the ladies unique skills. [caption id="attachment_12883" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Junior and Daisy scouts with Ann s Choice volunteers. This is the third time Ann s Choice residents have partnered with the scouts. (Photo courtesy of Ann s Choice)"][/caption] This is the third time the Girl Scouts have worked with the Keystone Krafters over the past two years. For each event the Girl Scouts have done with the group the first was them interviewing the residents about a significant event in their life, and the second was making cards from pressed flowers Krafter Louise Lloyd has worked with the same girl. For the flower planting, Lloyd looked for her partner but didn t recognize her because she s grown and she now wears braces. But even with that, they found each other s familiar smiles and buddied up again, this time to plant flowers. I love working with her, Lloyd says. I hope she s enjoyed it as much as I have.

Perfect timing

On the day of the project, the weather did more than cooperate. It was gorgeous! Riggs says. We planted lovely flowers that really enhanced the building, she adds. Bright yellow and deep purple pansies were the only flowers in bloom at the time, but there were many different varieties of perennials that theAnn s Choicegrounds crew had chosen and donated to the cause. Grounds crew members Steve Ezzo and Stan Collins gathered together about 50 plants and lots of mulch as well as their auger, water truck, and numerous tools to provide NGA with the flowerbeds. With teamwork,Ann s Choicegot to make life a little brighter for one of our community neighbors, says Becky Gallucci, community resources lead coordinator forAnn s Choice. I liked it because, like the knitting we do for the Keystone Krafters, digging in the dirt keeps our hands busy, Lloyd says.

The cycle continues

Felisa Owen, member of the Doing Good Committee, was key in planning the event and connecting the groups with NGA. She, along with a group of others, volunteers at NGA every Thursday to help organize the clothes donated to the organization. In the past,Ann s Choicecleaned up the road leading to NGA, tended to the nonprofit s gardens, and even repaired NGA s flagpole, for which the Ann s Choice veterans group dedicated the flag. This is truly a neighbor-to-neighbor effort, Owen says. It s a good thing to give back to the neighborhood where we live. It s our community helping our extended community. This was a true community event, agrees Riggs. A lot of people had a part in this.