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January 2021

The Girl Scout Holiday Tree Wins Contest

For the holiday season, the Village of Larchmont used a Vintage Winter Wonderland theme using decorations reminiscent of the 1940’s.  Six local organizations were invited to decorate holiday trees throughout the streets. The Girl Scouts of Larchmont- Mamaroneck, the Larchmont Newcomers Club, The Lions Club, The Fuller Center, Larchmont Friends of the Family and One River, participated. The Girl Scout tree was chosen the winner of the Christmas tree contest sponsored by Bellaserra Ristorante and received a $500 donation/prize to their organization.

 

Patricia Allen, the Service Unit Manager for the Girl Scouts in Larchmont- Mamaroneck, explained that their tree, located on Larchmont Avenue in front of the former Auray Gourmet, was decorated on November 28th by about 20 girls over the course of about 2 hours. Allen oversees all 50 local troops.

 

“We had to have them come in shifts to keep everyone socially distanced and we wanted to be sure we didn’t block sidewalk traffic as well,” Allen said.  “The girls absolutely loved both making the ornaments, learning about Gold Star families and homes and decorating the tree.

 

“Our idea was to pay tribute to the 1940s and honor WWII veterans and in particular, the 101 local residents who gave their lives in service and are listed on the Kemper Memorial,” Allen recounted. “We made an ornament for each of these 101 heroes which has their name and in most cases, their photo.  Also, during WWII, families who had a family member serving in the war, displayed a blue star banner at their home.  If the person died, the star was changed to gold.  The homes where these servicemen and women lived are called gold star homes, so we have ornaments that are little houses with gold stars on them as well as a gold star on top and gold star flashing lights.

 

“The tree also has other patriotic ornaments including poppies, in remembrance of our veterans.  There is a sign on the tree with a QR code to take people to the Kemper Memorial website, Richard M. Kemper Memorial Park, as well as one to our Girl Scout website.  The ornaments were made by the Girl Scouts and they decorated the tree as well.”

 

Nancy White, President of the Larchmont Chamber of Commerce, noted that Larchmont Nurseries and Construction donated the trees.

 

There are about 375 Girl Scouts in Larchmont Mamaroneck. “Normally we have about 650 girls in 60 troops,” Allen mentioned, “but many are taking a break due to COVID.

“There were girls from 7 of those troops who participated in making ornaments and decorating the tree.  Troops 1851, 2056, 2124, 2689, 2756, 2772 and 2976 were involved.”

 

Allen spearheaded the project with Cathy Bennett, the Service Unit Treasurer and Sarah Chang, the Troop Leader of Troop 2056. “The idea to decorate a tree related to WWII actually came from Cathy’s husband, Bob. The Girl Scouts have been visiting our local veterans on Veterans Day for the past 15 years and we have a couple of Girl Scouts working on their Silver Award related to Gold Star Homes. Over the years, we have supported the Kemper Memorial in various ways, so this was a natural for us,” Allen continued.

 

“When I have told people about the background of the ornaments, they seem very moved by it,” Allen concluded. “The girls are thrilled with the win.”