SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Raising awareness for pediatric cancer was the purpose of Girl Scout Troop 40-739 when they embarked on their “Planting for Promise” project early in the fall of 2016. This was part of an official Girl Scout Journey that the troop worked on. On Sunday April 2, this Girl Scout Troop held a ribbon cutting and sign unveiling ceremony at Patriot Park on Wabeno Avenue, the site of the “Planting for Promise” Daffodil Garden.

The troop chose pediatric cancer as their cause because of their special friend, Liam Morley. Liam is now four years old and currently shows no evidence of the disease after treatment for Neuroblastoma. While he was going through treatment, the troop became “Liam’s Army” and held a “Bubble Bonanza” fundraiser for Liam and his family.

Springfield recently suffered two devastating losses to pediatric cancer and there are others who have gone through or are undergoing treatment. It just made sense to continue supporting this cause and increase the level of awareness of pediatric cancer.

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Last fall, the troop “sold” daffodil bulbs for $1 a piece outside Bagel Supreme, and at the Girl Scout Bonfire. The purchaser didn’t get to leave with a bulb, but rather the bulb was planted thanks to their donation. The girls raised enough money to plant over 800 bulbs at Patriot’s Park. They had some help from other younger Juliette, Brownie, and Daisy Girl Scouts and Township Committee members.  Robert Boettcher, Mike Rella and the DPW helped out by tilling the flowerbeds and providing topsoil. It was a true community effort!

The Sunday April 2 unveiling and ribbon cutting ceremony took place at 11 a.m.  The new sign was designed by resident Vicki Sarraccino and was donated by the Township of Springfield.  In attendance were Deputy Mayor Maria Vassallo and her daughter Marisa Abram (a member of Brownie Troop 40765); Vicki Sarraccino; GS Service Unit Manager of Springfield, Andrea Russo; members of Troop 40-739 and their mothers; several younger Girl Scouts, including Juliette Scout, Lianna Servello; and Daisy Scouts Gabriella Lucas, Sophia Pagano, Aubrie Cantagallo, and Carolyn Cantagallo.

The leaders of Girl Scout Troop 40-739 are Cristi Knee and Simone Miller. The members of the troop are Carina Servello, Samantha Addis, Sarah Rodrick, Elena Matarazzo, Samantha Knee, Caitlynn McTernan, Catherine Miller, Maggie Phillips, Madeline Beveridge, Katie Zarember, Allison Pando, and Hanah Quinones. The twelve members are all sophomores.

Caitlynn McTernan is a student at Jonathan Dayton High School