BRIDGEWATER, NJ - A dozen Westfield Girl Scouts were among the 148 young women to be presented with the Girl Scouts’ highest honor, the Girl Scout Gold Award, on June 9 at the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey Fifth Annual Gold Award Dinner at the Bridgewater Manor in Bridgewater.

They are, with their projects: Abigail Brennan, “Fit and Fun Healthy Lifestyle Program”; Erin Debbie, “Preschool Home Library Project”;   Kathryn Fazio, “Self Defense Classes”;  Katherine Fischer, “WHS Courtyard Landscape”; Colleen Gallagher, “Let’s Volunteer”;  Miranda Jakubek, “Back to School Workshop”; Grace O'Connor, “Letting Go: Dealing With the Issue of Preteen Stress”; Hannah Painter, “Music in Our Souls”; Sophia Palia, “Education Program for Homefirst Community Garden”;  Caroline Tanis, “Back to School Shopping Experience”; Leah Evlyn Tavasi, “Teaching Children Through Coloring”; and Brianna Virzi, “Fitness Across the Generations.”

The award is achieved by girls who complete rigorous leadership projects by committing a minimum of 65 hours to their planning, implementation and completion.

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Approximately six percent of Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors nationwide earn the Gold Award. According to the Girl Scouts, the project portion of the award challenges girls to venture into their community and address the cause of an issue. They use community resources to create a lasting impact that will endure long after the project is completed. The work involved is demanding, time consuming and takes a tremendous amount of ambition to complete.

To see the full scope 2013 Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey Gold Award projects, visit