Exchange Club gives $1.5K to Girl Scouts

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 16, 2004

The members of the Selma Exchange Club presented the Girl Scouts of South Central Alabama with a check worth $1,500 Thursday.

The money represents the proceeds from the Exchange Club’s annual barbecue fund-raiser.

President Henry Moore said the club is proud to support the work of the Girl Scouts. Barbara Gilewicz, chief executive officer of the South Central Alabama council, said the money would go primarily toward Positive Power, one of several community outreach programs operated by the Girl Scouts.

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Positive Power seeks to address what Gilewicz termed “the unfortunate problem of child abuse” and to help young girls develop into contributing citizens. The program currently operates in five elementary schools in Selma and Dallas County.

South Central Alabama is one of seven such councils in Alabama and 315 in the United States. It was founded and chartered in 1922, just 10 years after Girl Scouts began in this country.

“We have the same values today that Girl Scouts has had since they were founded in 1912 — and that is to help girls reach their full potential, to help girls relate to others, to help girls provide community service, to help girls develop an awareness and an appreciation of the differences in others, and to help girls form lasting bonds,” Gilewicz said.

In addition to such traditional activities as camping and field trips, Gilewicz said Girl Scouts are involved in a number of community outreach efforts. She noted that the South Central Alabama council works with Head Start programs, summer library programs and public housing programs within its 16-county area.

“We try to go where the girls are,” Gilewicz said. “Sometimes they turn up in the strangest place. But we must go to them because so many of them can’t come to us.”

Girl Scouts also have an in-school program that focuses on science, math and reading.

“I have seen whole classrooms just so excited because they are able to perform these hands-on experiments,” Gilewicz said. “It’s amazing that with so little we can have an enthusiastic classroom.”