Anita Cardillo, member of the Bellmore Service Team, has loved the Girl Scouts of America for many years. She remembered when she enrolled her daughter Diane, who is now in her 40s, in the organization.
"It gave my daughter a beautiful start," she said.
As a way to show her appreciation, Cardillo helped organize the Girl Scouts' 100th Birthday Celebration in Newbridge Road Park on Monday.
More than 200 Bellmore Girl Scouts and parents attended the event. The celebration included appearances from town officials, food donations and traditional Girl Scout songs.
"It is wonderful to see all of the girls show up," Cardillo said. "The Girl Scouts gives these girls a start in learning how to volunteer and help others."
Joan Monastero, member of the Bellmore Service Team and a Girl Scout for more than 20 years, agreed.
"This is great," she said. "This is a way for everyone to get together and share ideas."
The Girl Scouts of America was created by Juliette "Daisy" Gordon Low after she assembled 18 girls from Savannah, Ga. for a local Girl Scout meeting on March 12, 1912.
According to the Girl Scouts of America Web site, Low believed that girls should have the opportunity to get out of isolated home environments and into their communities so that they can grow mentally and spiritually. Today there are more than 3.2 million Girl Scouts nationwide.
Hempstead Town Clerk Mark Bonilla told the group of young girls at the event just how special they are.
"You ladies are our future leaders," he said. "We know that our future will be very bright with you."
Alison Cotter of Troop 920 said that she loved celebrating the organization's history.
"This is great because the Girl Scouts have been around a long time," the 11-year-old said.
Rachel Sabino, 12, of Troop 951 said she had an "awesome time."
"This is a really nice thing that we are doing," she said.
As the celebration came to a close, all the Bellmore Girl Scouts from all walks of life, climbed on top of a steep hill, stood in position to form the number 100, held flashlights and sang "Happy Birthday" at the top of their lungs.
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