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Project to aid cancer patients

Girl Scouts Bailey Olsen, Myah Olson, MacKenzie Collins and Christine Pommerening pose with one of the hats they are making for cancer survivors as part of their Silver Award project "Cancer Caps with Love." The girls have started making caps, but will also be holding an event Sunday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Roberts Village Park building. During the event, people who crochet, knit and sew are invited to come share their abilities to make caps for those going through cancer treatment. Canc...

Christine Pommerening used a knitting loom her grandmother had given her as a Christmas present to create a hat for her mother's friend, who was ill with cancer. Pommerening is now using her loom as a part of her Silver Award project.

Pommerening and fellow Troop 53789 members Bailey Olsen and MacKenzie Collins, as well as Juliette Girl Scout (a Girl Scout independent of a troop) Myah Olson, are holding "Cancer Caps With Love," an event to create caps for cancer patients, 10 a.m. Sunday, April 28, in the Roberts Village Park Building.

The girls are inviting people who knit, sew or crochet to come and make caps for people with cancer. The girls will donate the hats to Three Rivers Cancer Center in River Falls and Westfields Hospital in New Richmond.

Each of the girls has had an experience with someone close to them battling cancer. They said that was one reason this project is so important to them.

"It's sad to see all sorts of people go through that, especially if it was one of your friends, or if it was one of your relatives or ... your parents best friend or something like that," Pommerening said.

The girls hope the hats will comfort cancer patients.

"It makes them feel comfortable and loved," Collins said.

Each girl has invited a personal acquaintance who has survived cancer to the event. The girls are also asking community cancer survivors and current cancer patients to come and share their stories.

The Girl Scout Silver Award is a leadership and community service project similar to the Boy Scouts' Eagle Scout Project. The Silver Award project can only be completed by Cadette Girl Scouts in sixth through eighth grade.

The "Cancer Caps With Love" event is the culmination of two years of work on the girls' part. Before they can plan their Silver Award project, Cadette Girl Scouts have to complete a "Journey Book," which helped the girls work on their leadership abilities, by completing a set of patches. When this was complete, the girls could begin planning their Silver Award project.

"I think the hardest part was trying to get our paperwork done," said Olson, "and then our project accepted into the community."

The girls received approval for their project around Feb. 15. As each girl needs to put in 50 hours of service, they have already started making hats and will continue to make hats after the event is over. The girls' goal is to make as many hats as possible.

The girls are asking attendees to bring their own knitting needles, crochet hooks and sewing machines. Yarn and fleece will be provided.

For more information, contact Kim Olson at 651-260-0433 or email kimber with "Silver Award" in the subject line.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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