Girl Scouts of Oregon give to The Arc

<p>With money from Girl Scouts cookie sales, Sofia Gispert Tello, Andrea Gispert Tello, Megan Kane, Giulia DallÕAcqua, Elizabeth Deck and Veronica Gomez prepare memorial planters for a grave site maintained by The Arc of Umatilla County.</p>

Going into cookie sales each year, Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Oregon Troop 51444 of Hermiston chooses a “giving back project.” Through this effort, they set aside a certain amount of what they earn from the sale to do a community service project.

This year, they wanted to do something for The Arc of Umatilla County, said Michelle Kane, a leader with the Girl Scouts. Representatives from The Arc suggested that the group buy flowers for the memorial pots they set out at a gravesite at Olney Cemetery in Pendleton. The cremains of thousands of individuals, who died without families by their side and went unclaimed after their passing, are buried at the site. They were residents/patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities who were committed to the state hospital in Pendleton and died there from 1913-1982.

The girls purchased and planted the flowers in the planters before heading to the cemetery. Katherine Palmer, president of The Arc of Umatilla County, met the group April 24 at the site. Kane said it was a pretty somber experience standing on that hill listening to Palmer share the history behind the marker.

With some extra money, the Girl Scouts bought additional flowers and planted them at The Arc’s building, located at 215 W. Orchard Ave., Hermiston. The Arc also has a Memorial Garden Fundraiser that ends Saturday, May 31.

The members of Troop 51444 include Megan Kane, Veronica Gomez and Giulia Dall’Acqua, all Girl Scout Ambassadors and seniors at Hermiston High School; and Claire Wilson, Andrea Gispert Tello and Sofia Gispert Tello, all Girl Scout Seniors and sophomores at Hermiston High School.

For more information about The Arc of Umatilla County, call 541-567-7615.

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