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Scouts hold fundraiser, give dads night out

Cowgirls and their dads are invited to Girl Scout Troop 910's 7th annual Daddy Daughter Dinner Dance Feb. 18 from 6-9 p.m.

Troop leader Karen Magalotti said six years ago troop 910 was looking for a project for the Bronze Award.

The Bronze Award is awarded to Girl Scout Juniors who are in the fourth or fifth grade. The Silver Award is earned by Girl Scout Cadettes who are in the sixth, seventh or eighth grade. The Gold award is for Girl Scout Seniors, who are in ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th grade. Each award requires the Scouts to work as a team on a project of their choice. The full requirements for each award can be found at http://www.girlscouts.org.

Magalotti said she suggested the idea of a dance just for dads and their daughters because there were not any activities like that in the Sykesville area.

The girls were also aware of the devastation that had occurred as a result of Hurricane Katrina and wanted to help the Girl Scouts in Louisiana, Magalotti said. So they decided to hold the dance.

Magalotti said the girls planned everything from the activities to the playlists. The Scouts also had to advertise, find donors for door prizes and run the event. The event raised about $500 the first year, which they donated to the Louisiana Girl Scout council.

Everyone enjoyed the dance and it was so successful they have held one every year since, Magalotti said.

"It has been sold out every year," she said, with about 100 Daddy Daughter couples attending.

Troop member Rachael Reiter, 16, said they keep the same format for the dance each year as they planned for the first one, but they change the theme. This year is a cowgirl western theme said troop member, Alison Gilbert, 17.

The first year they used a Valentine's Day theme. Other themes have been under the water, circus, a luau, and a love bug theme, where the activities involved different types of insects, Magalotti said.

Rachael said they always have a photographer to take pictures of the couples. Magalotti said her husband, Vic, takes the pictures then they run to the drugstore to get the instant prints made so that each guest can take home their picture.

Troop member Kasey Nolan, 16, said they decorate the gym with streamers and balloons and design centerpieces for the tables. This year they might use upside down cowgirl hats as the centerpiece, she said.

When the guests arrive, they are greeted by one of the troop members. The couples are then directed to one of the arts and crafts stations, said Troop member Dominique Magalotti, 16. This year they will be making picture frames for their photographs, cactus shaped magnets and sheriff's badges.

After the activities, the Scouts serve a spaghetti dinner made by the parents of the troop members, said troop member Olivia Wisner, 16. After dinner they encourage everyone to head out to the dance floor where this year line dances will take place and country songs will be played.

"Line dances are a way to get everyone excited and dancing," she said.

At the end of the evening, everyone gets to pick out door prizes. Each girl is responsible for providing 10 prizes for the evening, Karen said. Troop member Claire Wink, 16, said she asks for donations from area stores when she contacts them to advertise the dance. Olivia said she sometimes buys hair accessories from Claire's for her prizes.

Karen said they are hoping to raise $1,500 from the event. After the first year, they have been able to raise about $1,000 to $1,500 each year, she said. The troop will use the proceeds to support the troop activities for the year and they are also hoping to take a senior trip next year, she said.

The proceeds help to pay for the different service projects that the troop performs each year. It also helps to contain the costs of their trips. One of the service projects was refurbishing a cabin at Camp Ilchester, the Girl Scout Camp in Ellicott City, said troop member Julia Hinson, 16. The Scouts earned their Silver Award as a result of this project.

Karen said most of the girls in the troop have been together since kindergarten and they are hoping to have one last trip together before they graduate next year.

"I have been here since day one. We grew up like sisters and want to do one last thing before we go to college," Claire said.

They also want to keep their Daddy Daughter Dinner Dance tradition alive. Karen said this is the last year that they will sponsor the dance by themselves. Karen and Dominique have invited Troop 479 to co-sponsor the event next year and continue hosting the dance in years to come.

To reserve your spot, you may contact Karen Magalotti at kmagalotti@comcast.net or 443-286-2155. No tickets will be available at the door.

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