Hilliard Girl Scouts' efforts capped off with gift of bench

KEVIN CORVO
kcorvo@thisweeknews.com
Troop leaders and members of Girl Scouts of Ohio's Heartland Troop 229 donated a bench made of recycled plastic bottle caps to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 4931 in Hilliard. With the bench are (from left): Samantha Piko, 10; Riley Needham, 10; troop leaders Penny Lonsway and Michele Piko; Allison Lonsway, 10; and Adelaide Kilbourne, 10.

Girl Scouts of Ohio's Heartland Troop 229 spent six months last year collecting plastic bottle caps – 20,815 of them, to be exact.

Indiana-based Green Tree Plastics transformed the 119 pounds of plastic into a bench that was shipped back to the Scouts several months ago; it was donated Aug. 29 to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4931, 2436 Walcutt Road in Columbus.

"We deeply appreciate the gesture," said past post commander Marty Sutton.

A secure and permanent location will be determined for it outside the post, he said.

Penny Lonsway and Michele Piko, troop leaders for Hilliard-based Troop 229, said its members, girls ages 9 to 11, chose learning about the environment as one of the requirements for the Bronze Award and one of the "journeys" toward becoming an Ambassador Scout – the equivalent of the Boy Scouts of America's Eagle Scout rank.

"The troop set goals, and as they met each goal, the girls were rewarded with things like a pizza party and the opportunity to throw whipped-cream pies at troop leaders," Lonsway said.

The Scouts learned about the threat caused by plastics in the environment, Piko said.

"If you don't recycle, it can damage the earth. A lot of plastic ends up in our oceans," said Allison Lonsway, 10, a student at Scioto Darby Elementary School.

Adelaide Kilbourne, 10, a student at Beacon Elementary School, said she hopes their effort helps the environment and that she joined Girl Scouts to help her community in such ways.

The Girl Scouts donated the bench to the VFW as a token of thanks for allowing the girls to meet at the post, Piko said.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo