Tag Archives: Girl Scouts

Whitestone street dedicated to former resident


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel

The Whitestone community had a strong turnout on June 12 for the dedication of a local street in honor of a late veteran known for his volunteer efforts.

The residential street on 145th Place and 17th Avenue will now be known as Robert C. Lohnes Way after Robert Lohnes, a former first class seaman in the United States Navy and retired NYPD detective.

He had lived on the street with his family for over 40 years before dying last year.

During his lifetime, Lohnes received a National Defense Medal for his nine-year stint in the U.S. Navy, and later served 34 years as a detective in the NYPD.

He was also involved in numerous volunteer efforts in the community, including the Whitestone Community Ambulance Service, Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America, in addition to helping out with response efforts during and after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Lohnes passed away unexpectedly in late winter 2014 after being stricken with a form of blood cancer.

Councilman Paul Vallone and Assemblyman Edward Braunstein stood with Lohnes’ family and friends to unveil the street’s new name.

“Today, and every day, we remember and thank Bob for his service to our great country, our great city, and northeast Queens, and I am proud to join Bob’s wife and children on this very special day,” said Vallone.

“Whitestone, in many senses, is like a small town in a big city: everybody knows each other,” Braunstein added. “If it wasn’t for people like Robert Lohnes, this community wouldn’t be the special place that it is.”

According to Magaly Lohnes, Robert’s wife of 44 years, neighbors overwhelmingly supported the petition to dedicate the street to her late husband.

“A couple of the people even said they’re going to miss the mayor of 145th Place,” Magaly Lohnes said. “Because Bob was out there, he knew everybody, and everybody knew him.”

There was a solemn bagpipe performance of patriotic songs and members of the nonprofit organization Veterans of Foreign Wars were in attendance to honor their fallen comrade.

Many former members of Lohnes’ Boy Scout troops and their families were also among those paying their respects in the crowd of 50 people.

“We want to pay tribute to a man who dedicated his life to service,” said family friend Pat Connolly, who credits Lohnes with mentoring her two sons in their Eagle Scout troops. “He is sorely missed.”

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Springfield Gardens Girl Scout is city’s top cookie seller for second year


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of DeAnne Lorde

She truly is the queen of cookie sales.

Springfield Gardens eighth-grader Najah Lorde is once again the top Girl Scout cookie seller in New York City with 1,816 boxes.

Last year, the now-13-year-old more than doubled her sales from the previous year, earning the cookie crown for the first time.

Najah was already aiming for another win shortly after the first one.

But when she found out she was the number one seller for a second time — beating out 10-year-old Brooklyn resident Danielle Bioh, who sold 1,782 boxes, and Manhattan’s Madeleine Noveck, an 8-year-old Brownie who sold 1,728 boxes — the news came as a shock.

Photo courtesy of Girl Scouts of the USA

Photo courtesy of Girl Scouts of the USA

“I was really busy during the Girl Scout cookie season so I didn’t get to sell as much as last year,” she said. “I was grateful and thankful that I was still able to be the top Girl Scout cookie seller.”

Najah’s mother, DeAnne Lorde, was also surprised Najah took the top spot after selling 2,833 boxes the previous year. Unlike last cookie selling season, she said her daughter was preoccupied with high school prep, including exams and applications, while keeping up with her grades.

“She didn’t have the time to put in the amount of effort that she really wanted to,” she said.

But Najah, using both new and old strategies, still sold an impressive amount of the sweet treats.

The Troop 4287 member again used the networking skills normally seen in a much older person, taking contacts from her parents’ phones and asking her customers to reach out to others.

“My favorite part [of selling] is learning all the skills like time management, organization and keeping track of money,” Najah said.

During the selling period — from the second week of December to late January — she sold cookies at her school, Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy in Douglaston; her church, the Greater Allen Cathedral of New York; and her parents’ workplace, SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

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Najah Lorde surrounded by boxes of cookies in the U-Haul truck her family had to rent to pick up her cookies after she became the top seller for the first time last year. (THE COURIER/File photo)

She also decided to try a new selling method this year — social media.

Najah posted an image of her sales sheet on her father’s Facebook page as a way to find more customers.

This year was also the first time in the nearly 100-year history of the cookie program that Girl Scouts got to sell the baked goods online through their own digital stores. The three top sellers all had significantly higher-than-average digital cookie sales, according to the Girl Scouts of Greater New York. With the help of the new online sales tool, the city’s Girl Scouts sold 1,084,526 boxes this year, up from 998,580 boxes the previous year.

“The focus of the cookie program is on teaching girls leadership and business skills in a fun setting that also builds courage and character,” said Girl Scouts of Greater New York CEO Barbara Murphy-Warrington. “Setting goals and developing a sales strategy, making independent decisions, managing money, learning to communicate well with people, understanding business ethics — these are all skills our girls acquire that will serve them well throughout their lives.”

In addition to being named the number one seller, Najah, along with each Girl Scout who sold more than 1,000 boxes, received all the prizes offered, including an iPad Air.

“I’m not sure about next year. I’ll just have to wait and see what’s going to happen,” Najah said about taking the top spot for a third time in a row.

Her mother says high school could get in the way of her cookie selling, but they are ready to “follow her lead.”

“We are ready to take on whatever she is ready to take on.”

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Queens Girl Scout cookie champ ready to hand out sweet treats


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of DeAnne Lorde

This Queens Girl Scout is one smart cookie.

Springfield Gardens seventh-grader Najah Lorde more than doubled her cookie sales from last year to become the top seller in the city with 2,833 boxes.

Najah, 12, has been selling cookies since she joined the Girl Scouts in second grade, but didn’t surpass the 1,000 mark until 2013 when she sold 1,111 boxes.

That year, she was bested by Upper West Side resident Olivia Cranshaw by about 700 boxes.

Cranshaw set a goal of selling over 2,000 this year. She exceeded that number by 141, but Najah had the right ingredients for a win.

“I was running and screaming all over the house,” Najah said, describing the moment she found out she was the cookie champ.

Each Girl Scout that sells over 1,000 boxes receives all the prizes offered, including a Nintendo Wii and Sephora gift card.

“If you are the top seller you just win bragging rights,” Najah said.

“She’s very competitive, Najah’s father Donovan Lorde said. “She was very determined when the sale started.”

Najah, a member of Troop 4287, claimed she had no special strategy, but her father said she did have a plan, she just didn’t realize it.

He said she made a list of the people she wanted to call and even took his and his wife’s phones to look for potential buyers. Using her networking skills, the preteen urged her contacts to reach out to others.

The Girl Scout said she received a lot of support from family. She also sold the baked goods at her school, Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy in Douglaston, her church, the Greater Allen Cathedral of New York, and her parents’ workplace, SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

“When we tallied up the numbers and we saw 2,833, we were like ‘wow that is a lot of boxes,’” Donovan said.

“To a certain degree we were surprised by the number, but we weren’t surprised that she did it,” he added.

Najah is aiming for another win next year by selling at least 3,000 boxes.

Though her father is supportive of her ambitions, he admits the goal makes him somewhat “afraid.”

This Saturday, the boxes are set to arrive and they will need to figure out how to store, transport and hand out all those cookies.

“We are going to need a very big vehicle to pick up the boxes,” Donovan said.

 

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Jackson Heights Girl Scouts give back for the holidays


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy Sylvia Cho-Yu

It’s never too young to start giving back.

Members from the Junior Girl Scouts Troop 4208 in Jackson Heights, ages 10 and 11,  got together on Saturday at St. Marks Church, at 33-50 82nd Street, to distribute handmade holiday food baskets. The girls also restocked the church’s food pantry with food collected by seven other Girl Scouts troops from their family, friends, and supporters, which will help the needy during the holiday season.

Working towards their Bronze Award, with the focus on fighting hunger in their community, 10 girls from Troop 4208 distributed the food baskets.

One week before Saturday’s event the group hosted a food drive event for all the Girl Scouts in the neighborhood, including six other troops, at the Community Methodist Church at 81-10 35th Avenue. About 75 girls attended the food drive which hoped to fill up the food pantry in time for the holidays.

The food collected was mostly donated by Girl Scouts and their friends and families, as well as from people in their buildings. The event collected six shopping carts full of food and made up 35 holiday baskets to give to families.

 

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Liu’s campaign treasurer busted in ‘straw donor’ scheme


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Liu’s campaign treasurer busted in ‘straw donor’ scheme: feds

Embattled city Comptroller John Liu’s campaign treasurer was busted today on charges she helped funnel illegal political donations into the Queens Democrat’s war chest. Jia “Jenny” Hou conspired to help wealthy Liu backers evade a $4,950 limit on individual contributions by using “straw donors” to pass along their money, according to the feds. Hou, 25, was allegedly caught offering to reimburse a crooked donation during a series of computer “instant messages” on July 14, and allegedly instructed campaign volunteers on how to make the contributions look legit. Read More: New York Post

 

Third student dies from Ohio high school shooting

The death toll rose to three Tuesday in the shooting rampage in an Ohio high school cafeteria as schoolmates and townspeople grappled with the tragedy and wondered what could have set the teenage gunman off. The teenager under arrest in Monday’s attack, T.J. Lane, faced an afternoon hearing in juvenile court. Shaken residents offered condolences and prayers to the families of those killed and wounded at 1,100-student Chardon High School in suburban Cleveland. All three of the dead were students. Read More: New York Post

 

Waitress claims veteran NYPD detective took advantage of her at Washington Heights restaurant

A waitress says her boss gave her $200 to party with some cops, protested when one put the moves on her in a back room, and then got her underwear back the next day. The 36-year-old woman, whose allegations prompted the NYPD to assign four cops to desk duty, thinks a veteran detective took advantage of her at the Washington Heights restaurant where she worked. But she admits she can’t remember it – because she blacked out. Read More: Daily News

 

Manningham ups odds to ’50-50′ he stays with Giants

Mario Manningham last week, back home in Ohio, was quoted in the Youngstown News that he believes there’s a 75 percent chance he will leave the Giants in free agency and sign elsewhere. Tuesday morning, he refuted that claim. “I didn’t say that,’’ Manningham said on WFAN. “You know how rumors get spread, I didn’t say anything like that.’’ Manningham then increased the odds of him staying with the Giants. Read More: New York Post

 

Ex-Girl Scout finance director gets 3 to 9 years for swiping $310K

The former finance director for the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York was sentenced today to three to nine years behind bars after she failed to return a large chunk of the $310,000 she allegedly embezzled over the course of two years. “I apologize for the situation,” said Yaasmin Hooey, 35, during her sentencing hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court. Prosecutors said Hooey stole the money by cashing or depositing into her personal bank account a series of 65 checks written off the Girl Scouts’ payroll account. Read More: New York Post

 

Names Of NYPD First Responders Added To Cancer Study

The names of tens of thousands of New York City POlice Department uniformed officers and civilian members who worked at the World Trade Center are now at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Mayor Michael Bloomberg handed over the names of 39,921 people, along with their job title, age, race, and gender on Monday. This comes after the city initially refused to turn over the information, because of privacy concerns. Mount Sinai is treating the first responders. Read More: NY1

Scout Day at Citi Field


| smosco@queenscourier.com

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Before the New York Mets closed out the 2011 season, Citi Field welcomed the Cub Scouts from Sacred Heart School in Bayside as the color guard for the game. It was a huge honor and privilege for the scouts, who carried the colors to centerfield while the younger scouts watched from the warning track.

(Right) Webelos II Colorguard (from left to right) Den Leader Gina Bacile, Ryan, Yarinsky, Jermige, Maximo, John, Ryan, and Andrew. Girl Scouts were also Renata Billelo and her friend and mom.