Kaylee Magda earned the highest Girl Scout honor for her partnership with the NEPA Youth Shelter to create the ReThread Community Closet.
Kaylee, 17, of Scranton, a Holy Cross High school student, was given the Girl Scout Gold Award, for making a meaningful, sustainable change to her community and the world.
For her project, Kaylee organized a clothing drive to collect public school uniforms, shirts, pants, dress clothes, undergarments, shoes and winter coats for the shelter’s clothing pantry that benefits more than 100 teenagers enrolled at the shelter in Scranton. She also decorated the room with body positive and LGBTQI+ inclusive messages.
“One of the most memorable moments from my project was reading an article in the local newspaper about the NEPA Youth Shelter’s grand opening,” said Kaylee. The article talked about a student who only owned a pair of jeans that were tearing
In Kaylee’s ReThread Community Closet, he found a new pair of jeans with the tags still on them.
“I felt overjoyed that my project was helping others, and I knew then that this project and its impact was my reason for being a Girl Scout,” she said.
Stars in stripes
Lackawanna Trail High School graduates, Maj. Robert Watts, Lt. Col. Keith Hickox and Maj. Scott Laird, are serving in the Middle East as part of the same Pennsylvania Army National Guard Unit stationed in Kuwait.
Watts, Hickox and Laird are members of Task Force Spartan, Operation Spartan Shield.
Watts, a 1995 Lackawanna Trail graduate, has served in the military for 21 years and is on his second deployment. He is a military intelligence officer and the deputy team chief of training and exercises and the lead planner for Exercise Bright Star 18, a multinational exercise in the Arab Republic of Egypt.
On the civilian side, Watts is the northeast regional director for the Governor’s Action Team, Department of Economic & Community Development, Office of the Governor, according to an Army press release.
Hickox, a 1997 Trail graduate, has served for 21 years in the state Army National Guard and is on his third deployment to the Middle East. He is an infantry officer who serves as the division public affairs officer for Task Force Spartan.
On the civilian side, Hickox is a communications major and spent 12 years working at WNEP-TV.
“Our unit, being a headquarters, pulls soldiers from all over the Pennsylvania as well as surrounding states,” said Hickox. “I found it very interesting that three of us hailed from Lackawanna Trail.”Laird, a 1999 Trail graduate, has served for 19 years and is on his second deployment to the Middle East. He is an infantry officer and serves as a division plans officer working in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield where he participates on a joint task force of international partners developing plans for the military defeat of the ISIS.
On the civilian side, Laird is a solutions architect with FedEx.
“I’m thankful for having grown up in Northeastern PA and for the friends I made and lessons I learned,” Laird said. “You realize that when you leave all roads eventually lead home, and that it’s a good thing.”
The field-grade officers are with Headquarter and Headquarters Battalion, 28th Infantry Division, based out of Harrisburg.
Katie Gilmartin and Amie Talarico are chair and cochair for the 32nd annual Gourmet Gala benefit for the Ronald McDonald House Scranton.
This year’s gala is “Singin’ in the Rain” and scheduled for Sunday, March 31, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Convention Center.
“With dynamic individuals like Gilmartin and Talarico at the helm, our event is certain to be a great way to have fun while contributing to the well-being or families in our area with sick or injured children,” said Executive Director Richard Bradshaw.
The Gourmet Gala features the culinary talents of area restaurants. For more details or to purchase tickets, visit TheGourmetGala.com or contact 570-969-8998.