GOLD AWARD SPOTLIGHT: Alannah heals the hearts of kids with a little help from books!

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“With a Gold Award everything is on you to succeed. It’s one person leading everyone. It’s your project from beginning to end.” – Alannah.

The Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio is proud to congratulate Alannah Gavuzzi, 18, a graduating senior of Citrus Valley High School on achieving her Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouting.

Her project, “Literary Healing,” focused on collecting and donating books for sick children to read at Loma Linda University Medical Center Children’s Hospital, as well as literary donations to the Ronald McDonald House.

“I realized that kids staying in the hospital don’t have a whole lot of entertainment. When I was younger, books really helped me. I always enjoyed reading about superheroes and I would imagine myself as that fictional character who was able to do anything. When I decided to do my Gold Award, I figured I could be a hero to these children just as my books were heroes to me,” said Alannah.

book donations by Alannah
Sorting through 2,000 book donations!

To qualify for her Gold Award, she had to dedicate over 80 hours of personal time to her project. During the long weekends and late nights she, and a few dedicated friends: devoted their time to canvassing neighborhoods in East Highland for book donations using paper bags donated by Stater Brothers; personally retrieving donated books from over 100 homes; cleaning and sorting nearly 2,000 books by hand; and finally distributing these gifts to Loma Linda’s children’s hospital.

Alannah said, “It was amazing to see 2,000 books come out of just 160 homes. I was humbled to see so many people donate so much for children in need.”

In addition to making a sizable donation to the hospital’s library, Alannah acquired colorful gift bags. With them, she created 200 welcome gifts filled with treats and books for children at the Ronald McDonald House.

“I knew of Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House because we used to donate Girl Scout cookies there when I was younger. And this year, we had a lot of ICARE cookies so we were able to donate close to 23 cases,” said Alannah.

Althought her project was far from easy, Alannah is very passionate about the rewards a Gold project can bring.

“The Gold is so different than a Silver Award. For my Silver, my troop was able to earn it as a group. With a Gold Award everything is on you to succeed. It’s one person leading everyone. It’s your project from beginning to end,” she said.

gift bags by Alannah
Gifts for the Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House.

With her Gold Award completed, Alannah is setting her sights on college. She has already been accepted to Cal Poly Pomona where she will major in Chemical Engineering. She isn’t the slightest bit intimidated by the challenges ahead. In fact, you can hear the unbridled enthusiasm in her voice when she speaks about the future.

“You need leadership if you want to do great things. I believe my Gold Award project has really helped me grow into the strong, independent woman I am today. It helped lead my future and it continues to help me become a person of importance,” Alannah said.

She and 19 of her co-award recipients will be honored this Sunday, April 27, 2014 at the Gold and Silver Awards Gala. Alannah’s younger sister will also be attending to receive her Silver Award.

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