By: Elise Phillips Margulis
On October 4th, a fourth grade Girl Scout troop from the Mountview Road School in Hanover tied pink ribbons around trees in Malapardis Park in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.
According to Troop leader Claudia Bono, a fellow troop mom saw information about Minnette’s Angels on the Hanover Facebook page. She knew that working with the breast cancer nonprofit organization would be a great opportunity for their 23 girl scouts.
Bono recalled, “We both felt it was an easy volunteer venture for the girls to do and for a good cause. Being that the area was our hometown, it was something that would have been foolish to pass up.”
Bono contacted the person organizing the event and asked if the girl scouts could participate. They set up a date and told the parents about it.
The girls walked from Mountview Road School to Malapardis Park where they tied the pink ribbons around the trees.
Bono reflected on the long-term benefit of the project.
“We felt it was an opportunity that showcased the value of volunteering their time. They saw the ribbons every time they drove past the park for the month and it reinforced the good they did.”
The girls are now old enough to better understand giving back to the community and are planning on a fundraiser for the spring. A percentage of the event profits will go to a charity of their choice.
Bono said that the Girl Scouts has a team of leaders who work together and with the troop to plan events for the girls that incorporate and encourage team building.
“The Girl Scout fundamentals are working together and having fun. Each event is marked with a badge that they add to their vest. The girls enjoy receiving these badges and filling their vests. But more so, these projects allow them to work together as a team.”
The Minette Grosso McKenna Angels Foundation is a breast cancer organization founded by Kenneth McKenna whose wife Minnette passed away from breast cancer after a ten-year battle.
They met at Seton Hall University while Minette was studying Nursing. She became a nurse and continued to care for her patients while she was fighting her cancer.
Kenneth founded Minette’s Angels in 2004, the year after Minette passed away. According to their website, “Minnette’s courage, strength and determination inspired many and was the inspiration for our Foundation.”
Minette not only cared for her patients while ill, she was also involved in fundraising for breast cancer organizations so they could research and provide education, screening and treatment.
Minette’s Angels, based in Verona, has a board of trustees and volunteers who are dedicated to helping individuals suffering from breast cancer as well as the survivors of those who died from breast cancer.
The foundation offers a second year nursing scholarship at Seton Hall University’s Nursing School. It also provides a general scholarship for students studying in the Health Field and it underwrites mammograms for medically underserved and uninsured women.
In November Minette’s Angels Foundation presented a $10,000 check to Trinitas Health Foundation for their Comprehensive Cancer Center. The donation will be used for wigs, lymphedema sleeves and gloves, mastectomy bras and prosthesis and food gift cards.
In December of 2018, Kenneth gave St. Barnabas Medical Center a $20,000 check to renovate one of the hospital’s private infusion rooms.
Minette’s Angels organizes fundraising events throughout the year including a Ladies’ Tea, their Gala and many more.