Senator Tikoian Oversees Presentation Of Grants, Cookie Donations

Senator Tikoian Oversees Presentation Of Grants, Cookie Donations

by Paul Lonardo

Senator David Tikoian keeps a busy schedule, and this past February was no exception. On February 21, the senator delivered two community Grant Awards to the Smithfield senior center. One grant, in the amount of $2,000, was presented to the Smithfield Department of Human Services. The funds were made available to replenish provisions in the food pantry for those within the community who are in need. Beth Vincent, Assistant Director of Human Services was on hand to accept the check. This money will be used for heating assistance, supplementing those who are in need of emergency housing, as well as for the purchasing of food for locals at Stop & Shop, Dave’s, Market Basket, and other community markets.

The second community grant was $1,000 and was provided to the Smithfield Senior Center. These funds are intended to help offset the costs of various activities that the robust senior population enjoy participating in regularly.

Senator Tikoian says, “It was a priority for me to apply for this community grant funding on behalf of the Smithfield Senior Center and Department of human services, knowing full well these dollars will benefit those in our community living within the margins.”

Kate McAdam-Prickett, the Activities Director at the Smithfield Senior Center, was on hand to accept the check on the center’s behalf. “We’ll use the money for programming,” Kate says. “Right now, our seniors pay for the classes, so with money from the legislative grant we’ll be able to offer them one free class for a year. At the moment we have a free line dancing class that we’ve been able to pay for with a previous donation, and the participants love it.”

The following week, on February 28, Senator Tikoian, in collaboration with the Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England, Smithfield Troop 212 and Troop 208, delivered four cases of assorted Girl Scout cookies to the Smithfield Food Pantry. That’s 48 boxes of delicious cookies added to the food pantry shelves, operated by the Smithfield Department of Human Services, and located at the Smithfield Senior Center.

Kate was on hand for that event, as well, and knows how popular cookies are with families. “We may have to put an extra lock on the cabinets while the cookies are there,” she jokes. “That’s how good they are.”

From Senator Tikoian’s perspective, incorporating the scouts into this process provides them with an opportunity to learn about and gain an understanding of what community service really means, while also exposing them to the harsh reality there are families in need with our community that need our help.

This is the second year in a row that Senator Tikoian donated the cookies and has asked Girl Scout Troop 212 from Smithfield to join him.

Beth Worthley, a former Girl Scout herself, who founded the troop for her daughter and her friends, believes this event is a rewarding experience for them, providing them with an example of giving back and preparing them to be future leaders by participating in community outreach initiatives such as this.

Senator Tikoian agrees. “It’s a win, win situation,” he says. “Not only are we giving back to the community, by donating the cookies to the food pantry, but by purchasing the cookies from Girl Scout Troop 212, it helps with organizations fundraising efforts as well.”

While the girls in Troop 212 range from first graders up to sixth graders, Beth also contacted Brownie Troop 208, consisting of third-grade girls out of Pleasant View Elementary, inviting them to participate in the event.
“It’s good for our younger girls to see some of the older girls in Scouts, develop those relationships and help them develop their own confidence,” Beth says.

Senator Tikoian and these two Smithfield-based Girl Scouts were joined again this year by Dana Borrelli-Murray, CEO of Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England. Dana announced to the two troops that the fundraising efforts from troops across the council, which includes all of Rhode Island and some towns in Massachusetts and Connecticut, hit a milestone as the 700,000th box of cookies was sold that day.

Dana, who grew up in Smithfield, told the girls, “It’s wonderful to be back home and to see the great work you’re doing.” Dana wrapped up her time with the Girl Scouts by reminding parents and everyone present that, “When we invest in our Girl Scouts, we are investing in our future and I always tell people we’re not in the cookie business, we are in the girl-entrepreneurial business, this is building skills for a lifetime.”

Filling our local food pantries is certainly a great cause and a responsibility of the entire community. With girl scout cookies, you can’t go wrong. “Girl Scout cookie sales is the primary fundraising opportunity for the troops and fund all opportunities including STEM projects, outdoor adventures, earning badges, and supporting the troops’ community service projects,” Beth says. “A portion of the fundraising proceeds also funds programs offered by the council for all Girl Scouts across the region. No girl is ever denied membership in a troop or have her participation restricted by inability to pay, making fundraising valuable to ensure that all girls have the opportunity to participate.”

Although March is typically the end of the Girl Scout cookie season, Beth says there may still be a few boxes left out there for sale.

2024 © The Smithfield Times

Privacy Policy   |   Website Designed by JPG Designs