Girl Scouts make doctor visits more fun for worried tykes

<I>DAMIAN MULINIX photo</I><BR>Christy Frye-Brady, Allison Converse-Brady, Monica Millner and Sheryl Brady deliver the toys they purchased to the Ocean Beach Medical Clinic Friday.

ILWACO - Thanks to a generous donation by a local Girl Scout troop, children visiting the Ocean Beach Medical Clinic in Ilwaco will have a little more fun while waiting to visit the doctor.

Cadet Troop 2399 of the Columbia River Girl Scout Council decided they would do something different this year with some of the money earned through their annual cookie sale. They used a third of their total for the year to purchase toys and books for the lobby of the clinic.

"During the time of earning the money it was their main focus," said troop advisor Sheryl Brady.

The troop began selling the cookies last January and ended in March with $750. Originally the girls wanted to give the donation to Ocean Beach Hospital, but due to the construction going on they were referred to the clinic instead. The girls began calling around to various toy stores in the area to find out if the store might match the funds the girls spent toward their donation, but they all declined. Finally they decided to just go to Wal-Mart and see what they could get.

And get they did. The girls spent $250 on various toys including a table in which the children can color or do puzzles on, a frog walker for smaller kids, a rocking snail, plus various smaller items like dolls and toy cars as well as coloring books and crayons.

"When the shopping time finally came, they had a blast," said Brady. "They were comparison shopping with what was available. They were wise shoppers."

There were five girls in the troop at the time the fund-raiser began, that number has since dropped to three; Monica Millner, Allison Converse-Brady and Christy Frye-Brady. The three girls and their troop advisor dropped off the toys at the clinic on Friday, to the delight of Laurel Anderson, back office manager for the clinic.

"This is great, you guys," she told the girls. "You did a great job. The kids ought to be thrilled to death."

The annual cookie fund-raiser each year goes towards funding different things for the troop including small trips and badges. Part of the money this year will be put aside toward a trip to Minnesota in July 2004 for a Girl Scout Jamboree. The girls have decided that next year they will do the same thing, this time giving to the hospital as they wanted to this year.

"Its all up to the girls," said Brady. "They get to make their choice, and the adults just help to get it where they want it to be."

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