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Making Friends the Hidden Valley Way, By Sandra Muller

May 02, 2016 02:01PM ● By Elena Hutslar

Girl Scout Troop 32132 dedicating their Bronze Award project, a Buddy Bench, to Hidden Valley Elementary. (LtoR): Cassie Wickham, Principal Rich Gorton, Logan Muller, Kate Johnson, Troop Leader Lonnie Wickham, and Lorelei Arnold. [Photo credit: Allison Johnson]

Congratulations to Troop 32132 of Hidden Valley Elementary School in Martinez for earning their Bronze Award. In 2015, the troop’s four girls started planning the project for their Bronze Award, the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can achieve, and they decided on one that would foster friendship and encourage social interaction in their school’s community: a “Buddy Bench.”


The girls collected donations and sold cookies to earn the funds needed for their project, a beautifully-decorated bench for children to sit on if they are feeling lonely and in need of a friend. After purchasing and assembling their bench and designing a sign, the girls installed the Buddy Bench on April 9 and dedicated it to Hidden Valley Elementary School on Monday, April 11, after leading the school in a formal flag ceremony. “The girls’ enthusiasm and hard work was truly amazing throughout this process. I am very proud of them for reaching their goal,” said Troop Leader Lonnie Wickham.


“The Hidden Valley Community is so grateful to Troop 32132 and their families for the work they did to provide a Buddy Bench for our school,” said Principal Rich Gorton. “It helps to further beautify Hidden Valley Elementary, but even more importantly, it provides a place where students can go and know they will be surrounded by friends. There are times when we all need a Buddy Bench!”


Special thanks to Hidden Valley Elementary Principal Rich Gorton and to the school’s Parent Faculty Club for their support of Troop 32132’s Bronze Award Project. Additional thanks to GLT Sign Solutions in Martinez for printing a vibrant and welcoming Buddy Bench sign and to Mike Warriner of Pleasant Hill for donating his time and expertise to the installation of the bench.


Congratulations Girl Scout Troop 32132. We are so proud of you.


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