Girl Scout Troop 569 pose for a photo with signs that they made at their troop leader-s house Thursday. Top row from left, Abby Thorsland, Justine Lubbers, Reece Thorsland. Bottom row from left, Gabrielle Barbera, Kalei Valk, Amethyst Gardner, Brooke Rosener. (Contributed photo)

This Halloween will be sweeter than usual for members of Oneonta Girl Scout Troop 569.

The seven second-grade members of the troop are pushing shopping carts, donated by Price Chopper, in the Oneonta parade starting at 7 p.m., down Main Street.

Troop leader Debbie Thorsland said the goal is to have members of the community give canned goods and nonperishable items for donation to the St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church food bank, which is open to all in need. Her twin daughters, Reece and Abby, are two of those pushing carts.

All the girls will all be wearing costumes instead of their uniforms, she said. "We needed to keep it fun for them," she said.

A few of the girls who attend Valleyview Elementary School talked about the event Wednesday.

"We like helping out families who don't have food," Amethyst Gardner said.

She has never done anything like this before, she said. She will be wearing a fairy costume.

Reece Thorsland said arrangements have been made to have the food bank opened to accept the donations after the parade. Each of the children will receive help from a parent in pushing the cart, in case "it gets too heavy," she said.

She will be dressing as a princess, while her sister will be dressed as a scientist, she said.

Debbie Thorsland said she learned about the need for food donations when she attended a Sunday School class at the church last month with her daughters. The Girl Scouts have recently reorganized and want the girls to be involved in a service project, Thorsland said.

She discussed the situation with the Rev. Joseph Benintende, pastor at St. Mary's, who gave her the go-ahead.

St. Mary's outreach coordinator, Janice Hinkley, said, "We really appreciate it. If it wasn't for efforts like this, we wouldn't be able to keep food on the shelves."

The food bank is one of three that serve the community, she said.

Other members of the troop include: Justine Lubbers, who attends Charlotte Valley Elementary School; and Kalei Valk, Gabrielle Barbera and Brooke Rosener, who attend Greater Plains Elementary.

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