Senior center celebrates Mary Essex Day

First Selectman Michael C. Tetreau, Girl Scout Mary Essex, Director of Human and Social Services Ms. Terry Giegengack.

First Selectman Michael C. Tetreau, Girl Scout Mary Essex, and Director of Human and Social Services Terry Giegengack.

First Selectman Michael Tetreau proclaimed April 24, 2015 “Mary Essex Day” when Fairfield Ludlowe High School senior Mary Essex presented a raised wheelchair accessible planter with flowers and herbs to the Fairfield Senior Center on Earth Day. Mary represents “young people leading by example” and has “already made a difference in our community,” he said.

In accepting the planter, Terry Giegengack, Director of Human and Social Services said, “Many of us have dreams. Mary is distinguished today by her dedication to accomplishing her dream.

Mary came here 18 months ago to inquire about the usefulness of an outdoor planter. She was particularly concerned about seniors and persevered to complete this remarkable project.”

Mary designed the 27” inch-high, movable planter as her “Take Action Project” for the Girl Scouts’ highest achievement Gold Award. Started in 1916, the award is for “the best and brightest girls to find greatness inside themselves and make the world a better place.”

The inspiration for the planter came from Mary’s grandmother, who loved to garden, but found “as she got older, it was harder to bend over and be on her knees.” Essex thought of the Senior Center because “having a raised bed would cheer some people up and give them access to a hobby they enjoyed, as well as being beneficial to the community and environmentally helpful.”

In accepting the proclamation and gratitude from the Senior Center, Mary added she has “been working on this a very long time and is proud to present it to the Fairfield Senior Center.” She acknowledged she had support from her Gold Award mentor Melissa Geathers, Fairfield Senior Center’s woodcarver volunteer Chris Lussen, and her troop leader, Margaret Essex. Her father and Girl Scout troop members Tara and Heather Anderson, Elizabeth Van Winkle, Alissa Capponi, and Assistant Leaders Cathy Anderson and Lynn Van Winkle, helped with the planter assembly.

Mary has been an active scout in the Girl Scouts of Connecticut Council since she was in kindergarten. The planter is on display at the Fairfield Senior Center, 100 Mona Terrace, Fairfield 06824.

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