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Southwest Greensburg Girl Scout leads effort to brighten day for hospitalized kids |

Southwest Greensburg Girl Scout leads effort to brighten day for hospitalized kids

Chuck Biedka
| Sunday, January 31, 2016 11:00 p.m
Phil Wilson | For Trib Total Media
Emily Ruggieri, center front, is surrounded by some of the scouts who are joining her in an effort to sell Girl Scout cookies and have the cookies donated to Childrens Hospital.
Phil Wilson | For Trib Total Media
Emily Ruggieri, center, plays a game with a gaggle of Girl Scouts. During the annual cookie sale, Scouts from across the region are banding together in concert with Emily Ruggieri of Troup 26683 to sell boxes of cookies to be donated to Children’s Hospital.

Seven-year-old Braelyn Robinson likely doesn’t remember being hospitalized when she was an infant.

But the Jeannette girl knows she can help others who are spending time at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, even if she can’t cure their ailments.

“I want to support Children’s Hospital because I was in there,” she said.

Braelyn and other Girl Scouts across the area are teaming up to help Southwest Greensburg’s Emily Milliron Ruggieri reach her goal of supplying the hospital where her father once underwent cancer treatments with 7,500 boxes of Girl Scout cookies.

Emily, 8, is embarking on her third year of raising money for boxes of the cookies with a teamwork theme to help other Girl Scouts reach their sales goals while she chips away at her own. She is once again coloring in maps of the United States and the world as donations pour in from far away. She has enough so far to purchase about 3,000 boxes.

“I care about doing good for others,” the third-grader at Hutchinson Elementary said.

The donations sent Emily’s way will be used this year to purchase boxes of cookies from other Girl Scouts to stock kitchen pantries at Children’s Hospital.

“She decided that in order for this to grow bigger, she needed to recruit more girls,” John Ruggieri said. “So now all these little girls can achieve their goals, too.”

Emily’s birth father, Ethan Milliron, battled cancer in his teens and underwent treatment at Children’s Hospital throughout his life. He and Suzanne Milliron Ruggieri married in 2006 and later welcomed Emily. Milliron died in 2009 at 24.

Girl Scouts who decided to participate are collecting donations. Customers can purchase boxes from their regular Girl Scout and then either drop them off to Emily or have someone in her family pick up the box, Ruggieri said.

Emily’s donations to the hospital have been increasing annually.

In 2013, she collected enough for 4,000 boxes. Last year, she took 6,500 boxes to the hospital.

“I really, really felt proud of myself and excited that they got a treat,” Emily said. “Even though it’s just a cookie, it can still bring a smile to their face.”

The gesture is important to those who find themselves in the hospital, said Leah Marsolo, whose daughter spent time there and now is collecting donations. It lets patients and their families know that someone on the outside cares, said Marsolo of Jeannette.

“It’s just a really great opportunity for us to give back to the patients and families because we once were there,” said Jaclyn Robinson, Braelyn’s mother.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-837-5374 or

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff reporter. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, or via Twitter .

Categories: Westmoreland
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