Fort Mill Times

Girl Scouts scout for the cure

It's never too early to learn how to take care of yourself.

That's the idea behind the Girl Scouts Hornet's Nest Council's Scouting for the Cure events planned for this weekend across the Charlotte region. York County Girl Scouts will be heading to Unity Presbyterian Church Saturday afternoon to learn about breast health, detecting breast cancer and to perform some community service projects, according to Hornet's Nest spokeswoman Melissa Garza.

"They'll be making recovery pillows for mastectomy patients and T-shirts for the Race for the Cure," Garza said. "And we'll give them some breast health facts ... but we'll do it in a non-threatening way."

Scouting for the Cure is funded through a grant from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. The foundation has been providing funding for breast cancer research for 25 years. It is the largest private source of funds for cancer research, according to Gloria Scienski, director of the Komen for the Cure Charlotte affiliate.

The foundation supports events such as Scouting for the Cure because they are a way to impress the importance of awareness and early detection of breast cancers on young girls, Scienski said.

"We try to start girls young on breast health so it's ingrained like flossing," she said. "It's a great way to help younger women start to develop great breast health habits growing up."

The Komen Foundation's biggest annual fundraiser is the Race for the Cure, which will be held Oct. 4 in Charlotte.

The Hornet's Nest Council doesn't sponsor a team in the race, but many troops do participate on their own, Garza said. Come October some racers may end up wearing T-shirts the Scouts make this weekend.

And the recovery pillows they make will go to area hospitals that perform mastectomies in the course of treating breast cancer, Garza said.

This year marks the third that the Hornet's Nest Council has held a Scouting for the Cure event in York County, but the sixth year of involvement with the program overall, Garza said.

Other events will be held the same day in Mecklenburg, Cabarrus and Union counties.

Overall, the council is hoping 1,000 Girl Scouts and their parents will attend.

Turnout in Fort Mill is expected to be around 200, Garza noted.

Helping and learning

Girl Scouts from around the Charlotte region will be heading to several Scouting for the Cure events throughout the area to learn about breast cancer and how to find and treat it. The event is funded through a grant from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.

• When: 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 15

• Where: Unity Presbyterian Church, Fort Mill

• What: Girl Scouts will learn about breast cancer, breast health and how to perform self-exams to check for lumps. They will also work on craft projects such as recovery pillows for mastectomy patients.