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Gold Award Girl Scout partners with local animal shelter to fight infectious diseases


St. Louis, MO – August 29, 2018 – Irina Grimm, a 2017 Kirkwood High school graduate and freshman at St. Louis Community College, recently earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. By earning the award, Grimm exemplifies a leader who has transformed an idea or vision for change into an actionable plan with a measurable and sustainable impact. Grimm was recognized with other Gold Award Girl Scouts during a ceremony at Lindenwood University in St. Charles this summer.

To earn the Gold Award, Grimm used recycled dresser drawers, plywood and paint to build a cat tree that she donated to a local animal shelter in House Springs. More than 40 cats are housed at the shelter, so Grimm researched and designed an easy-to-clean cat tree that would help minimize the exposure and transmission of infectious diseases.

“Traditional cat trees are covered in a cloth material,” Grimm said. “There are lots of cats coming into shelters and it can be difficult to determine if they’re sick or not. Bacteria can be transferred from the cloth to other cats. My cat tree has a wood base and it can be cleaned using antibacterial wipes. I also sewed pillows that can be removed and thrown into the washing machine.”

Grimm chose to do this as her Gold Award project because of her passion for animals and after organizing a team of family, friends and members from her church, she accomplished her Gold Award vision. Grimm is a true G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) TM through and through.

The Girl Scout Gold Award represents the culmination of more than 80 hours of work on a project. Approximately one million Girl Scouts in ninth through 12th grade have earned the Girl Scout Gold Award or its equivalent since 1916.

A young woman who has earned the Gold Award is a community leader. Gold Award Girl Scouts report a more positive sense of self, are more engaged civically and in community service, have more confidence in their leadership abilities, and experience greater life satisfaction and success than non-Gold Award peers. Some of the benefits of becoming a Gold Award Girl Scout are:

  • Immediately rising one rank when enlisting in the US Armed Forces
  • Earning scholarships from colleges and universities
  • Recognition from many government and non-profit organizations

Earning the Gold Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit