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Southwest Greensburg Girl Scout ups goal to 6,000 boxes of donated cookies

Renatta Signorini
| Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, 8:55 p.m.

Emily Milliron Ruggieri reached her goal of 5,000 donated boxes of Girl Scout cookies in mid-February.

The 7-year-old Southwest Greensburg girl's parents looked forward to a respite from the constant, yet exciting emails bearing donations from around the world.

They were wrong.

“She looked at us like we were crazy,” said mother Suzanne Milliron Ruggieri. “It really makes me happy to see that she's still ... the one that's pushing for it.”

Now, Emily hopes she and her Girl Scout Brownie Troop 26683 can get enough donations for 6,000 boxes of cookies by March 3 to be donated to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh in honor of her late father who underwent cancer treatment there.

As of earlier this week, she had enough for more than 5,300 boxes.

The group donated 4,000 boxes to the hospital in 2014, blowing away Emily's goal then of 1,320.

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

The cookies will be used to stock the hospital's kitchen pantries to serve as a treat for families with patients there.

Now, Emily, with the help of her parents Suzanne and John Ruggieri, and brother Gabriel Ethan, 4, have turned the goal into a geography project that allows them to keep track of donations spanning the globe.

Donations have been made from all 50 states and 24 countries, most recently from Greece, Milliron Ruggieri said.

Half of the donations are from Pennsylvania residents, she added.

A benefactor who knew Ethan Milliron committed to matching donations for 526 boxes that streamed through in less than 24 hours earlier this month, she said.

“It's all so close and well within her reach,” she said.

Emily is excited about her progress and the possibility of reaching farther: “... which makes me just as happy because you never want to push your kids to do something they don't want to do,” Milliron Ruggieri said.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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