ShareThis Page

Plum Girl Scout's Gold Award project benefits animals

| Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Girl Scouts Katie Chontos and Rebecca Hall shop for pet food at Walmart as part of Chontos' Gold Award project to create a pet food pantry for the Plum Food Pantry.
Girl Scouts Katie Chontos and Rebecca Hall shop for pet food at Walmart as part of Chontos' Gold Award project to create a pet food pantry for the Plum Food Pantry.

Katie Chontos heard a lot about the Plum Food Pantry.

Chontos' friend, Patrick Caughey, volunteered at the pantry, and Chontos decided to join him one Tuesday about a year ago.

“I saw it was a good thing they did giving food to people,” said Chontos, 17, a senior at Plum High School. “It is so welcoming. It is a good place.”

When Chontos, a member of Girl Scout Troop 5074, earlier this year was thinking about a project to work on to earn a Gold Award — the highest achievement in Girl Scouting — the Plum Food Pantry immediately popped into her mind.

“I saw that most people (clients of the pantry) came in and had dogs and cats in their cars,” said Chontos, who aspires to be a veterinarian. “I wanted the project to be related to animals.”

Chontos decided to create a pet pantry for clients at the food pantry, which is located in Holiday Park United Methodist Church on Sandune Drive in Plum.

Chontos began the project in the spring by surveying pantry clients to find out things such as how many pets they have and what kind of food they give their pets.

The survey results revealed that clients have a difficult time finding money to buy food for their pets.

Next, Chontos, a member of the Air Force Junior ROTC at Plum High School, led the group in a pet-food collection.

Chontos said clients scooped up the cans and bags of food in just 17 minutes during a distribution day in late April.

“I put them on the extras table where clients can pick up toothbrushes, shampoo and out-of-the ordinary items,” Chontos said.

She said she plans to continue providing pet food to the pantry.

“I want to have a good flow,” Chontos said.

Chontos and other members of her Girl Scout troop routinely go on shopping trips to buy more pet food.

“She takes the donations and uses them to the best of her ability,” said Kay D'Incau, troop leader.

D'Incau said she admires Chontos' commitment to caring for animals. D'Incau said Chontos shadowed a veterinarian to find out about the job.

“She has been one of my huge animal advocates since day one,” D'Incau said. “I am proud of her.”

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.