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Oct 7, 2009 2:38 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

After delay, Girl Scouts get green light for Westhampton Beach mural

Oct 7, 2009 2:38 PM

A small group of girls fussed over the right shade of green to use Sunday morning as they huddled together, all wearing comfortable clothes and a few without their shoes, inside the old National’s building on Sunset Avenue in Westhampton Beach.

The 10 girls, all members of Girl Scout Troop 759 and fifth-graders at nearby Westhampton Beach Elementary School, were busy painting oversized panels for a mural that, when completed, will hang in the windows of the vacant store.

The girls were excited to finally start painting the mural, a community service project that was put on hold in June after Waldbaum’s, which currently rents the old National’s space next door, would not donate the $400 needed to fund the beautification project.

“We’re finally doing something pretty,” said Michele Blydenburgh, one of the leaders of Troop 759.

Instead of the sheets of brown paper that covered up the 7-foot-tall windows of National’s, the soon-to-be-finished mural will conceal Waldbaum’s overstock of sodas, shopping carts and building materials. After working for more than two hours on Sunday morning, the Girl Scouts were scheduled to finish work on the 16 panels, each 48 inches wide and 7 feet tall, later this week.

The finished project is scheduled to make its debut in about two weeks, said Amy Hess, the owner of Amy’s Ark Studio in Westhampton Beach. Ms. Hess drew the outlines for the panels.

“We’re getting so much done today,” said Madison Tuccillo after she and two other Girl Scouts, Skylar Trager and Alison Davis, finished blending the brown color for the tree trunk that they were painting.

The Girl Scouts, all 10 years old, negotiated the right colors for the 16 panels—all featuring images of trees, wildlife and outdoor scenes—while passing around buckets of water to clean the brushes.

The girls had different techniques for painting. Kelsey Taylor, Madison Costello, Megan Mensch, Victoria Blydenburgh, Hannah Gentry, Jillian Galovic and Lorena Mancino spread out over two panels, each claiming a section before painting away. In contrast, Skylar Trager, Alison Davis and Madison Tuccillo huddled and painted together, blending their colors as they worked.

In addition to helping beautifying their village, the Girl Scouts were also working to earn their Bronze Award, which is awarded for community beautification, said Sabina Trager, the leader of Troop 759. A few weeks ago, the girls also planted flowers at the Toddler Garden on Mill Road in the village as part of achieving their Bronze Awards.

“The girls are so excited for it,” Ms. Trager said of the mural.

The Girl Scouts agreed, saying that they were happy to spend their Sunday morning painting. They all described the project as “fun,” “cool” and “awesome.”

The idea for the mural was first bought up in June by Westhampton Beach Village Board member Joan Levan. She met with Waldbaum’s executives to discuss issues at the Sunset Avenue store, such as the cleanliness of the supermarket, the freshness of its produce, and the poor condition of its parking lot. New coolers and a new drainage system were installed in the parking lot last summer before it was repaved.

Executives at Waldbaum’s, which is owned by Montvale, New Jersey-based Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, approved the mural project in June. The plans for the mural were called off in July after supermarket officials said they would donate only $100 for supplies—about one-quarter of what the project would cost the Girl Scouts to complete.

Diane Cascone, the manager of the Waldbaum’s in Westhampton Beach, gave the Girl Scouts the green light at the end of August, according to Ms. Trager. When reached, Ms. Cascone declined to say whether or not the $400 came from Waldbaum’s or from private donations.

“The girls are so cute and adorable,” said Ms. Cascone, adding that she was grateful that the Girl Scouts agreed to paint the mural. “I’m glad it’s getting done.

Officials with the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company did not return calls seeking comment.

Ms. Blydenburgh said troop leaders are not certain who ponied up the money for the mural, adding that the Girl Scouts and troop leaders are all pleased that it became available.

“It all came together for the common good,” Ms. Blydenburgh said.

Ms. Levan, who stopped by the Sunset Avenue supermarket Sunday morning to check out the work, told Ms. Trager that she was also pleased that the project finally came to fruition.

The former National’s store, which is now being used by Waldbaum’s, has been vacant for at least three years. In 2007, Westhampton Beach granted Waldbaum’s the necessary permits to expand the supermarket into the adjoining, vacant building. The company later abandoned those plans, citing financial issues.

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Waldbaum's sucks.
By barnbabe (64), westhampton beach on Oct 7, 09 4:21 PM
a really classy comment there barnbabe.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Oct 8, 09 9:21 AM
Reports that Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company executives begin each day by hitting each other in the head with a brick have NOT been confirmed.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Oct 9, 09 2:31 AM
By Pocholo (13), Westhampton on Oct 9, 09 10:39 AM
Yay!!! You go Girls!!!
By MaryMac (43), Riverhead on Oct 9, 09 10:46 AM
I think that Waldbaums execs like to slap each other silly, give themselves raises, and then hit each other in the head with bricks, lol! Way to Go Girls!
By LovedHerTown (132), southampton on Oct 10, 09 12:34 PM
Gimme back my Nationals.

By Jean (79), whb on Oct 10, 09 10:13 PM