The memory of a 15-year-old Rosemead girl who died of leukemia before she could go to the Girl Scout camp she had dreamed of attending has led to a $162,000 camping scholarship for a San Gabriel Valley-based Scouting group.
The bequest is the largest ever received by the 6,000-girl Mt. Wilson Vista Council. The Mary Ernestine Kuhn Campership Fund will generate interest earnings that will send as many as 175 girls from low-income families to camp each year, according to Scouting leaders.
The donation was made by Kathryn Kuhn, who died two years ago at the age of 86. Her daughter, Mary Ernestine, died in 1965 after doctors conducting a pre-camp physical examination discovered leukemia.
The girl was immediately hospitalized for treatment and never had a chance to attend camp. Although Kathryn Kuhn continued to work as a Girl Scout volunteer and often spoke of wanting to do something special in her daughter's memory, officials at the council's Arcadia headquarters were stunned by the bequest.
"It's ironic how a tragedy such as the death of Mary Ernestine would result in the establishment of a campership fund that will enable literally thousands of girls to enjoy camping," said Brenda Berg, council executive director.