In recognition of her service to those who have served their country, the Solana Beach Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5431 named Veronica “Roni” Nelson its Scout of the Year. The Rancho Santa Fe resident was presented with a plaque and $250 check at the April 12 meeting.
“I’m so excited,” said Roni, a fourth-generation Girl Scout who joined the organization 11 years ago. “I’ve always had an interest in helping our veterans. My grandfather was a veteran and my great-uncle died in the Philippines. So, I’ve always been connected to the military.”
A top cookie seller for her troop for seven years — and the No. 1 seller for four consecutive years — Roni sells about 5,000 boxes annually and donates some of the money to Honor Flight San Diego, which escorts local veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit memorials dedicated to their service branch.
“I was involved with the sendoff here,” she said. “I decorated the plane for them before they boarded, and I was there for their homecoming.”
Roni, 17, asked her classmates at The Bishop’s School in La Jolla to write letters to the veterans, thanking them for their service.
The VFW Scout of the Year program provides three college scholarships of up to $5,000 to members of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts who display standout citizenship, patriotism and love of country.
Roni’s nomination packet has been forwarded to the VFW district commander for higher judging.
This fall she plans to attend the University of California Los Angeles, where she will major in dance and minor in entrepreneurship.