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8-year-old Dallas girl raises money to help Duncanville Boy Scout troop replace stolen camping equipment

In September, someone stole a local Boy Scout troop’s trailer & camping equipment from a locked storage shed. Since then, dozens of people have come forward to help.

It is an exciting holiday season, following a very difficult fall, for Troop 193 out of Duncanville. 

In September, someone stole the troop’s trailer and camping equipment from a locked storage shed. Since then, dozens of people have come forward to help, and now the trailer and camping equipment have been replaced, along with the addition of a new security camera.

RELATED: Thief steals trailer from Duncanville Boy Scout troop

“It’s just been astonishing how the scouting community, the local community, and even the DFW area, how many people have reached out,” Troop 193 Committee Chair Bettie George said. “We’re very excited that come January, we’re going to go and camp in Corpus Christi.”

The excitement was only amplified when they learned some of the stories behind the donations.

8-year-old Dallas 3rd grader and Cub Scout Ashley Panko raised $500 and donated camping equipment after learning of the theft.

“I felt sorry for them, and I wanted to help them,” Panko said. “I feel happy, excited, I just feel so glad that I helped them, and they are happy now.”

Her parents are so proud.

“I was just in complete awe,” her mom Heather Panko said. “To me, it’s just amazing that an 8-year-old would think to do something like this for a group of boys 30 minutes away in Duncanville that otherwise she wouldn’t have met in her entire life.”

Credit: Ashley Panko

She hosted lemonade stands and raised money in other ways to help her reach her goal.

“It’s unusual for somebody of that age to figure that out and have the drive to follow it through all the way to the end,” her dad Jason Panko said. “She’s not old enough to really understand what this really means long term, what she did, how hard it is for even communities to even do it.”

“She personally delivered a $500 check and some camping equipment. And that was absolutely fabulous,” George said. "The boys were really stunned by the dedication this young scout showed to helping them.”

They have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season.

“The week of Thanksgiving, we have this awesome trailer and all of our equipment and the boys can be thankful that their scouting experience can go forward now,” George added.

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