Chester Girl Scout Troops came together and honored the memory of two of their own, Alyssa Barberi and Raina Ferraro, in a special bridge dedication ceremony at Chester Commons Park and Field on Sunday June 6.
The project was supposed to be unveiled in 2020 but was delayed due to the Coronavirus outbreak. It was finally brought to fruition in an event curated by Girl Scout Troop 413 and their group leaders Cynthia Acevedo and Denise Candela.
The bridge was painted white by Troop 413 and has 17 planks that were decorated by local troops, the two planks in the center were specifically made for, and by, the troops both Barberi and Ferraro were a part of. In addition, the bridge includes several plain white planks that future Girl Scout Troops can paint as the project continues to grow. The bridge is located at the foot of a trail on the far side of the open field, surrounded by a flower garden, and features a beautiful memorial stone alongside painted stones made by fellow Girl Scouts.
Both Susan Barberi and Iris Ferraro were present for the dedication of the bridge to their daughters and were the first to cross over the bridge.
Sixth-grade student Alyssa Barberi died in 2009 from complications from the flu, her mother continued to lead her daughters’ troop until they graduated stating “Alyssa would have wanted me to”.
In 2015, Raina Ferraro died two years after complications from a routine procedure. She was 19 years old. Her mother, Iris, described her as a “Girl Scout through and through”. Both girls will continue to be remembered by the Chester community.
The bridge is open to the public and can be viewed during park hours.