Valrico resident Emily Warrington receives the Stars & Stripes Award through the American Heritage Girls.

The words “I promise to love God, cherish my family, honor my country, and serve in my community” are what the members of American Heritage Girls recite as part of their oath in cooperation with the principles of its program.

A member of American Heritage Girls Troop FL2031 at Kings Avenue Baptist Church in Brandon, Emily Warrington, who resides in Valrico, recently earned the highest recognition by being rewarded the Stars & Stripes Award, which she felt honored to receive. Warrington is the 587th girl nationally and the 23rd girl in Florida to receive the award.

American Heritage Girls was established in 1995 and is a premier national character development organization for young women ages 5-18. The group encourages family involvement and advocates Christian values. Currently, Troops can be found in 15 countries and all states.

Candidates for the Stars & Stripes Award complete a service project that they get to plan, lead and implement. Warrington knew that she wanted to be involved with a project that benefits children. An opportunity arose for her as she spoke with one of her pastors at FishHawk Fellowship Church in Lithia.

Pastor Daniel Duncan had mentioned that Balm Baptist Church, located in Wimauma, prayed for a commercial-grade playground and sought to get their old basketball court replaced. Warrington took on a $30,000 project as she chose to serve Balm Baptist Church by getting its basketball court refurbished through MF Concrete Services, LLC, along with purchasing and installing a playground.

Before accomplishing this project Warrington persevered through a challenge that she came across.

“Over the span of 10 months I searched for companies to replace the basketball court within my budget, and thankfully MF Concrete Services, LLC did that,” Warrington said. “God also provided the funds and so much more to get the job done.”

Troop Coordinator of Troop FL2031 Holly Rowlette told about her happiness for Warrington.

“Emily worked hard to achieve this and I am thrilled to have our second Stars & Stripes recipient in our Troop,” Rowlette said.

For more information, visit Those interested in joining Troop FL2031 should email

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Tatiana Ortiz
Tatiana Ortiz is a freelance writer with the Osprey Observer Newspaper. She began as an intern here in 2010 and has been writing since. Tatiana graduated from the University of South Florida in 2015. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. In her free time, Tatiana enjoys photography, biking and being with her family.