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GIRL SCOUT LEADER CHARGES TROOP BARRED FROM PARADE

A Girl Scout leader complained to the City Council Monday that her troop was unfairly denied the opportunity to participate in the Festival of Lights opening night parade by a city councilman.

Beth H. DiFranco said she is the leader of Junior Scout Troop 14, which meets at the Porta-Niagara Girls Club. She said her troop applied to participate in the parade, but was told by Councilman Anthony J. Rendina that the troop would have to audition its costumes and lights before they could participate.

Ms. DiFranco said she was told troop members should be at the Aquarium at 4 p.m. on Nov. 24, the day of the parade, to have their costumes and lights checked. She was told that there were a number of requirements that would have to be met. She said she did not bring her troop because they had made their own costumes and she did not want them to be embarrassed by being
refused.

Ms. DiFranco said she attended the parade and saw other units marching that did not meet the standards for costumes, lights and signs that Rendina allegedly had set for her troop.

Rendina is attending a mayors' conference in Houston, Texas, and could not be reached to comment.

Council Chairman Henry J. Buchalski said the Council has no authority over the festival or its parade, but that it would look into Ms. DiFranco's complaint.

Frank Bettino, coordinator of the festival, said Rendina handles the parade for the festival every year. Bettino said the festival committee has always left the arrangements to Rendina and "never really got involved."

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