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Golden Angels Baton Group Raises Girls' Self Esteem

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ELKINS -

The Golden Angels Baton Group in Elkins is about to start its second season.

To some, twirling a baton might seem like a hobby, a sport, or even a form of art. For the Golden Angels Baton Group it's a way to help young girls all around.

"It helps them build self confidence and self esteem. A lot of the girls were backwards and shy when they first started. Throughout the year I saw them grow," said instructor Stefanie Phillips.

The group is getting ready for its second season. When it first started last year, most of the girls had no experience with twirling.

"I taught them all how to do it. They went out for their very first parade in Beverly, at Beverly Days, and they got third place for their very first parade," said Phillips.

"I wanted to be a twirler since I was little, and I finally got that experience to do it," said Sydney Mallow, who performs in the group.

One mother, Jessica Vandevender, has two daughters in the group, and said it has helped them both.

"It's boosted all their confidence, every girl in here it's boosted their confidence real high. Now they're real outspoken, put makeup on, fix their hair, it's really helped them with confidence," said Vandevender.

One of the girls said the group has helped her and her sister become closer.

"Me and my sister used to fight a lot, so it's brought us closer together. Made us kind of 'frenemies,' I should say," said Brittany Fortney.

The girls said Phillips taught them to twirl personally.

"She made people groups, and she took me one-handedly, and she was going step by step. It really helped me," said Amber Talbott.

If you would like your daughter to be a part of the Golden Angels Baton Group, registration is being held for the next season.

Registration is Tuesday, February 5 at the Holiday Inn conference room from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The group has a Facebook page where you can find all the information.