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Former Daisy Scout and American Idol finalist Haley Reinhart took time for a few inspirational words before launching into a short but sweet acoustic set at the Girl Scout Cookie Classic in Chicago Saturday afternoon.
“How cute are you guys?” asked the Wheeling, Illinois native. “We are here for a big celebration aren’t we?”
The singer, who is promoting her new CD, Listen Up!, was part of a day-long event celebrating the Girl Scouts 100 Year Anniversary. The day, hosted by the local council of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, featured an inaugural Girl Scout Cookie Classic 5K run, walk and celebration. The day was capped off by an afternoon of entertainment, games, sing-alongs, and an on-site vendor expo.
The 22-year old singer was celebrating a milestone of her own- her birthday. Mid-way through the set, Reinhart was surprised by her father (who also handled acoustic guitar duties), Harry, with a cake and a singalong of “Happy Birthday” by a choir of young scouts.
The Season 10 third-place finisher also brought some Girl Scouts up on stage to inquire about scouting, with a focus on community involvement and all the benefits of the organization.
“Being a Girl Scout for me means really being active in your community, and believing in yourself and knowing that you can really achieve something if you put your mind to it,” she said.
Reinhart took on the role of a cooler big sister, with a message of empowment for young women.
“You are a group, a team, an alliance, a circle of friends, a family,” she said. “I want you to remember as you grow up to take all of these things you learn now with you and really just make a difference.”
Reinhart, who performed songs from her CD, including “Free” and “Hit The Ground Running,” surprised the crowd with a cover of Elton John‘s “Bennie and the Jets” — a song she has not peformed since the Idol tour.
Reinhart is the second Idol this summer to perform for The Girl Scouts. This past June, Season 10 alum Thia Megia joined the “Rock The Mall” event in Washington, D.C.
Reinhart was clearly honored to be involved in this weekend’s ceremony, and offered words of advice.
“I want you girls to know that you have a voice, too, and I really ecourage you to use it,” she said. ” Keep it up and follow your dreams.”
Next up for Reinhart –an appearance at Carnegie Hall with fellow Season 10 alum Casey Abrams.
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