Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Troop 803 in Redlands, California, won the Best Cookie Marketing photo contest earlier this March. The girls were awarded $100 in troop funds, yet instead of using the money on themselves, they decided to help other children.
Terri Blomker, leader of Troop 803, said, "We took the one-hundred dollars we won from the marketing contest and purchased books tonight to give to a non-profit day care center."
The center, Greater Hope Preparatory School, in Barstow, California, is a newly-built preschool run by The Greater Hope Foundation. The school serves infants through children of 5 years of age.
Greater Hope is "a non-profit organization developed to provide services which foster the physical, intellectual, emotional, and social needs of abused, neglected, and troubled youth, together with the community."
Helena Smith, from the Greater Hope Foundation, thanked the girls for their, "Wonderful donation of children's books to our library at the new preschool."
Upon learning of the donation, the school's excitement led them to ask Troop 803 to join their grand opening celebrations and evening ribbon cutting ceremony on March 29.
Troop 803 is a diverse group of 13 girls, ages 5 to 14, and Troop Leaders. Five of the Girl Scouts can speak Spanish and one co-Leader, Debbie Anderson, even knows sign language. Debbie is hoping to teach the girls the Girl Scout Promise in sign language. Both the girls and their parents are dedicated to the Girl Scouting life.
"We've got the most awesome group of girls and awesome group of mommies - and daddies!" gushed Terri, adding that, "Every single parent is registered with the San Gorgonio Council to lead and is dedicated to their daughters' pursuits."
Six of the 13 girls made it to Cali Girl, an incentive level in the Cookie Program for girls who sell 750 or more boxes of Girl Scout cookies. When a girl's business reaches this level, she earns an amazing Disneyland experience and a spot at the top-sellers awards banquet.
This achievement is reached by only 10% of the San Gorgonio Council's girls who sell. To have nearly half of one troop reach this prestigious level is truly an amazing feat.
Additionally, all of the girls in Troop 803 sold 150 boxes or more. In total, the troop sold an astonishing 7,000 boxes of cookies. Not bad for a Girl Scout troop only two years old.
This wholehearted devotion to Girl Scouting is what lead to their victory in the Best Cookie Marketing photo contest.
Now, thanks to the girls' generosity, Greater Hope Preparatory School students will enjoy reading from 14 brand-new books.
The exact books they purchased remained a mystery until that night, giving the Greater Hope team more to look forward to.
"We were so surprised by their thoughtfulness. Even more surprising is that they personally picked each book. They were all smiles and willing to help," said Ms. Smith. She added, "It certainly was a lovely surprise!"
2011 Miss Barstow, Anne-Shirley Harpole, and 2011 Teen Miss Barstow, Juliet Manzanares, both appeared at the event to rally support for the new preschool. The girls of Troop 803 had the chance to meet the women and take pictures together.
"They are doing so many amazing things and I really hope they keep up the great work," said Ms. Harpole.
Pageant life is deeply committed to community service and both Miss Barstow and Teen Miss Barstow presented themselves as excellent role models for any Girl Scout to hold in high regard .
The school also hosted a time capsule to commemorate the event, asking guests, families and children to bring items for inclusion. The girls decided on a photo collage of their Girl Scout troop for the capsule.
Troop 803's Leader was even asked to speak at the event that evening. "We especially enjoyed having Terri Blomker speak at the Ribbon Cutting," said a Greater Hope Foundation staff member.
Applause and appreciation met Troop 803 when they formally donated their contribution to the new preschool. "I was so proud of these girls, they did a great job," said Terri.
Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio builds girls of courage, confidence and character who help make the world a better place. To find out how you can get involved with Girl Scouts, call 1-800-400-GIRL (4475) or visit us online at the www.girlscoutssangorgonio.org.
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