For more than nine hours Tuesday, a steady stream of minivans snaked its way toward eight semitrailers bulging with the promise of adventure for almost 2,000 area girls.
It’s a sure sign that Girl Scout cookies have arrived in the Akron area.
“We have cars scheduled in three-minute intervals all day,” said Marianne Love of Lorain, a Girl Scout of North East Ohio council employee who was overseeing deliveries of cookies at Chapel Hill Mall for 209 local troops.
Stationed at the northeast corner of the parking area, Love and several volunteers greeted drivers as they arrived to pick up the first delivery of cookies to the area. More than 19,000 cases of Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs and other Girl Scout favorites baked by Little Brownie Bakers of Louisville, Ky., will be delivered to their buyers starting this week, she said.
“This is one of the largest deliveries in Ohio,” Love said.
As a cookie chairman, a role traditionally held by “cookie moms,” John White of Stow bucked gender bias in his first year in the job. He volunteered as “cookie dad” for his daughter’s Highland Elementary troop.
White waited patiently for another minivan to arrive to help collect 159 cases of cookies the troop had sold, or “roughly 1,850 boxes,” he said.
“I’m one of the only guys here,” he realized.
Love said a threat by some area troops to boycott the cookie sale because they are unhappy with the closing of area camps had little affect on the quantity sold in the North East Ohio Council, at least in the Akron area. The annual sales campaign generates the money to help run the regional office in Macedonia and to pay the staffers who provide services and programs.
“This delivery station is actually up by about 1 percent,” Love said.
While cookie sales are down slightly in Northeast Ohio, secondary sales beginning Friday and running through March 4 at mall stations and area stores should bring overall sales up as troop reorders roll in, she said.
More than 600,000 boxes of cookies have been sold in the Akron area so far. Each troop receives 60 to 83 cents for each $3.50 box sold, depending on the volume of sales. Girls use proceeds to finance camping trips and other troop outings.
The girls sell an average of 117 boxes of cookies, Love said.
For folks who missed cookie orders, a free Girl Scout cookie locator application is available for mobile phones at **GSCOOKIES.
And in the Operation: Sweet Appreciation program, three packages of Girl Scout cookies will be mailed to servicemen and women for a $10 donation by texting the word SWEET to 80888 or by visiting www.gsneo.org/cookies-nuts/ operation-sweet-appreciation.aspx.
Northeast Ohio Girl Scouts sent more than 25,000 boxes of cookies to military personnel serving overseas in 2011.
Kathy Antoniotti can be reached at 330-996-3565 or email@example.com.