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Aiming to make a thin mint

In a yearly ritual, Columbia’s Girl Scouts will deliver 8,000
cases of cookies; more will be sold at area stores
Monday, February 21, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 8:53 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More than 100 vehicles were loaded with highly addictive sweets and sent into the community this weekend. Eight thousand cases, with 12 boxes of goodies per case, left the Fry Wagner warehouse headed for Columbia’s neighborhoods. The operation has been almost a year in the making and could stop at your door soon.

Columbians, your cookies are coming.

The Girl Scouts-Heart of Missouri Council distributed pre-paid orders to the 106 troops participating in the fund-raiser this year.

The Fry Wagner warehouse serves the mid-Missouri region, housing the cookies that customers from Hermann to Sedalia crave. The moving and storage company started stacking cases about three weeks ago, warehouse assistant Scott Lenz said.

“We had about 5 million cookies in here at one time,” Lenz said.

All the cookies will be distributed to the troops by Wednesday.

Thin Mints are Columbia’s cookies of choice, said Sandra Steinmetz, the volunteer delivery station manager for Columbia.

“They double the second-best-selling variety, which is Caramel deLites,” Steinmetz said.

Steinmetz has organized and operated the event for three years. In command of dollies, three loading dock bays, and volunteers from the organization as well as the Newman Center and Alpha Phi Omega, Steinmetz’s job on Saturday was to get the cases out of the warehouse in seven hours. She was picked for the task because she is organized. She successfully handled the cookie load.

Terri Steinbach handles the prizes given to Girl Scouts for their selling efforts. Troops collect profits of 50 cents per box if they opt to receive prizes. If they don’t, the margin grows to 55 cents per box, Steinbach said.

More than 35,000 cases were shipped to mid-Missouri this year by Interbake Foods Inc., a Richmond, Va.-based manufacturer.

At 12 boxes per case, that adds up to 423,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies making their way to the stomachs of mid-Missourians. Columbia alone gets 96,000 boxes.

At $3.50 a box, almost $1.5 million will be collected by the area scouts.

Despite the lifting and packing of cookie boxes, smiling faces were not hard to find. Keith Abkemeier, a member of Alpha Phi Omega, said he enjoyed his first year volunteering for the event and plans to return.

“It was fun with all the people and environment,” Abkemeier said. “It’s like a giant game of Jenga.”

The day went smoothly for the organizers.

“The biggest problem so far is that someone accidentally locked their keys in their car,” Steinmetz said. She plans to hold on to her position for at least seven more years. After all, she is a lifetime Girl Scout, she said.

If you are not among the lucky ones who will get cookies delivered in the near future, don’t worry. Steinmetz said another thousand cases will make their way to Columbia within the next month and a half. They will be sold at places such as Famous Barr and at the opening of the Bass Pro Shop. For a full list of sales locations, go to www.gshomc.org.


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