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Scouts prepare for cookie sales

The much-anticipated Girl Scout cookie booth sales are coming to a neighborhood near you.

February 19 marks the beginning of booth sales, which will run on weekends and evenings through March 14.

“The girls are so excited about booth sales,” said Johnice Mitchell, service unit cookie chair for southern Suffolk. “This time only comes around once a year for them.”

North Suffolk troops will be selling cookies at Game Stop in Harbour View every Saturday and Sunday Feb. 20-March 13 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., at the Walgreens on Bridge Road every Saturday Feb. 20-March 13 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and at the Food Lion stores on Townpoint and on Bridge Road.

In southern Suffolk, girls will be busy selling on weekends and possibly some weeknights on Main Street at the IHOP, Applebee’s, Belk, Lowe’s and Food Lion stores on Holland Road, Godwin Boulevard and Portsmouth Boulevard, with more locations and specific times to come.

The girls will also have booths outside of the Farm Fresh Food and Pharmacy locations in Suffolk on Feb. 19 through 26 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weeknights and 8 a.m. 8 to p.m. Feb. 20 and 21.

While initial orders have been strong for Suffolk troops, “they still have a ways to go before reaching their goals,” said Elizabeth Farry, community relations manager for the Girl Scout Council of the Colonial Coast.

“For those who have already purchased boxes, consider purchasing a few more boxes from the girls standing out at their booth sales,” Farry said. “If you don’t want them for yourself, purchase them as a present for a friend or co-worker or perhaps as a donation to the military. Every little bit you give contributes to an organization that is dedicated to building strong, confident leaders in our girls.”

To help facilitate sales this year, the Girl Scouts also are reaching out to local businesses and groups by hosting milk and cookie breaks. Employers can purchase boxes of cookies from the troops, which will come to their place of business, serve the cookies and hold a booth sale so employees can take cookies home, as well.

“It’s great for meetings or luncheons and is just a nice way for employers to show their appreciation for their employees while supporting the Girl Scouts,” Farry said.

Another option for businesses that would like to support their local troops is to purchase cookies by the case and participate in the Cookies from Home program, under which GSA partners with the USO to send cookies directly to the men and women serving overseas or hospitalized in Virginia.

To find out where the nearest cookie booth is located — beginning on Feb. 19 — visit www.gscc.org/2010CookieSeason and type in your ZIP code to the “Cookie Locator” to view locations, or call the cookie hotline at 340-YUMM.