Girl Scouts bring cookies back to Juliette Gordon Low house
Friday, March 04, 2011
Posted by: jennifer punch
Retrieved from: http://savannahnow.com/news/2011-03-04/girl-scouts-bring-cookies-back-juliette-gordon-low-house
Girl Scouts sell outside founder's home for first time since Savannah ban lifted
Posted: March 4, 2011 - 12:19am | Updated: March 4, 2011 - 9:25am
By Lesley Conn
Isabelle Booth chewed absentmindedly on a caramel and coconut Samoa, barely heeding the cluster of television cameras and blissfully unconcerned about the international uproar that had settled outside the home of Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low.
Circled around the 5-year-old, though, were plenty of adults savoring a victory over city government.
Acting City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney on Tuesday reversed a zoning administrator's finding that Girl Scouts could not sell cookies in front of the historic home because it violated an ordinance against sidewalk sales. Small-Toney was one of the first to stop by Thursday to stock up on Do-Si-Dos, Thin Mints, Trefoils and other cookies.
The corner at Oglethorpe Avenue and Bull Street bustled the whole hour that Isabelle and Ocean Leto, 8, were at their booth. Cookie sales have been so brisk since news of the city's decision went global last week that the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia had to order more cases at midweek. Scouts from the Historic Georgia group are on track to sell more than 2 million cookies, roughly the amount sold last year, said Margaret Skene, chief executive officer.
"People were like, 'It's a great program. Why would you want to stop it?," Skene said. "Especially in such an important place."
Art students, businessmen and tourists from as far away as Wisconsin and Delaware stepped out of the walkway to buy cookies, donate boxes to soldiers overseas and offer their congratulations. Some offered cheers and applause.
"We heard on the trolley that they were allowed to sell again," said Jean Nelson of Wisconsin. "So we had to get a box."
Ann Devine of Wilmington, Del., called the ban "an absolute disgrace."
"They should be very proud of themselves," she said of the scouting organization. "They stuck to their guns like a good Girl Scout does."
Girl Scout officials, though, were understanding of the city's position, and rather than protest, used the initial ruling as a business lesson about complying with regulations and ordinances.
They, too, admitted being overwhelmed by the international response.
"I just feel like people were looking for something that was not death and destruction and earthquakes," said Fran Harold, executive director of the Low house. "I think people needed a sweeter story that struck a chord in their heart, and I think this story did. People have a real fondness for our organization."
Cookie sales Girls Scouts will be in front of the Juliette Gordon Low house today, a public school teacher planning day, and for the next three Saturdays and Sundays. The booth will operate from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The house is at 10 E. Oglethorpe Ave.