Girl Scouts Raise Record Funds Despite Archdiocese Criticism
Columbia Daily Tribune
March 5, 2016
The Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri has raised a record amount of money at its annual fundraiser, a week after the Archdiocese of St. Louis suggested local troops shouldn’t be a part of its parishes.
Girl Scouts spokeswoman Aurrice Duke-Rollings said the organization’s event in St. Louis netted more than $350,000 from 500 guests as they enjoyed a variety of desserts inspired by Girl Scouts cookies.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the event was planned far in advance of St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson’s unexpected announcement urging priests to sever ties with the Girl Scouts. He said the organization promotes values that are “incompatible” with Catholic teachings.
“We must stop and ask ourselves — is Girl Scouts concerned with the total well-being of our young women?” Carlson wrote in the letter. “Does it do a good job forming the spiritual, emotional, and personal well-being of Catholic girls?”
The letter specifically addressed the Girl Scouts’ support of Planned Parenthood and other organizations that advocate for access to birth control and abortion.
The event, which marked the delivery of Girl Scout Cookies and the opening of cookie sale booths, broke all previous fundraising efforts, including when the organization celebrated its centennial in 2012.
“Community support has been very affirming,” said Bonnie Barczykowski, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri CEO.
She lamented the erosion of a 100-year partnership with the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri leaders said Monday they had an unusual number of requests from out-of-state residents to purchase cookies, received several calls from businesses offering to host cookie booths in their lobbies and heard numerous stories of girls running out of some flavors.
A majority of the money raised during the fundraising event was collected during a paddle raise in which people publicly pledge donations.
The $93,000 acquired from the paddle raise was matched by the Berges Family Foundation, which supports regional programs facilitating cultural engagement, youth empowerment and preparedness in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.
The donations will be used to support Girl Scouts leadership development programs for girls.