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Beline Obeid

That's a lot of Girl Scout cookies

Photo courtesy of Trasonya Felton

August 09, 2012
Shontarra Wilkins, a Defer Elementary fifth grader, sold a multitude of Girl Scout cookies during the 2012 selling season. Her sales of 3,000 boxes landed her in fourth place in the southeastern Michigan region.

That's a lot of cookies.

"I sold cookies to anybody who wanted to buy them — my mom's co-workers, family, my teacher, but mostly to people I don't know," she said in an e-mail.

She found her cookie-buying customers everywhere.

"I set up cookie booths at our church, banks, grocery stores, my mom's job, the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, the dog show and wherever my mom went she had cookies in her car," Wilkins said.

In her fourth year of selling the perennial favorites, Wilkins surpassed last year's sale by 1,000. Boxes sell for $3.50.

Shontarra Wilkins of Grosse Pointe Park sold 3,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, earning the fourth spot as top cookie seller in southeastern Michigan and the youngest among the top five. Photo courtesy Trasonya Felton
During her first year of being involved in the scouting program out of Greater Christ Baptist Church in Detroit, Wilkins sold more than 600 boxes. Following that first successful year, Wilkins said she set goals for herself.

"The second year, I sold over 1,000 boxes. Last year over 2,000 boxes," she said. "My top selling cookie this year was the Samoas. I probably sold close to 1,000 of them. The second top seller was Tag-A-Longs and I probably sold about 700 of them."

Wilkins said Tag-A-Longs are her favorite, which have a crunchy cookie and dollop of peanut butter encased in milk chocolate.

"I like selling Girl Scout cookies because I get to spend more time with my troop and all the cool prizes we earn," she said.

"Shontarra is not a natural sales girl," said Wilkins' mother, Trasonya Felton, who is the troop's co-leader. "She gets excited when she sees something she wants. For such a young girl, she shows great tenacity."

Director of Public Relations for Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan Yavonkia Jenkins said, Wilkins, like other top sellers, earn prize incentives such as trips to a local water park and electronics. Wilkins also earned camp credit to help her attend two Girl Scout camps in August. Money earned from cookie sales provides funds for troop activities.

The list of her prizes is lengthy:

* peace sign wall decoration,

* composition book and shoe pen,

* giraffe print duffel bag,

* two tickets to a local water park,

* Glamour girl soccer ball and sports bottle,

* fleece blanket with carry wrap,

* four Michigan Adventure Amusement Park & Wild Waterpark tickets and a $50 gift certificate,

* Nook eReader and a $100 gift certificate,

* $400 camp credit and

* $40 cookie dough (credit for Girl Scout merchandise).

The latter, Felton said, was spent on preparing for another year as a Junior Girl Scout, purchasing a book and scout clothing.

Wilkins was edged out by three boxes for the third place among 23,612 girls who participated in the campaign raising $8 million.

The top cookie-selling Girl Scout was Kayla Wright, 15, of Southfield, who sold 5,419 boxes; Alexandria Renaud, 14, of Dearborn Heights sold 3,348 boxes and Gabrielle Jarosz, 11, of Clinton Township, sold 3,003 boxes.

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