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Local artists turn up the creativity for the Girl Scouts' Cookie Caper

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By Kirsten Laskey

Girl Scout cookies can do more than just satisfy the palate; they can be used to help make a difference within a community.Two Los Alamos artists, Thelma Hahn and Annie Ellen Bard, have contributed to making these cookies more than just dessert; each has crafted a cookie jar to be donated to the Girl Scouts’ Cookie Caper, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe.The cookie jars are among the items that will be bid on during a silent auction. In addition to the silent auction, participants can taste desserts made from Girl Scout cookies. About 300-350 servings will be made.Also, a painting of Camp Elliott Barker, a Girl Scout camp in Angel Fire, by local artist Secundino Sandoval will be unveiled.The event is a fundraiser for Girl Scout programs, volunteer training and to help scouts go to camp not only in Los Alamos, but for a good chunk of New Mexico.Bard crafted a miniature statue of St. Pascal, the patron saint of the kitchen, while Hahn honored her love for funny-looking frogs by creating a warty, yet feminine frog cookie jar.Both artists have been working on their jars since February. Hahn and Bard were asked by the event organizers to contribute to the fundraiser. Hahn said she agreed to donate a piece of art because “since I do help the Boy and Girl Scouts, I think it’s a great program,” she said. “I was a Girl Scout for a year ee I enjoyed that so much.”Bard may not have been a Girl Scout, but she has seen first-hand the success of cookie fundraisers. “I’ve had a cookie jar auction ee (so) I had my cookie jar gear already in place,” she said.In addition to being experienced with cookie fundraisers, Bard said her daughter, who will graduate soon from college, was a very active volunteer in organizations such as the Girl Scouts. As a result, Bard said she is participating in the upcoming event in honor of her daughter. Organizers appreciate their efforts.“These ladies have worked really hard on these cookie jars,” Antoinette Sheffield of Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails, Inc. said.Bard and Hahn are not the only locals donating to the fundraiser.Many local businesses such as Los Alamos National Bank and CB Fox have supported the event for years, Sheffield said. “We’re just grateful for whatever we can get.” Sheffield added, “We’ve always had a lot of support here in Los Alamos. It’s really the whole community that has worked to support us.”While this is the 13th annual caper, it is first one that Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails, Inc. will host. The organization is a merger between Girl Scouts of Chaparral Council and Girl Scouts-Sangre de Cristo Council.Tickets for the event cost $50. Last year, the event raised $30,000. Adult Leader Carole Oldenborg said because of the merger, they are hoping to raise more funds.The money will be well spent, she said.“We’ve seen so many girls grow, change, develop speaking abilities,” Oldenborg said. “We try to never turn any girl away from going Girl Scouts.”“Girl Scouts,” she added, “is where girls grow strong.”For more information about the fundraiser or to purchase tickets, call Sheffield at 672-3532 or e-mail her at rich_toni@msn.com.