Girl Scouts’ Cookies & Cocktails event pairs everyone’s favorite cookie with alcohol for a cause 

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It’s something many of us have toyed with: pairing favorite Girl Scout Cookies with a favorite adult beverage. The powers that be at Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma embrace that inclination with its Cookies & Cocktails event 5:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 18 at IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan Ave.

“In general, it’s kind of like ARTini-meets-Taste of OKC,” said Leah Roper, event chairwoman of sponsorships and raffle. “We provide cookies to local restaurants, and then they pick a cookie to create an hors d’oeuvre-style menu item from.”

Guests can sample creations, and a panel of celebrity judges will choose winners in sweet and savory categories. This year’s judges are News 9’s Lacey Swope, a longtime advocate of Girl Scouts; Oklahoma Gazette food reporter Greg Elwell; Miss Oklahoma 2011 Betty Thompson; and KISS-FM morning radio hosts Joey and Heather.

“There is also a people’s choice award,” Roper said. “Last year, that was won by Urban Wine Works, which made a coconut-crusted chicken using Samoas and topped it with a Thin Mint barbecue sauce.”

Paseo Grill’s take on chicken and waffles was another favorite last year. Cream puffs, cheesecake and brownies made with cookies rounded out offerings.

This year features an equally competitive cookie-inspired cocktail competition, with a silent auction and raffle and entertainment by Red Dirt musician Travis Linville and alcohol from Action Liquor.

Raffle and auction items range from affordable to extravagant and include a Disney World trip, stays at top Oklahoma City hotels like Skirvin Hilton Hotel downtown, cases of beer from Choc Beer Company, restaurant gift cards and more.

“We have moved Cookies & Cocktails to IAO because we sold out [last year],” Roper said. “We just needed more space, and we are so thankful to IAO because they have donated the use of the space.”

Roper, an employment attorney, was a Girl Scout until junior high school.

“I went to Girl Scout camp and sold cookies every year. I know that being a Girl Scout had a huge impact on me,” she said. “It shaped my leadership style. In those days, you had to go around and take orders for cookies, and then when the cookies came in, you had to go around again to deliver them.”

Last year’s inaugural event raised nearly $20,000.

This year’s target is $22,500. Funds benefit the Girl Award project and the Gold Award Scholarship Fund.

The Girl Award project provides support to individual girls and local troops working to solve specific problems or alleviate needs in their communities. The Gold Award Scholarship Fund is an endowed scholarship awarded to two Girl Scouts per year.

This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the organization’s highest achievement. Similar to the Eagle Scout ranking for boys, it involves young women completing an elaborate seven-step process and taking on a project that solves a long-term community issue.

Girls Scouts Western Oklahoma serves 39 counties across the state. Across the United States, more than 50 million women have been members.

Tickets are $30 and are available online at gswestok.org

Print headline: Altered sweets, Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma’s Cookies & Cocktails event pairs everyone’s favorite cookies with alcohol for a cause.

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