CHICAGO — Giada Gambatese earned a smorgasbord of amazing prizes for selling an incredible amount of Girl Scout Cookies.
The Lakeview 8-year-old and St. Andrew School third-grader sold 13,061 — repeat, 13,061 — of the iconic cookie boxes from late last year through Easter. This month, Giada found out she was the top seller of the nearly 40,000 Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana.
For her efforts, she won a five-day trip to Disney World with her parents, younger brother and sister, an Apple watch, a laptop and a 12-inch foldable bike.
"It's crazy. It's a little insane," said Giada's mom, Gianna Franzia. "When she got the brochure, we decided to go for gold and see how far we could go with it."
Said Giada: “At first my goal was to reach the laptop level, but when I made it I wanted to keep going and make it to Walt Disney World.”
About 12,000 boxes were sold and donated as part of the Gift of Caring program, which sends boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to military personnel. Franzia's father, Joseph, is a former Marine and member of an executive club in California. Giada made personal videos and sent them to the business contacts in Joseph Franzia's club asking for donations. The average donation, Gianna Franzia said, was $1,600 — or enough for 400 boxes.
“I had so much fun selling cookies," Giada said. "My papa was a captain in the Marines, so I wanted to send as many cookies to the troops as I could. It’s important because they must be scared and the cookies will make them feel better.”
Giada is a member of Troop 20073, which is based out of St. Andrew School, 1710 W. Addison St.
About 4.6 million boxes of cookies in greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana were sold during this year's Girl Scout Cookies program.
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