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Eat cookies, drink beer and plant a tree

No matter how old they are, most people can’t resist the temptation of a Girl Scout cookie. Adults at a recent fundraiser event enjoyed four Girl Scout cookies paired with Flossmoor Station Brewery beers.

The event in March was organized by Girl Scouts troop leaders from Western Avenue Elementary, where 80 girls — or one in every three — is in Girl Scouts.

It was the group’s third such cookie and beer pairing hosted at Flossmoor Station to raise money for a good cause. This year’s event raised funds to replace trees within the H-F Park District system that were lost to damage by the emerald ash borer beetle. 

“Every year, we try to pick a community service project, something to give back to the community but something where the girls can physically see their work,” said Karen Cheung, a troop leader at Western Avenue Elementary where her daughters, Avery and Katelyn, are Girl Scouts.


While brainstorming about this year’s fundraiser, Cheung said the girls became excited when discussing cleaning up and beautifying the area’s parks. That led them to the idea of raising money for new trees to plant, a visible symbol of their efforts of which they could be proud.

“Several of the girls watched a video recently with Greta Thunberg talking about trees as a machine to clean our environment,” Cheung said. “Trees are something the girls can see every day and see their classmates benefit from.”

Thunberg is the Swedish teen who gained world fame for her environmental activitism and was named “Time” magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019.

Though the Girl Scouts themselves are the driving force behind the fundraiser event — and during it stood in downtown Flossmoor with signs and costumes, encouraging passers-by to stop and buy a box of cookies — the beer and cookie tasting event is organized and attended only by adults.

Cheung said troops around the country conduct cookie and beer pairing events. A few years ago Western Avenue Elementary troop leaders thought about organize a similar event and wondered if Flossmoor Station would be interested in hosting it.

“They immediately said they’d love to,” Cheung said. “They’ve been so easy to work with and really supportive. Frankly, it was refreshing not to have to talk someone into helping us.”

Flossmoor Station’s brewmaster, Ryan Czaja, said the event is a unique and exciting occasion for him to plan beer and food pairings. Czaja also said he appreciated the focus of the event.

“This year I thought it was a really good idea to help out with the tree canopy in the H-F Park District, where we lost a lot of trees,” he said

During two tasting sessions, ticket-holders sampled the following pairings, while Czaja discussed how the flavors complemented one another:

  • Station Master Wheat Ale with Trefoils
  • Just a Crush Pale Ale with Lemon-Ups
  • Glasgow Piper Scotch Ale with S’mores
  • Sheol Barleywine with Toffee-Tastic

The fundraiser continued after the kickoff tasting event, as regular guests of Flossmoor Station could order the flight of pairings for about two weeks.

Cheung said the fundraiser netted about $900, meeting the Girl Scouts’ goal to raise enough  to buy three trees for the parks system.

“We’re hoping to participate in the tree planting,” Cheung said. “To take the girls ideas and put it into action and have it be something the girls can physically participate in would really tie it all together.”

Photos by Mary Compton/H-F Chronicle.

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