Community Supports Betsy Soifer as She Sells Girl Scout Cookies
Betsy Soifer sold girl scout cookies in her own special way.
Over 75 people came out to Love’s Yogurt in Highland Park this past Sunday (January 29th) to buy Girl Scout cookies from Betsy Soifer, a second grade special education student at Ravinia School who is part of the Educational Life Skills (ELS) program.
With the help of Carrie Culos, Betsy’s special education teacher, Jessica Nienhueser, her speech-language pathologist, and several of her friends from Ravinia School (some of whom are fellow Brownies including Maya Bravy, Caroline Kern and Lexi Aronin), Betsy sold over 100 boxes of cookies in two hours!
This event, however, was not about cookie sales. It was about providing Betsy with the opportunity to participate in the tradition of selling Girl Scout cookies alongside her fellow Brownies.
Betsy is non-verbal and uses a special computer, or augmentative communication device, to help her communicate. Using this device, along with adapted materials (including photographs of the various types of cookies being offered), Betsy sold cookies in her own special way. A highlight of the afternoon was a visit from Highland Park Mayor, Nancy Rotering, who spent time talking with Betsy and sharing a photo album from her own days as a Brownie.
Amy Soifer, Betsy’s mother, expressed gratitude to everyone who participated in Sunday’s festivities and who helped make the day so special, particularly to Danny Andelkovic (franchisee of Love’s in Highland Park) who was generous enough to provide the perfect venue for the event.
"It’s heartwarming to not only receive the love and support of our dear family and friends,” says Amy. “But to also see others within our community, people we don’t even know, take time out of their busy schedules to support Betsy in her efforts was incredible. Their kindness was truly overwhelming.”
“We are so proud of who Betsy is and all that she has accomplished,” continues Amy. “But, the real story here is about acceptance. It’s about the love and warmth that Betsy is shown by her friends and the community at large. Their thoughtfulness and generosity will never be forgotten. It was a wonderful day.”