Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle usher in cookie season

The Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle ushered in the new cookie season on Saturday with the annual Cookie Rally at the Tallahassee Community College Student Union building.

Celebrating 40 years of the iconic Samoa cookie, the event resembled a grand birthday bash complete with music, goodies and fun.

Coordinators Amy Jones and Leilani Aletras handled the entire function along with dozens of volunteers and troop leaders.

“The purpose of this event is to increase the excitement around the cookie season as well as educate on subjects like marketing, product knowledge and safety,” Jones said.

The Girl Scout organization has a powerful presence in the Tallahassee community and hosted the Cookie Rally for more than 15 years. Over 100 troops reside in Leon County, which are open to girls in grades K-12.

Canopy Oaks Elementary student, Zoee Downey, has been an active member for four years and enjoys her experiences with the local Girl Scout Junior troop.

"You get to sell cookies and meet lots of new people," Downey said.

With ambition and optimism, Downey came to the Cookie Rally with new goals for the 2015 cookie season.

"I want to try and sell more than 100 boxes this year," Downey said.

Sharing Downey’s enthusiasm, 200 girls and adults attended the festivity, ready to embrace a new year.

Girls of all ages filed into the room, bouncing from table to table eager to finish all the activities for the party.

The various activities allowed the girls to decorate cookies, make party hats and colorful bracelets, customize paper sashes and participate in a cookie themed photo-shoot.