A Kaukauna Girl Scout is making a difference for cancer patients

Katelyn and Julie Hoelzel stack boxes of Girl Scout cookies to handout at Fox Valley Hematology & Oncology on March 9, 2018. (Photo credit: WLUK)

APPLETON (WLUK) -- With help from her cookie customers, Katelyn Hoelzel is bringing thin mints, peanut butter patties, and all the other Girl Scout favorites to Fox Valley Hematology and Oncology.

It's the sixth year the 11-year-old Hoelzel has brought the cookies to the Appleton cancer treatment center. She started the tradition as a Daisy as a way to honor her grandmother, who died of cancer just after Hoelzel was born.

“In my first year I only brought in three boxes,” said Hoelzel, a fifth grader at River View Middle School in Kaukauna. “Last year, I sold 100 for them. This year I sold 72.”

“I'm so proud of her,” said Julie Hoelzel, Katelyn’s mother. “It's just amazing. The fact that she kind of has this connection to her grandmother that she probably doesn't even really remember, because she was only about nine months old. I just think it's awesome.”

The patients also think it is awesome.

“I tell you what, last year I was so surprised,” said Irving “Skip” Guernsey, a FVHO patient. “I wanted to pay her and she said no they are free. I was just really excited and thankful and happy. I got a whole box of cookies.”

Hoelzel's efforts are now being duplicated. Other girl scouts have followed her lead and are also collecting donated boxes to hand out to patients.

“I'm happy that other people know they can help people and that they want to help the community,’ said Hoelzel.

“What girl scout doesn't like selling cookies, but Katelyn gets more excited when people decide to donate a box,” said Julie Hoelzel. “She gets really excited about that.”

She is also excited and hopeful that the tradition she started will continue making a difference for years to come.

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