Girl Scout Troop Runs To Honor Scout's Mom

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

September 1, 2005

In Albemarle county, a unique group of teens are having fun, and honoring someone while running for a cause.

Above the track, at Western Albemarle High School, the sun rises just like any other day. On the track, is a unique team of runners, making strides to fight a cause.

"We thought, 'well why don't we try to combine [the troop's] love of running with a great cause, like the four miler," said Heidi Brown, Troop-leader of Girl Scout Cadet #396, in Albemarle County.

The cause is to stomp out breast cancer by running in this weekend's Charlottesville Women's Four Miler. The eight member team, who just happens to be girl scouts and troop leaders, are honoring Sarah Gropen. A scout's mother who died of breast cancer.

"It helps a lot when I'm running, so I know I have a goal to do something. It's just nice to know that everyone is supporting me and my mom," said Becca Stoner, daughter of Sarah Gropen.

Becca's mom died in December 2001 at 43-years-old. Along with Becca, left behind is her sister Alyssa and her dad, David.

"[We used to] do a lot of arts and crafts inside and I remember we had these paint things that we would always get all over each other, so it was fun," reminisced Gropen.

Times between Becca and her mom may be gone, but are not forgotten. Creating similar times now, is a new family affectionately known as a 'Brady Bunch.' Becca's father David, found love again, re-marrying someone also affected by cancer.

"It makes me feel like I'm doing something, because I lost my husband to cancer too," said Jennie Moody, Stepmom of Becca Stoner.

The running team from Cadet Troop 396 are all behind Becca, and so is her stepmom.

"We live with this together, and I think we're healing together, and I think that we all know that it's something that we'll never let go of," added Moody.

The four mile race will be this Saturday, and benefits the University of Virginia Cancer Center Breast Care Program. The race brought in $50,000 in donations last year.


Team Troop 396 finished the race of 17 teams in 7th place.

"We were very pleased with our respectable finish. Individually, I was proud of every member of the team. Every one of our eight members finished the race," said Brown.

Individual times are:

Krista Brown, came in at #206, with a time of 34:13.
Ali Stoner, came in at #322, with a time of 36:20.
Becca Stoner, came in at #480, with a time of 38:38.
Jennie Moody, came in at #511, with a time of 38:57.

Other members of the team finished the four-mile race within 45 minutes.

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