Ashley Heffington's mother, Cindy, with Girl Scouts. / Photo by Jenny Werth
More than 100 Girl Scouts from the Pacific Jewel Unit gathered together in Kate Sessions Park April 30 to celebrate the life of Ashley Heffington. The afternoon gathering included a commemoration ceremony for Heffington and reviewed the accomplishments and goals of the Girl Scouts. The event also was educational for the girls, some of whom are working toward earning their bronze, silver or gold stars.
Informational booths representing the culture of various countries such as Mexico, England, France, Japan and Brazil dotted the park, while the Girl Scouts proudly displayed costumes native to their troop's adopted country. The girls sang songs in the language of their country as their families snapped their cameras.
"It was beautiful for the girls to honor such a brave girl (as Ashley), who was a Girl Scout and part of the world," Ana Anderson said.
Ashley's mother, Cindy, said that Ashley would have loved the event, now in its sixth year. "I feel so grateful and honored, because everyone thinks it's such a great event, and keeping Ashley's memory alive is important to me."
Ashley was the victim of a fatal motor accident on Dec. 31, 2009 by a man found guilty of driving under the influence of inhalant drugs. Her picnic table and plaque was donated in part by donations from the Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouts Emma Omar and Sophia Anderson, 7, adorned in pink berets to represent France, agreed the afternoon was a delight. "(Being in the Girl Scouts) is fun because we get to go places, and we explore nature, and we help people," Omar said.
Indeed, the importance of caring for nature was demonstrated by Girl Scout Samantha Gans, who had a tutorial board about butterflies and the benefits of keeping them safe. Her mother, Audrey, facilitated much of the festive afternoon, including leading the Scouts as they sang around the picnic table with a plaque dedicated to Ashley.