Written by Cory Twibell: firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 29 June 2012 00:00
Stobe is an art teacher at Rushmore Avenue School in Carle Place and illustrator for a recently launched children’s book, Jenna Boo, and the 2-year-old girl is Gracie Sweet, whose mother, Sara, is a Carle Pace High School grad and whose grandmother, Wendy Tucker, is an aide at Rushmore.
On Monday, June 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Rushmore, Stobe’s vision transformed the school into a Jenna Boo-inspired extravaganza based on the book’s theme, “Love What You Boo.” Students colored T-shirts, had their faces painted, ate healthy snacks and put their original Jenna Boo artwork on display.
“The evening was a ‘boo-mongous’ success and the students truly felt part of a community bringing light to the Sweet family and feeling part of something special,” Stobe said.
Through the sales of T-shirts, books and raffles, the school fundraised $4,900 for the Sweet family to offset medical bills associated with Gracie’s treatments. Members of the Rushmore Student Council also fundraised $1,560 throughout the school year for the Sweet family.
“We wanted to extend our gratitude to all our supporters, the community of Carle Place, the Rushmore Avenue School administration and faculty, student council, students, parent volunteers, the media and all the vendors.
“A special mention of the following vendors who made this possible: Nice and Natural in Carle Place, FoamboardSource in West Babylon, Utrecht in Carle Place, and LgoTags in Mount Vernon; working with us to help make the Gracie Boo fundraiser a success,” Stobe said, who along with Hildy Spak, make up The Boo Team and hope to spread the message of Jenna Boo on a larger scale moving forward.
Gracie was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in the summer of 2010 and not long after the news came the support from the Carle Place community.
“This event shows how Gracie Sweet, one sweet little girl, can inspire each and every one of us and help bring a community together. This event will foster the spirit of learning and create the belief that anything is possible,” Stobe explained.
The Rushmore Avenue School cafeteria and gymnasium became less of a school and more of a party as children and parents dove head-first into the activities that night, where every other word echoing through the hallways seemed to be either Jenna Boo or Gracie Boo – the new character created in honor of the brave 2-year-old.
“The night was amazing. A lot of crying went on … crying about how Jenna Boo and Mrs. Stobe has made them ‘boo-lieve’ in themselves and they can do anything. She is just truly amazing,” a Rushmore Avenue School parent said in an email.
Stobe said that the fundraising effort is ongoing and that T-shirts and books are $10 with all proceeds going toward the Sweet family.
“Jenna Boo has this ability to bring people together and ignite fun, laughter, and happiness. She brought us together and will continue to spread her message: Love What You Boo, and the rest will follow,” Stobe said.