The third annual holiday green drive fundraiser in remembrance of Sophia Smith directly supports a Marblehead High School (MHS) scholarship in Sophia’s name.
Sophia bravely fought DIPG, a rare, inoperable brain tumor, for 20 months, traveling to London to receive treatments. She died four years ago at the age of 12. Her out-of-country treatments were not covered by her insurance, and the associated costs were astronomical.
Marblehead stepped up and rallied for Sophia’s family, creating fundraiser after fundraiser to support the race for a cure.
A letter posted by Sophia’s mother, Jennifer Babine Smith, on the Facebook page #armsaroundsophia, read, “4 years, it is not something that gets better, actually, something in your heart keeps thinking she will come back.”
In memory of Sophia, Babine Smith, Tracy Ackerman and Melissa Barrett thought up a tribute to Sophia. They picked up empty flower containers and decorated them with fresh vibrant greenery, along with a signature bright blue Arms around Sophia tags. Some sported white fairy lights with starfish are optional.
“Incredibly we raised $10,000 in year one. Last year we offered local businesses the opportunity to decorate their storefronts with our signature containers, and they supported our cause wholeheartedly, we were able to raise 15,000,” said Ackerman.
Proceeds go directly into the MHS scholarship with applicants writing essays on the theme “what is your passion.” Babine Smith, Ackerman and Barrett meet in June read the essays and select the best candidate.
The holiday green received so many blessings and help from people, said Ackerman. She said its success could not have been achieved without support from the Quigley family and Jeff Forbes, volunteer drivers; Chris Castner, Birch supplier.
To be a part of the holiday green, or a part of the fundraiser, contact Ackerman at 617-930-0100.
“Despite the sadness, we are lucky for the love, and the understanding and having these amazing people in our lives that loved Sophia the way we did,” wrote Babine Smith.