Community

The storm destroyed a school’s food booth. But the kids and parents got to work right away

Severe thunderstorms leave 40,0000 without power

More than 40,000 utility customers are without power after powerful thunderstorms packing high winds rolled across upstate New York. NYSEG reports half of its 34,000 outages Tuesday morning are located in the Binghamton area, where Broome County o
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More than 40,000 utility customers are without power after powerful thunderstorms packing high winds rolled across upstate New York. NYSEG reports half of its 34,000 outages Tuesday morning are located in the Binghamton area, where Broome County o

When Jillian Sherman, of Bellefonte, saw how severely Monday’s storm had battered her school, she asked to open up her piggy bank.

The kindergartner’s mom, Martha, put her heart — and her hands — where her daughter’s money was, and she wasn’t alone.

The State College Friends School is having its annual Fun Fair this weekend, and for 15 years, one visible signal of that has been the long, bright yellow wooden food booth. The booth was brought out as preparations were being made, but the high winds Monday pummeled it.

“It was crumbled to the ground at 6:45 this morning,” said Lori Pacchioli, the school’s director of advancement. “When the first children arrived at 7:45, that’s what they saw.”

The kids were upset. Did this mean the Fun Fair was canceled? What would happen to the booth?

“I said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll figure it out,’ ” Pacchioli said.

The solution was apparently teamwork.

After Jillian Sherman saw pictures of the damage and asked to pitch in her pennies, Martha Sherman told her husband about the booth. Other parents got involved. They came together with hammers and nails and fixed the 15-year-old booth that was originally built by parents, too.

“We’re a community here. We’re a family. When any part of it needs help, we pull together,” Martha Sherman said. “We wanted to show the kids about stewardship in action.”

And they did, finishing up just in time for the kindergarten and first grade’s school play. Appropriately, it was the “Little Red Hen,” a story all about everyone working together for the common good.

It wasn’t the only example. One family at the school lost power at the restaurant. Someone loaned them a generator. Other parents made soup for those doing the repairs.

“This is what community does,” Pacchioli said.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce

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