September 21, 2014
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Local student spearheads fundraiser for Flora’s Heart
Beacon photo by Jen Cowart
SUPERHEROS AND PRINCESSES: Bowman’s Friends of Rachel club at Bay View Academy will be working with Flora’s Heart founder Keri Grabiec to learn how to make the special capes and tutus, which are delivered to area hospitals to brighten the days of sick children.

Sixteen-year-old Nicole Bowman of Cranston could not have known that a post-holiday trip to Barnes & Noble would spark an idea in her that would help to brighten the days of many sick children, and help out a local charitable organization as well.

Bowman, a junior at Bay View Academy, was at the store purchasing a birthday gift for her sister Samantha.

“Every year they have people there wrapping gifts and the money raised goes to a local charity,” Bowman said. “This year, when I was there, I saw a poster for Flora’s Heart, which is the Rhode Island chapter of Emmy’s Heart. They make superhero capes and tutus for the local children’s hospital.”

Bowman’s wheels started turning. She is the president of the Friends of Rachel club at Bay View, a club devoted to the legacy of Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim of the Columbine school shooting tragedy. The Friends of Rachel club focuses on random acts of kindness. Bowman thought for sure that her club at school could connect with Flora’s Heart and make a difference in the lives of sick children.

“I contacted the school’s vice president and asked if I could do a Cupcakes for Kindness bake sale. She loved the idea. I contacted Keri Grabiec, the founder of Flora’s Heart, and she was thrilled,” Bowman said.

As someone who loves to bake, Bowman was excited to get started, spending some of her February vacation time preparing chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with raspberry frosting to be sold at the bake sale, which is taking place this week. She created posters to be hung throughout the school, advertising the sale and the organization.

Bowman didn’t want the connection to Flora’s Heart to end there, however.

“I talked to Keri and we thought it’d be a good idea for her to come in and teach the members of our Friends of Rachel club how to make the capes and tutus so that we can make them and send them to her so that she can bring them to the hospital,” Bowman said.

Known by family and friends as someone who likes to brighten the days of others with her baking, Bowman is excited by this newest means of baking to make a difference.

“I’m excited to think about the kids getting excited, and I’m excited about learning to make the superhero capes and tutus,” she said.

Her parents, Patricia and Neal, and her sister Samantha, a freshman at Bay View herself, are all very proud of her efforts.

“We are extremely proud of Nicole and her efforts. Bay View has given her the confidence she needed to pursue other interests. She’s a very compassionate girl who has a big heart and loves helping other people,” Patricia said.

For more information about Flora’s Heart, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FlorasHeart.


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