Coming together for Aubrey

Fundraiser brings in more than $10,500 for teen with cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis warrior Aubrey Sparks (Photo provided by J.M. Stevens Photography)

Last weekend, the Tupper Lake community raced around town, taking shots of warm maple syrup and team selfies at mystery locations. We jumped rope at the observatory and sang the school’s anthem at our beloved Lumberjack statue. We delivered coffee to policemen and firemen, and sunflowers to the local retirement home.

We may have struggled to recall some local historic locations, jumped into moving vehicles and been sweaty and out of breath, but we laughed the whole way.

It was a blast.

All this commotion was part of the 65 Roses Scavenger Hunt and the day-long fundraiser for 13-year-old Aubrey Sparks, who’s courageously battling cystic fibrosis.

The day kicked off with the State Theater showing “Five Feet Apart,” a romantic drama about two teen cystic fibrosis patients that fall in love, and ended with local band Slingshot donating their musical talent and more than 750 pints of beer and cider being sold (with $1 donated for each pint) at Raquette River Brewing.

Crystal Boucher and Nikki Mondat run down Park Street in Tupper Lake Saturday during the 65 Roses Scavenger Hunt. Twenty three teams raced against time to solve clues and complete tasks throughout the town as part of a cystic fibrosis fundraiser. (Photo provided — Andrea LaMere)

Aubrey was in attendance at each event Saturday, and when you see her, it’s hard not to smile. She’s smart, bubbly, outgoing and brave as they come. And she doesn’t let her diagnosis get her down. The seventh grader played on the volleyball team this fall, sings in the school’s chorus and plays clarinet in the band. She’s a writer for the Lumberjack Lyre, a member of Students Against Destructive Decisions and recently starred in her third school play.

Saturday’s fundraising was organized by Tammie LaLonde and Andrea LaMere, who did an amazing job bringing people together in a fun way. The scavenger hunt came from the creative mind of Pam Jones. I can only speak for my team but we ended the day wishing there were more scavenger hunts in town. We had so much fun, and even learned some things about our hometown.

The victors of the hunt were Kelsey Amell, Danielle Amell, Deolinda Jessie and Melissa DeVirgeles, and the hunt alone raised $920. Many businesses and individuals also donated raffle baskets, which raised more than $5,000. Individual donations totalled $2,500 and another $1,000-plus from the 50/50 raffle.

The whole event raised more than $10,500 to help support Aubrey’s family with expenses during her medical treatments.

Keep fighting, Aubrey. Keep smiling. You’re amazing.

Meaghan Sparks, left, mother of Aubrey Sparks, and Tammie LaLonde hold up their shots of warm maple syrup Saturday during the 65 Roses Scavenger Hunt at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake. (Photo provided — Andrea LaMere)

And Tupper Lake, keep making us proud of your big hearts!

Abbigail Smith, center, and her team make stepping stones at Fortune’s True Value Hardware Saturday in Tupper Lake as part of the 65 Roses Scavenger Hunt. Volunteer Ed Heading is at right. (Photo provided by J.M. Stevens Photography)