Students remember classmate killed in sledding accident

Emmi Barbaro

January 14, 2013 6:58:06 PM PST
Dozens of Fayetteville elementary school students jumped rope Monday to raise money for the American Heart Association, and to honor the memory of a classmate killed in a sledding accident over Christmas break.

"Emmi was an inspiration to us all. In 10 years, she touched quite a few lives," said Emmi's father, Rich Barbaro.

Barbaro had planned to be at Fayetteville Academy supporting Emmi at a Jump Rope for Heart Fundraiser.

"Emmi just liked people. She just liked to help people. It didn't matter what she was doing," said Barbaro.

"You raise money for, in Emmi's words, 'For people who don't have hearts that don't exactly work right,'" said Emma Lou Brock, Emmi's best friend.

"I told the children to set a goal at $50. She decided 'I'm going to have my goal be $150,'" said physical education teacher Coach Karen Levesque.

She raised her goal to $250 and spent much of December raising money until she died in a sledding accident while visiting her grandparents in Minnesota.

Students still jumped at the Heart Association fundraiser Monday, and even though Emmi was not there jumping, her spirit helped lift the other students.

Through an online donation site, Emmi raised $26,000.

"When God wants an angel, he takes somebody, whether we want it or not. Evidentially, it was time for Emmi to be an angel," said Barbaro.

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