Make Every Day a Sammi Kinda Day

Former AHS Student’s Spirit Lives on Through Charity

Samantha Rose Sammi Theodore

Samantha Rose “Sammi” Theodore

Kristen White, Contributor

How many times have you walked past the bench outside of MaryLou’s coffee, read the words written in pink “Have a Sammi Kinda Day” and wondered “Who is Sammi and why should I have her kinda day?” Perhaps, you saw the HASKD float win first place in the Abington St Patrick’s Day Parade and thought “There’s Sammi’s day again.” Or, maybe you saw a classmate wearing a HASKD tee-shirt. For the last few years “Have a Sammi Kinda Day” and the HASKD logo have been showing up all around our town. “Sammi” was Samantha Rose Theodore (AHS Class of 2011) and this is why you should always try to have a Sammi Kind of day.

Sammi’s family moved to Abington in 2002.  She was a beautiful, outgoing girl with an infectious smile. According to her best friend, and fellow 2011 classmate, Megan Sullivan, Sammi loved socializing more than anything else. She remembers the two of them “racing out of the school everyday as soon as the bell rang to try to beat the buses.”  During senior week there was a three-legged race that Sammi was determined to compete in.  She dragged Megan along, and although they didn’t win, it was a memory that still makes her laugh. Sammi was voted Best Hair by her senior classmates. It was no surprise when Megan needed a hair model to help her demonstrate  “How to Braid Hair” in her public speaking class, that Sammi was a willing volunteer.

Facebook Photo from “Have A Sammi Kind of Day”
Sammi Theodore having a Sammi kind of day.

After graduation, Sammi enrolled at Massasoit Community College where she planned for a career in Childhood Education, with a goal of one day opening her own daycare. However, in October 2013, just a few days before Halloween, Sammi died from complications after a car accident.  But, Sammi’s story does not end there.

After her death, Sammi’s mother, Nancy McDonough, remembered how much Sammi loved children.  She remembered conversations she had with Sammi about how some children’s families could not afford the same luxuries that Sammi had enjoyed growing up. These things included going to camp, taking part in after school activities and sporting events, and going to prom. In Sammi’s memory, her mother founded the “Have a Sammi Kinda Day Fund” (HASKD). She said she chose that name because she “always knew  Sammi had a different day than the rest of us. I could see how happy she was about her day, how people smiled when they saw her. When I  dropped her off at school, I would say ‘Have a Sammi Kinda Day’.”

Sammi had a different day than the rest of us. I could see how happy she was about her day, how people smiled when they saw her.

— Nancy McDonough

Since Sammi was known for bringing Marylou’s coffee to school every day, and eventually working there, it made sense for HASKD to put a bench outside of the coffee shop that said “Have A Sammi Kinda Day” in her favorite color- pink. The bench serves as a reminder to the community to live their day to the fullest.

The goal of this charity is to put a smile on the faces of young people by funding activities they could not afford to partake in under normal circumstances. Many charities help families with necessities, but the HASKD fund provides for extra experiences, like going to summer camp, prom, or playing a sport. HASKD helped sponsor the Frolio Middle School’s 8th grade 2016 Philadelphia Trip.  They also sponsored a back to school shopping trip for a Brockton teen whose family could not afford new clothing, and sent a child to Dustin Pedroia’s baseball camp.  McDonough also shared that HASKD recently provided a local family with gift cards for Christmas shopping.  She remembered the mother’s tears because she didn’t think that her children would be able to have presents.

Melanie O'Brien

Having a Sammi kinda day should have special significance to students here at Abington High. Sammi walked these halls; she sat in these seats, and took the same classes. Students here share her dreams of hope and of changing the world. To have a Sammi kinda day is to smile through anything that life throws at you and make the best of every opportunity.  Sammi’s favorite saying was ”Live, Love, Laugh.” Through McDonough’s efforts with HASKD, children in the Abington community are living, loving and laughing.

Sammi wanted to be a positive change in her world, and through HASKD she is doing just that. If you would like to help, HASKD is always looking for volunteers to spread Sammi’s smile. This year’s fundraiser is a silent auction on Friday May 12 at the IBEW Hall at 256 Freeport Street in Dorchester. Click on the link or visit Tickets for the fundraiser are $25 in advance and $30 at the door, and you can purchase tickets on the website.  For more ways to get involved, please email [email protected]