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Stella Brockman raises money for St. Judes
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Amy Albrecht and third-grade student Isabella Mays share a moment at Wednesday’s Stella Brockman School and Chili’s Restaurant carnival supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT
It was three years ago that Isabella Mays, who, at the time, was receiving cancer treatments, planted the seed for an event to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“I found out about it on TV,” said the Stella Brockman School third-grade student.

Each year since the Manteca Unified site has conducted an all-school carnival in the multi-purpose room with help from the local Chili’s Bar & Grill Restaurant.

All of the proceeds go to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures while saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.

The Stella Brockman and Chili’s partnership resurfaced Wednesday with the third annual event supporting childhood cancer research.

 The carnival is held each September in conjunction with Chili’s Create-A-Pepper campaign benefiting the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“The students look forward to it,” Principal Candace Espinola said.

The school function is a team effort consisting of Rene Knapp’s leadership students and restaurant employees.

Charles Legan, who is the local Chili’s general manager, brought 15 to 20 of his employees to help out. He, too, did his part by working the bean bag toss booth.

Students also had a chance to play the golf ball putt, soda ring toss, face painting, football toss, and the fish bowl toss.

Amy Albrecht was another of the catalyst behind the carnival. She’s a parent of the school and Chili’s employee, and was responsible for getting the two groups together on behalf of the cause.

During the first year of the event, Albrecht indicated that the carnival raised $1,300, with the amount climbing to $1,400 in the second year.

“We may exceed that amount,” she added, estimating about $1,800 for this year.

Albrecht was thrilled to see Mays, whose cancer is currently in remission.

“She’s my inspiration,” Albrecht said.