By all accounts, Sam Loeb was a great kid.
His teachers, his principal, his classmates, his family, even the parents of his friends all said he was intelligent, he liked to laugh and he had a healthy disdain of authority.
A lot of those people were gathered to cut the ribbon of the on Friday afternoon.
The comical and talented young man, who inexplicably wore a cowbell around his neck even when he lost his hair to chemotherapy, died of a rare form of cancer at 17 in 2005. Friends and family have raised nearly $200,000 for scholarships and to renovate and open a new ceramics studio where teens can work out their angst with art.
His family, mom Christine, dad Jeph and little sister Audrey were there, as well as many past teachers, and his principal, Dr. Randall V. Delling. The group walked the halls and first saw a display case in the main building that will house art made in the clayroom. Then, they walked to the clayroom on the second floor of another building.
Michelle Vazzano, a mom whose son Dylan was friends with Sam since pre-school, said, “He was such a character, and always very charming.”
His friend, Chelsea Avram, 22, recalled how he was always concerned about others, even while he was feeling poorly, and he even protected her a few days before his death.
His teacher, Stacy Ordona, had him for English in 9th and 10th grades, and said, “He was a joy.” She helped find students to received $10,000 grants in his honor who had his similar sense of humor, intelligence and irreverence.
Check out the video above and see and hear the tributes of this remarkable young man, whose memory is still giving back.