ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – It takes a special person to be a teacher – and long time Franklin Elementary School teacher Tricia Pucci, takes that title to another level.
“She’s a mentor in the community. She coached basketball and not a basketball player! Tutored many kids free of charge,” friend Lora Bottema said. “That’s her life goal, to make an impact on people. And she has. And we just want her to come back to that and continue that.”
Last November, Tricia suffered a massive stroke.
“She’s coming back, little by little, shes coming back,” Tricia’s sister Kellie Mabin said.
And after months in rehabilitation, Tricia, with her husband James by her side, finally made it home.
“She is a home right now and the cost of being at home has escalated things a lot,” Bottema said. “Just because things have fallen on their laps to continue with rehab and support that she needs in the home.”
A core group of teacher friends – meeting years ago while teaching at Franklin and lovingly referred to as “The Base” are working to ease some of the financial burden for their friend, with a benefit in her honor.
“We are a very supportive group and we have a lot of fun together,” Bottema said. “Trish is definitely a real connector for all of us, just in the fact that she pulls everyone in and is a really welcoming spirit.”
“She will doing anything for anybody, and I think that’s what we all kind of know about her,” Bottema continued. “We just want her to know that we would do anything for her too.”
“I hope it makes them realize that they are loved in this community and that they have a lot of people behind them 100 percent,” Mabin said.
In addition to the benefit coming up, Tricia and James also has a GoFundMe page.The benefit is Sunday, July 21, noon to 4 p.m. at the Rochester Eagles Club. Tricia and James both plan to be there.