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When Abbie Zukowski was very little, she loved bedtime. She would put on her pajamas, run to the back door, look up to the night sky, and say, “Goodnight moons. Goodnight stars.”
For her 10th birthday, she got a telescope and looking through it was her favorite part of the day. She wanted to be an astronomer and often visited area science centers with her family. She even had a birthday party at the Da Vinci Science Center.
“Abbie loved life, family, and friends, and she loved everything that had to do with the solar system and learning how everything worked,” said Abbie’s mother, Lisa.
In 2014, Abbie was killed while crossing the street on her way home from school. She was only 11-years old.
Today, on what would have been her 14th birthday, the science center celebrated the life of this amazing girl with Abbie’s Space Party. The day also served as a fundraiser for the Abigail Zukowski Memorial Scholarship. The fund provides financial support to college-bound Emmaus High School students that embody many of Abbie’s qualities. Through donations and a portion of admission fees, the center raised $1,300.
The day was chock full of activities that the young cosmonaut would have loved.
Kids and parents alike had a blast with stomp rockets and the virtual reality space experience. They explored the planets and stars with a popup planetarium and an active solar flare with telescopes provided by the Lehigh Valley Amateur Astronomical Society. There was even a visit from retired NASA astronaut Terry Hart, who discussed the history of space flight.
“If Abbie had planned the party herself, this would have been it,” said Lisa. “Keeping Abbie’s memory alive is what I strive to do. I want people to feel they know her even though they have never met her. I want to thank everyone that has made this happen, especially the Da Vinci Science Center, to help us celebrate Abbie’s life.”