Family, friends launch this season’s holiday greens campaign in memory of Sophia Smith

Sophia Smith loved crafting.

“Her room was filled with sparkles and glue and paper. Soph would love this, she would love all this decorating stuff,” said Tracy Ackerman, a friend of the Smith family.

Friends (left to right) Melissa Barrett, MJ Boudreau, Tracy Ackerman, Jenn Smith and Holly Lamb fill planters with holiday greens in memory of Sophia Smith. COURTESY PHOTOS

Sophia passed away five years ago this month at the age of 12, after battling a rare pediatric brain tumor. The town was draped in blue [Sophia’s favorite color] ribbons during her illness and after her death.

For the last several years, friends of Sophia’s family have come together to create and sell planters of holiday greens in her memory. The money raised is given as scholarships to Marblehead High School seniors. 

It’s especially poignant this year, because Sophia would have been a senior at MHS. Her twin sister will graduate in June.

Sophia Smith loved crafting.

“It’s very emotional,” Ackerman said.

The holiday greens project started four years ago with just three volunteers who filled 150 planters and raised $10,000.

“It took off like crazy,” Ackerman said.  Last year, the campaign raised more than $15,000.

Ackerman explained how people can get involved. “We collect containers at your house and we have a workshop set up in my garage. We decorate with greens, white lights and a tag with Sophia’s name.”  Each planter can be customized with red, blue or white colors.

“I have a bunch of friends over and serve soup and wine and we fill all the pots,” Ackerman added. “We have Christmas music playing.”

A planter filled with holiday greens and white lights, in memory of Sophia Smith.

Planters start at $50 for a medium size and go up from there. For more information, visit You can also text Ackerman at 617-930-0100.

“We want to involve more people and bring Sophia’s spirit to as many people in town as we can. She really was an amazing kid.

“She was a light.”

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Editor Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter.

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