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Imagine a Day

By: Christian Doland

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Imagine a day, you’re driving with your mother, brother, and a family friend. It’s a Friday afternoon, the 28th of April, year 2008 to be exact. You look down at the car clock and see it’s 3:30 p.m., and suddenly the car you’re riding in is struck by a large black SUV. The man behind the wheel, Mark M. Benson, is an intoxicated driver. He recently had his medical license revoked, and has a history of drug and alcohol convictions.

Two precious lives are now lost forever in the accident. Jennifer Bukosky, an OHS administrator, was eight months pregnant at the time. The baby and Bukosky were killed on impact, and Bukosky’s daughter was pronounced brain dead. Bella’s friend, Debi Gibbs, and Bella were flown in a flight-for-life to the local hospital. Courtney Bella, just a fourth grader at Summit Elementary, passed away the following day, and Gibbs remained at the hospital to recover. Zach Bella, son to Jennifer and brother to Courtney, suffered a laceration on his face.

Who would have known that the fate of the accident would create a gallery for the community to come and admire young, aspiring, local talent?

This tragedy struck Imagine A Day, The Courtney Bella Foundation, and the new gallery that is being added to showcase students’ art. The gallery is located to the left of the doors upon entering the Oconomowoc Arts Center. The art center will feature 248 square feet of space, which is currently being decorated and designed by Olivia Harwood.

“Olivia is doing the work,” stated Brock Rumohr, an art at teacher of OHS. Rumohr did not personally know Jennifer and Courtney, but he does remember when the tragic event shook the Oconomowoc school district and the community.

“There are no requirements, and the goal going forward is variety,” Said Rumohr. The way Rumohr made it sound is when walking down the gallery hall he wanted people not just to see sculptures, but something much more meaningful. The people putting this together want these to be abstract and truly unique. Photography and paintings that can bring

With the school year in 2016-2017 coming up quickly, a regular schedule for the gallery will be established to feature art from around our community. The gallery is expected to be finished this coming fall.

The gallery was made possible by a generous grant from the Imagine A Day Foundation. The foundation’s name comes  from the poem that Courtney wrote back in 2008, not long before the intoxicated driver took her life.

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