OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Families in Ocean Springs set out for a day of fun Saturday and helped a dear friend along the way. Even the gloomy morning weather couldn't stop hundreds of people, big and small, from coming to Ocean Springs Middle School for a benefit bazaar, in honor of Pecan Park second grade teacher and mother of 3, Courtney Hubbard.
Hubbard was diagnosed this summer with breast cancer, and instead of teaching this year, she's flying to Houston every week for cancer treatment at M.D. Anderson.
"This just warms my heart," Hubbard said about the event and the turnout. "In the very beginning, people came wanting to know what they could do. And my big thing is people are always looking for things to do with children and as a family, and so if people were doing something as a family and having fun together, then that would make me happy."
The carnival lasted all day and featured clowns, a basketball challenge, live music, plenty of play equipment, and a wealth of donated food. Hubbard's aunt and sister, Linda Seymour and Melissa Davis organized the event.
They said they wanted to do something unique to raise funds for Hubbard, and give her something fun to do the weekend before she starts a particularly tough phase of chemotherapy treatments.
Hubbard's illness has turned into quite the teaching experience, both for her three children and students in Ocean Springs.
She was featured on WLOX when students at Pecan Park Elementary School made blankets to give to cancer patients her name. Click here to read more about their effort.
A benefit fund has been set up for Hubbard at Hancock Bank. It's called "Love and Blessings for Courtney Hubbard" and you can donate at any Hancock Bank branch.
Hubbard said she's overwhelmed by the community support and looks forward to helping other people walking in her shoes when her treatments are over.