Fundraiser set to help with new Discovery Playhouse exhibit

Monday, July 9, 2012
This is an artist rendering for the “Levi’s Adventure Trail” exhibit. (Submitted photo)

A fundraiser next month will help pay for an exhibit at the Discovery Playhouse honoring a Benton, Mo., toddler who died earlier this year.

The Summer Cocktail Soiree will run from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Aug. 3 at the Concourse, 429 N. Broadview St. in Cape Girardeau. The event will have live music by the Ivas John Band, a silent auction, gourmet appetizers and surprise entertainment.

All proceeds will go toward the construction of the Levi's Adventure Trail exhibit.

Levi Stephen Collom, 3, died of undetermined causes March 18 at Cardinal Glennon Hospital in St. Louis after being transferred from Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau.

"Levi was such a loving, fun, little boy. He was so very likable and protective of the people he loved. He always called me 'My Gina,'" said Gina Crabtree, a longtime friend of the Collom family.

He is survived by parents Glenn and Ellen Collom, sister Victoria, maternal grandparents Steve and Viney Mosley and paternal grandmother Bobbi Collom.

Inspired by Levi's love of camping with his family at the Current River, Levi's Adventure Trail will allow other children to enjoy the outdoors as Levi did.

Crabtree said she and the Collum family thought starting a fund to help other children enjoy what Levi did was a great way to honor his memory.

While at the river, Levi enjoyed digging in the sand, searching for aquatic creatures, playing with his sister Victoria, climbing trails with his father and exploring caves. Levi and the Collom family made regular weekend trips to the Current River, Crabtree said.

"Levi's two favorite places were the Current River and the Discovery Playhouse, so we thought we'd bring the Current River to the Discovery Playhouse," Crabtree said.

The exhibit will be designed after a Van Buren, Mo., campground at the Current River, Viney Mosley said. The exhibit will feature a place to dig for arrowheads, a "river" to cross and float handcrafted boats, a climbing wall, a swinging bridge, a large tree and other attractions. Children can recharge their superpowers in a portion of the exhibit known as Levi's Lair. Attendants of the Summer Cocktail Soiree will have the opportunity to witness the unveiling of a new part of the exhibit, Mosley said.

A pavilion will provide a location for outdoor lessons, classes, parties and other events. The exhibit will be surrounded by fencing to ensure safety and privacy.

Each portion of the exhibit has special significance and a story behind it, Mosley said.

A previous fundraiser for the exhibit was held May 25 at Jeremiah's Restaurant in Sikeston, Mo.

"We expected to raise three, maybe four thousand," Crabtree said. "Instead, we raised over $43,000 and had over 100 silent auction items donated."

Mosley said she thought the building of the exhibit would help provide some healing for the Collom family. She said Levi was always enjoying himself. He enjoyed riding his John Deere Gator and jumping on his trampoline. Levi was interested in superheroes -- his Batman and Spider-Man toys were among his favorites.

Mosley described Levi as fun-loving and fondly remembered their times together at the Discovery Playhouse.

"We'd always sit in the firetruck together. He'd drive and make me be the firefighter. It was always so exciting for him. He loved the Secret Water Garden exhibit and the Alice in Wonderland exhibit, though he'd never go down the rabbit hole," Mosley said.

Participants are encouraged to make reservations as seating is limited. To attend, donate to the fund or silent auction or to volunteer, contact Gina Crabtree at 573-225-5714 or Viney Mosley at 573-450-9415. Reservations can be made online at razoo.com.

The event costs $35 for individual admittance or $55 for individual reserved seating. Sponsor tickets are also available for purchase at three different tiers: the $2,500 Super Power level, the $1,000 Super Strength level and the $500 X-Ray Vision level. The Super Power and Super Strength sponsorship levels include a table for eight, while the X-Ray Vision level includes a table for six.

Want to go?

What: Summer Cocktail Soiree

When: 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Aug. 3

Where: Concourse Building, 429 N. Broadview St., Cape Girardeau

Info: Contact Gina Crabtree at 573-225-5714 or Viney Mosley at 573-450-9415. Reservations can be made online at razoo.com.

rovermann@semissourian.com

388-3688

Pertinent address:

429 N. Broadview St., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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