Difference Makers: Tamara Holt-Roth and Storybook Entertainment provide magical moments

Editor's Note: The B Magazine Difference Makers series is sponsored by Executive Property Management and your local Edward Jones Financial Advisors. Read more stories at www.semissourian.com/DifferenceMakers.

Providing a storybook moment — especially for those who need it most — is the mission of Storybook Entertainment and Tamara Holt-Roth.

Holt-Roth, who co-owns the business, said her West Coast background helped her develop empathy for the less fortunate.

“Growing up in Los Angeles and being a child who has seen people at their absolute worst, I was so grateful when I received even the smallest gesture of kindness,” she said. “Having been raised in a household that struggled to put food on the table and being a child that witnessed what addiction, domestic abuse and recovery looks like has made me more sensitive to people in our community that may be currently going through these situations.”

Roth said a social media post galvanized her desire to help children and families escape their worries, if only for a short time.

“One evening I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a mother’s desperate plea. She explained that her family was taking odd jobs in the freezing cold and was turned away from a job without pay. The mother admitted they were taking these odd jobs to pay for their son’s birthday party. Because they lost this particular job they were unable to provide the party they hoped for,” she said. “I remember sitting at home and scrolling through the comments asking myself, ‘Why isn’t someone doing something about this?’ Then, I realized I was somebody. I quickly reached out to friends in our community, including the cast of Storybook Entertainment. We were able to provide this family the birthday they were dreaming of.”

Storybook’s cast includes princesses, super heroes and a variety of magical characters. Holt-Roth said those men and women are real heroes, calling them “magic makers.”

“I have seen miracles happen in the eyes of a child who has seen their favorite character come to life. I have watched parents come to tears at the sight of their child’s smile. I have seen worries and problems disappear for parents that have been stressing about putting food on the table or how to pay for their child’s birthday party. Even if for but a few minutes, it’s a lifetime for some,” she said.

These special events aren’t simply for families struggling with financial difficulties. Holt-Roth has also been involved in many “make-a-wish”-type events.

“It is our pleasure to be a constant resource to Wish granters and children with critical illness. We have made this a priority for our business. We have done many Wish projects. We don’t count. We just do our best to provide as many memories and moments to as many kids in need that we can,” she said.

The pandemic year of 2020 was a difficult one for many, and Holt-Roth said she and the cast of Storybook Entertainment created socially distanced events and “magical doorstep deliveries” to lift spirits.

“When I opened Storybook Entertainment SEMO in 2018, I didn’t realize what I had was anything anyone truly needed. I realized quickly that I could provide a child a break from the harshest reality and give them a moment or two of magic. Perhaps even a memory that doesn’t involve pain, hurt, hunger or distress. Everyone deserves a moment of magic. If I could provide that to someone, anyone, in need then I have done something worthwhile.”