Bay Ridge Rocks! bids farewell to co-founder

Though it is only the beginning for Bay Ridge Rocks!, the first chapter in the efforts of a local community to spread positive energy is coming to a close as one co-founder is gearing up for a big move to Florida.

Contributions made by co-founder Amie Jo Pappas will be celebrated from 4 to 6 p.m. at a special “Farewell Rock Hide” at the Narrows Botanical Garden this Saturday, June 24 — the 11th anniversary of the day Pappas originally moved to Bay Ridge.

“I’m a bit heartbroken that she’s leaving and I know she’ll be involved,” said co-founder Rana Abu-Sbaih. On Saturday, Abu-Sbaih said, her hope is to see people who only know each other online form a bond and get to know each other, as well as take the opportunity to bid farewell to the woman she now considers a closer friend.

“I will still tag my rocks Bay Ridge,” said Pappas, sure that she will still be able to create decorated rocks in her new home.

Her community in Florida also has a rock-hunting group which initially inspired her to bring the idea to Bay Ridge, which she said “will always be in my heart no matter where I live.” In fact, said Pappas, she feels she is also leaving behind a piece of herself.

Among the things she will take with her is a rock found by Abu-Sbaih that was painted to look like a map of Bay Ridge, given to her in honor of their success. Pappas said this is a rock she is definitively keeping.

The two women agree that the project has taken on a life of its own. “I’d say it’s a whole community thing at this point,” said Pappas.

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