Sidney’s Rainbow Picnic: Celebrating Sidney Olson

Sunday, May 21, 2023 2:00 PM to 5:30 PM

Register Now

DATE CHANGED TO SUNDAY, MAY 21st because of rain.

Please join us for an outdoor picnic to celebrate Sidney's creativity, curiosity and love for her community.

In the spirit of Sidney's love of rainbows, wear your favorite bright color or a rainbow t-shirt.

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM: Pluralistic service and celebration for family, friends, colleagues and classmates of Sidney, Eric, Mary Beth & Ellis.
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM: We welcome the broader community and general public to join and celebrate Sidney with crafts, music, nature and of course, rainbows.
Bring chairs or a blanket to sit on, a snack to enjoy and depending on weather, sunscreen, a hat, insect repellent or an umbrella. Feel free to bring a children's book to donate to our "reading corner" -- books will be donated after the picnic.

Rain date: Sunday, May 21

Sidney was a bright-eyed, energetic girl with springy curls. She was in the Springboard to Kindergarten program at SHED school in Andover, where she was known for her soft-spoken curiosity, and her budding ability to de-escalate conflict and find common ground in groups.

She was fiercely creative, styling her own outfits, choreographing elaborate performances, and filling our home with her unique brand of abstract art, unlike anything we’ve seen. She picked flowers everywhere she went, often plucking a rose from the garden in front of Enterprise Bank, despite her parents’ objections. She memorized every lyric to a dozen Taylor Swift songs, gladly taking the microphone to sing along in crowded karaoke sessions.

She was an explorer, whether she was roaming the mountains near our Warren, Vermont, home in search of porcupine tracks, or visiting the New England Aquarium, sea life book in tow, circling her favorites from splashy stingrays to the sleepy octopus.

For her 5th birthday, she wanted a rainbow theme because ‘it includes everyone’s favorite color.’

How to Help

We’re grateful for the outpouring of love and support for our family and friends after the tragic death of our bright-eyed, five-year-old daughter, Sidney. Many in the community have asked how they can help, and this is exactly what our daughter would want you to do.

We’ve partnered with the SHED Children’s Campus to create the Sidney Mae Olson Rainbow Scholarship Fund in her honor. We plan to keep this fund going for years to come to keep her memory alive at the place that ignited her creative and caring spirit.

Sid sprung fearlessly into every day with curiosity, creativity, and love for her community. She wanted nothing more than for people to come together in shared experiences – in nature, in the classroom, anywhere.

She was known for her soft-spoken style of building bonds across groups, and memorably asked for her birthday party to be a rainbow theme because ‘it’s everyone’s favorite colors.’

In her spirit of boundless love and inclusion, we hope this fund provides opportunity to children who might not otherwise have it – and that it adds rich diversity to the SHED community for years to come.

Donate to the Sidney Mae Olson Rainbow Scholarship Fund

Common Good of the Community

Our greatest hope is that Sidney’s boundless love for everyone encourages others to look out for the common good of our community following this tragedy. This intersection has long been considered dangerous. While we’re not engineers, we also know our community can do better. We hope the town makes fast changes to that and other high-traffic intersections so no one has to experience the pain we feel right now.

Sign the petition to make pedestrian safety improvements at Elm Square, in Andover