Remembering ‘Beazle’: New Ipswich kids paint rocks in honor of friend

  • Emma “Beazel” Blanche Adams lost a battle to cancer on Dec. 30, 2016. Her friends and family are keeping her memory alive by painting and then hiding rocks. Courtesy photo—

  • Isaac Phillips, 7, finds a Beazel rock that reads “Hope.”  Courtesy photo—

  • Killian Duthie, 8, finds a Beazel rock behind the playground at Highbridge Hill Elementary in New Courtesy photo—

Thursday, October 05, 2017 9:53AM

Heather Boucher, of New Ipswich, has been hard at work for about a month and a half finding rocks, painting them and hiding them in various public spaces around town.

The work is part of a larger cause called Beazle Rocks that’s present in multiple towns across three different states. It’s a cause named after Emma “Beazle” Blanche Adams who was diagnosed with stage 4 inoperable brain cancer. She fought for a year and seven months before succumbing to the disease in December of last year. She was 14.

“Her mother's biggest fear is that people will forget her,” said Catherine Rasco, who lives in Rhode Island. Rasco said Adam’s mother is her best friend. When Adams was alive she would call Rasco “aunty.”

Since Adams died, Rasco said they have been coming up with ways to keep the young girl’s memory alive. They started a scholarship fund at the high school Adams would have attended, and launched Beazle Rocks, a spin-off of a national program called the Kindness Rocks Project. 

The organizers paint pictures of things Adams really enjoyed like Angry Birds characters and scenes from some of her favorite holidays like Halloween. The finished rocks are then hidden in a public place where people can search, find, snap a picture and then re-hide the rocks.

Boucher, who recently moved to New Ipswich, said she was childhood friends with Rasco. She said she knew Adams but not well.

Boucher said she didn’t draw very often before this but now she’s designed around 55 or 60 rocks that have been scattered around town.

“I’m having a blast,” she said of the process. “Seeing pictures of people finding these is the best part.”

She said one woman sent an image of a rock with a cat painted on it and her own cat slung over her shoulder.

Each rock has a label on the back explaining why the rock is there and what to do with it.