At three years old, the day care children really don't understand what happened to their teacher, Miss Courtney.
They just know her leg was hurt but it's getting better and they helped her by doing what they could to help set up a center raffle and auction.
The auction — which is open to the public through Monday and features coveted items like a shovel autographed by the "grave digger" former Green Bay Packer Gilbert Brown — is boosting the spirits of Miss Courtney, 22, who was one of the survivors of the Azana Salon & Spa mass shooting.
Courtney Felecia Buss, a preschool teacher at All About Learning in Oconomowoc, also worked as a receptionist at Azana.
She called the day care center on Monday, Oct. 22 to let them know she was at Froedtert Hospital, recovering from surgery. She had been shot in the leg by Radcliffe Haughton but managed to escape, rolling down a hill and being scooped up by law enforcement officers who whisked her into a squad and over to waiting ambulances.
See Patch's full coverage of the Azana spa shooting
"We immediately started thinking, 'We have to do something to support her,'" said Neal George, director of the Oconomowoc center. "We wanted to reach out and let her know how much she means to us and do something nice for her."
A note to parents blossomed into a flurry of donations for items to auction and raffle, with parents' businesses kicking in free goods and services and many just giving money. All six All About Learning day care centers — locations in Oconomowoc, Waukesha, Hartland, West Allis and two in Menomonee Falls — are all taking auction bids at their centers. The public can bid by calling any of the six centers, visiting the center's Facebook page or stopping by in person. Bidding runs through Monday, with winners announced Tuesday.
[See the list below for auction items, including hotel stays. There also are numerous gift baskets with free lessons, massages, beauty products, other services and much more.]
The response has been overwhelming to both center staff and to Courtney, who George said was not ready to be interviewed. She has visited the center since being released from the hospital but has not said yet when or if she will be coming back.
"She is very touched by it, by all the people who have reached out," he said. "She's in good spirits. She's a really positive, upbeat person."
Buss is one of the most well-liked teachers and has an excellent repore with the children, George said. Her broad smile is infectious. A photo on her Facebook page shows the Watertown High graduate smiling brightly while sitting up in a hospital bed.
"People just want to get involved because a lot of people have come to know Courtney," he said. "The kids, they miss her. But they’re coping well with it. The kids have been very involved with the raffle."
One hundred percent of the proceeds will go directly to Buss.
"We know that she's on the road to recovery," George said. "We hope that she recovers quickly and comes back."
Auction items include:
Mens Leather Harley Jacket
HP refirbished Laptop
Autographed Gilbert Brown Shovel
Leroy Butler Signed Picture and signed book
Home Humidifier System 1
Packer Tickets Dec 23 game
Brewer Tickets and Parking
Country Springs Hotel and Waterpark
Olympia Hotel and Spa and breakfast
Blue Harbor Resort and Spa
Heritage Inn Hotel and Bismarks Bar and Grill certificate
10 Bird Hunt at Milford Hills
Hyatt in Madison
Madison Concourse Hotel