July 26, 2010
By Mark Mulholland
WNYT News Channel 13
SARATOGA SPRINGS – “I feel for the kids who don’t have someone to turn to,” said Dr. Bambii Rae. Rae has been the victim of bullies. She was teased so badly that she was forced to drop out of the Buffalo high school she attended.
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She went on to get her Ph.D. in education and now she’s teaching the lesson of her life through the eyes of a champion race horse.
Rae fell in love with Rachel Alexandra, the thoroughbred filly who beat the boys on her way to becoming Horse of the Year. In Rachel she saw the perfect protagonist for her children’s book, “Girl Power: Running Against Bullying.”
“Rachel has a lot of people who believe in her. I don’t think the kids or anybody can do it without that,” Rae said.
The book tells how owners tried to keep Rachel out of the Preakness, but Saratoga socialite Marylou Whitney came to her aid and Rachel entered and won the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
The book’s paintings are the work of Saratoga Springs artist Frankie Flores, who — because it’s a children’s book — didn’t want the bullies to be too menacing.
“We tried to make it fun, a little light and airy in some aspects,” Flores explained.
Profit from the book will benefit anti-bullying groups like the Prevention Council of Saratoga.
There’s a big public unveiling of the book at a reception at the Flores Art Gallery, Friday night at 7. It will be available in local bookstores in August.