Lucky the snowman's life began after Southshore Charter Academy teacher Robin Hughes opened a book about snow and got a frosty reception.
"They just had this perplexed look on their face. And that's when I asked the question, 'How many of you have never seen snow before?'" Hughesin February.
Some of the students said they had only seen snow on TV and in movies — it hadn't snowed in central Florida in 45 years.
Hughes reached out to her sister, Amber Estes, who lives in Kentucky and asked her to ship her a snowman.
"And I said, 'If he makes it to Tampa, his name is going to be Lucky,'" Estes told CBS News at the time.
To everyone's surprise, Lucky did make it. So all winter long, Lucky ventured out of the cafeteria freezer, ever so briefly, to grant the snow-deprived children a chance to see and feel the mini miracle that is a snowman.
"And as a teacher, that's what you want — you just want that joy," Hughes said.
Perhaps no one was more smitten with Lucky than 5-year-old Momo, who said the snowman was "handsome like a boy."
In the two months since CBS News told Lucky's story, the warm greetings have taken their toll. On Earth Day, the kids reintroduced Lucky back into the water cycle, pouring his liquid form into a garden bearing his name.
"Lucky is going to forever live in our hearts," Hughes said.
Although goodbyes are always hard, the nice thing about life on Earth is that for every farewell, there's a hello. Hughes and her students decided to make sure Lucky lives on by planting a tree version of him in the garden.
"It's nice to meet you, Lucky the tree," Momo said.
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