Born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, Lorraine Barbour married Frank Misasi in 1942. Frank was serving in the Army at the time. In 1951, Frank became employed at Fry Roofing and was relocated to Brookville, Indiana, bringing with him Lorraine and their daughter, Bambi.
Lorraine, or “Miss Lorraine” as her students came to know her, first taught dance in Brookville from 1951 to 1961. At the end of each year, she would host a dance show featuring her students at the time. During her first years of teaching, the proceeds from the shows were donated to the March of Dimes with the exception of 1961, when she and her dancers raised $500 to help build the Heap Memorial Swimming Pool.
The Misasi family moved to California in 1962 and then on to Chicago, but when Frank died unexpectedly in 1965, Miss Lorraine chose to come back to Brookville. When asked what brought her back, she replied, “Brookville is a small town where people care about each other and look after one another”. She proved this herself many times through her remarkable passion for dance and her devotion to her students.
The dancing continued and in 1984, Miss Lorraine decided it was time for another show. With proceeds from that show, the Children’s Medical Fund was established. The fund was started to help infirmed or injured children and their families meet extraordinary needs. For 23 years following the 1984 show, the proceeds continued to support the fund and the fund continued to support the medical needs of local families.
Miss Lorraine stopped teaching dance in 2007. She continued to manage the Children’s Medical Fund until 2008 when it became The Lorraine & Frank Misasi Children’s Medical Fund Endowment in the Franklin County Community Foundation. When income from the fund is available, Franklin County families with a child under the age of 18 suffering a one-time medically related expense not covered by insurance may submit a request for assistance.
Miss Lorraine’s dedication to the individuals of our community, and the community in general, has always been a priority in her life. Her love of children and her concern for their welfare is apparent and will continue through this endowment.