Jessica Rose Family Fun Day Creates Foundation For Families

Jessica Rose Family Fun Day Creates Foundation For Families
By Carisa Biesecker
myangels2007“Every day is an uphill struggle for me just to get through the day and night without her. I have to find the strength just to keep asking myself, ‘What would Jessie want?’” states FishHawk resident Maureen Massari in regard to her daughter, Jessica Rose, 6, who lost her battle with cancer in February of 2009 after battling neuroblastoma stage IV for two years. Her answer came in the form of The Jessica Rose Foundation, Inc.Being unveiled on Saturday, February 6, at Sunset Bay Chapel, located at 6026 Churchside Dr. in Lithia, the foundation’s launch will be an afternoon in the making from 12 Noon-5 p.m., as a ribbon cutting will commence the day and an honorable mention of children in the area battling cancer, referred to as “honorary warriors,” will follow. Recognizing the force behind the foundation, a memorial service will be held in honor of Jessica and the one-year anniversary of her passing. Local children who have lost their battles with cancer will be recognized as well. Then, the celebration will begin with music provided by Pure Power Productions and singer Lisa Hertzner belting out some tunes, 100 baton twirlers from Let’s Twirl performing, food, raffles, a silent auction, arts and crafts, a bounce house, a super slide, Valentine photo opportunities, costume characters, face painting, a bake sale, pony rides, a clown, a magician, Valentine balloons and more.Through the Jessica Rose Foundation, families battling pediatric cancer, with a child in active treatment, will be given up to $1,000 in support, whether it be in gift cards, medical costs or travel expenses incurred by treatments. “I thought it was a wonderful way to help local families with some immediate needs, not just financially but also emotionally,” says Massari, adding that the she hopes to expand the charity’s mission one day to include mental health support for parents and public education for residents. She adds: “It’s heartbreaking watching these children’s lives change the way they do. They truly are heroes! The love they give is unconditional and the joy and inspiration they bring to others is unmatched. They share their feelings and thoughts from a place that most of us have never been to. It leaves you speechless, because we know they should be thinking about what toy they want to play with next, not about their white blood count, nor asking whether or not they can play with their friends that week, simple things most healthy people take for granted.”  Sponsors of the grand opening include Chick-fil-A, Hillsboro Bank, Air Gas, Minuteman Press of Town & Country, Dairy Queen, All Stars Italian Grill, Buffalo Wild Wings, Joel’s Pizza, Lowry Park Zoo, Firehouse Subs, Lillian Portraits, Westshore Pizza and Big Belly. Raffle items are still needed and volunteers are being welcomed for the grand opening. For more information, visit www.jessicarosefoundation.org, call 451-6544 or e-mail maureen@jessicarosefoundation.org.