Our mother, Carol Murray-Rossi, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2003. But her personal struggle with this disease did not stop her from looking for ways to reach out and help others fighting myeloma. In April of 2005, she started the first myeloma support group in the state of Rhode Island.
It was time for us to step up and do our part. With the help of friends and family, we worked for months to prepare for the Rocking in Rhode Island party to honor our mom and to raise funds to benefit the International Myeloma Foundation. Our efforts paid off—August 27th was a night to remember!
Local businesses donated many raffle prizes, including salon and spa treatments, surfing lessons, restaurant dinners, theatre passes, and liquor store and grocery gift cards. Our friends helped prepare food for the event and make a huge piñata. A tree-lined yard was transformed into a great party environment, with outdoor "rooms" full of furniture set up on the grass and dining tables decorated with beautiful flowers. Large projection screens showcased photos and film clips. Guests purchased tickets for drinks, raffle prizes, and fun contests—a dunk tank was rented for the evening! An outdoor bar was built, and a life-sized cardboard cutout of Austin Powers was set up to help tend bar. Our "bartender" was even equipped with recorded messages to greet the guests. Groovy, baby!
This most dreadful disease managed to bring out the best in everyone who attended. As we celebrated our bonds of love and friendship, and our common commitment and determination to win the fight against myeloma, the Rocking in Rhode Island event succeeded in raising $1,587 to benefit IMF programs and services while it also served to raise awareness of this disease.
The event was a group effort and we greatly appreciate the assistance we received from so many supporters. Special thanks go to Andy Unger and Jeremy Furtado for their hard work and dedication, and to the IMF for all they do for the myeloma community!