Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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April 3, 2013

Saturday benefit invites a community rally for Rossellis


Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Rose will remain hospitalized for an indefinite period. She didn’t lose her memory entirely, Matt said — she recognizes her family, but she is having to relearn speech. Damage done to her throat by lengthy use of a ventilator compounds the challenge, he added.

“I know you have to be prepared for things to happen to your parents,” 30-year-old Matt said this week. “I just never expected it would be both at the same time.” 

Matt and his wife, Maggi, pulled together the Saturday benefit with help from an unexpected new family friend. Through her former work in banking, Sophia Eddy first went to bat for the Rossellis by helping Matt make sure his parents’ bills got paid while they were both unconscious. According to Matt, Eddy has since readily volunteered her personal time to help organize the benefit, going door-to-door in the local business community to solicit donations for a prize raffle and help publicize the Rossellis’ story.

Eddy said she’s simply moved by the plight of Lee and Rose, and Matt’s dilemma.

“They’re typical blue-collar, working class people, living modestly. There but for the grace of God go we,” she said. “I call Matt a kid, but he’s a man, struggling with huge responsibilities and doing the best he can. I’m just trying to help him the best I can.”

At the benefit, Matt intends to honor Niagara County Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Harrer, whom he credits with saving his dad’s life at the accident scene. Harrer applied a tourniquet to Lee’s almost fully severed leg and kept him from bleeding to death.

“Without Deputy Harrer my dad wouldn’t be here at all,” Matt said. “I never really thought of police officers like that before.”

The benefit for Lee and Rose Rosselli will be ongoing from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the South Lockport fire hall. A pasta dinner, donated by Molinaro’s restaurant, will be served. Jonesie and the Cruisers will perform. Pop and beer will be served. A Chinese auction and 50/50 split raffles are planned. Tickets cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door; for advance tickets, call Matt Rosselli at 341-0463 or Sophia Eddy at 310-4466.

According to Eddy, donations of pop and beer for the event would be gratefully accepted.

Cash contributions to Lee and Rose Rosselli’s post-hospital care can be mailed to Matt Rosselli, 347 Walnut St., apartment 2, Lockport, NY 14094.

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