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Dinner memorializes Cicero couple while raising money for St. Jude

— For Dominic and Patricia Rossi, life was about family, community and service.

“I am biased, but I feel my parents were great people,” said their son, Joe Rossi. “They put family first, they gave back to their community through service, they stood up for what they believed in and they weren't afraid to get their hands dirty.”

That dedication to serving the community in which they lived —Cicero — has been reflected in the way that community remembers the Rossis nearly two decades after both passed away. There’s a street in town called Rossi Court, named after Dominic, and a garden in front of NOPL @ Brewerton planted in Patricia’s memory.

In addition, Joe Rossi holds a fundraiser dinner every year that serves a dual purpose: it memorializes his parents while raising money for an important cause close to their hearts.

“Both Dominic and Patricia were supporters of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital,” Joe Rossi said. “I remember my father feeling guilty for getting prayers from friends, when little kids were fighting for their lives as well. I can't put it into words, but Dominic and Patricia put their condition in perspective, not by begging for more time on Earth, but by being thankful for how much time they had. After Dad passed, the family asked for contributions to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in lieu of flowers. Mom continued to support St. Jude and we honored her with contribution requests for St. Jude as well after she passed.”

According to Fran Pickles, senior event marketing representative at St. Jude’s Albany office, the dinner supports St. Jude’s mission of raising awareness and researching children’s cancers.

“Our staff supports many fundraising efforts, such as the Dominic and Patricia Rossi Memorial Dinner, all across upstate New York and Vermont,” Pickles said. “St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other deadly diseases. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food, because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. The Dominic and Patricia Rossi Memorial Dinner, and the Syracuse community who supports the effort year after year, makes sure that St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most — saving kids regardless of their financial situation.”

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