Nov 05, 2013 Joe Genco Uncategorized
For about a year, people in Skaneateles and Marcellus have been collecting bottles and cans to help an 8-year old child with cancer check an item off his “bucket list.”
Thanks to the efforts of volunteers in Skaneateles, the ongoing fundraising effort was reinvigorated last week with residents, businesses and third grade students all pitching in to raise more money for the Ross family of Oswego.
Julian Ross was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer that attacks the body’s nervous system, in 2011. With Julian it first developed in his adrenal gland and spread to his stomach.
After his diagnosis, Julian made a bucket list of things he’d like to do. His number one item on the list was to have an “upstairs downstairs house,” or to have an addition put on his family’s house so that he could have a new second-floor bedroom. The full list is available on juliansjoust.com, a website maintained by his family to give updates on his condition and tell his story.
Though the family submitted the idea to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, they replied that they can not grant wishes that deal with real estate. However, the family has been able to plan and start construction of a two bedroom, one bathroom addition to their house thanks to the generosity various people and groups from around Central New York.
Two local architects, Bob Eggleston, of Skaneateles, and Rich Krenzer, of Marcellus, drew up blueprints for the family and they were able to break ground on the project in November of 2012.
The addition is still in progress, and the family still needs all the donations they can get to be able to finish it as soon as possible.
To support the Ross family, Nancy Rynkiewicz, of Marcellus, struck up a partnership with Hilltop Redemption Center in Skaneateles about a year ago — anyone who says they want to donate their deposits to Julian’s account would get 6 cents per container.
“It doesn’t sound like much, but in the grand scheme of things, it adds up,” she said.
Rynkiewicz initially heard about Julian last year through a Facebook post that she happened to see on the fifth anniversary of the passing of her son Jake, who also had pediatric cancer.
After reaching out to the family, they instantly connected and became friends, she said. Early on in the fundraising effort Rynkiewicz coordinated groups to pick up empties from people’s homes and businesses and schools in Marcellus got involved too. Prior to last week, the effort had raised more than $3,000 for the family and others had contributed their time and services as well, she said.
It was Rynkiewicz’s original efforts that recently inspired a group of people in Skaneateles to continue the campaign in their own neighborhood, Amy Neumann said.
Last week, a group of kids and parents circulated fliers throughout the town asking people to bring their empty containers to Hilltop on Saturday morning. By the time the redemption center officially opened at 10 a.m., a group of volunteers, mostly kids, was already hard at work inside helping to sort through more than 75 garbage bags of empty containers that had already been dropped off specifically for Julian.
There was also a group of people with a truck going around to local bars and restaurants to ask them to donate empties to the cause.
Earlier in the week, Neumann shared the flier for the drive with the principals of the Skaneateles schools and the third grade teachers at State Street Intermediate School decided to help by having their classes collect pennies. By the end of the week, they had collected about $127 and presented a check to members of Julian’s family who came out to Skaneateles to express their gratitude. The elementary parent teacher committee also announced that they would make a donation to match the amount raised by the third graders.
Though the drive was last week, anyone can still contribute to the cause by bringing empty containers to Hilltop Redemption center and requesting to have their money put into Julian’s account. Hilltop will be collecting money for Julian and sending it to his family on an ongoing basis. All of the proceeds will go directly toward purchasing building supplies for the addition to the Ross family’s home.
Joe Genco is the editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at email@example.com.