By Joanne Purdy Guzman
Remember the last time we had a big fireworks show? How you looked up at the sky with friends and family and ooh’d and ah’d at the magic before your eyes? Did you wonder who helped make that happen? Ed and Mari Rossi did.
Or do you ever wonder how your child’s teacher or school had the materials required for your child to get the education they need? Ed and Mari Rossi have donated tens of thousands over the years.
Do you know how it is that you’re able to go to the library and use all the references there at no cost? Ed and Mari Rossi made that happen.
Have you ever been down on your luck and received weekly groceries from Nob Hill and wondered who was behind the food on your table? Ed and Mari Rossi were your grocery fairies.
If you live in Scotts Valley, you have heard the names Ed and Mari Rossi. They have not only contributed to so many causes here in Scotts Valley, but in all of Santa Cruz County and beyond.
Right now, the two people who are always helping other people need some help from all of us.
Ed has Hodgkin’s lymphoma and a large mass in his abdomen. He is having surgery tomorrow to install the central line ports for the aggressive chemo. Mari does full time caregiving for her mom who has Alzheimer’s, 4 days and nights a week. With life circumstances, coupled with illness and caregiving needs they are in danger of losing the place they have made their home.
When I became aware of their circumstances, I offered to start a Gofundme. Mari immediately said no. I was not surprised at all, she is a giver, and people who are givers usually aren’t able to easily accept help. I asked her to take a few days to think about it, to talk to God and then make a decision. After talking it over with Ed, they agreed to allow me to start this Gofundme for them so they could hopefully stay through this coming year in their home. With all their current and upcoming challenges, it would be a great relief to not have to move.
With so many people who need help right now, please read along to understand why you should choose Ed and Mari.
The gifts mentioned above are just a few that Ed and Mari Rossi have given to our community and others. In addition they have been major donors to the following:
- The Boys and Girls Club
- The Senior Center
- Twin Lakes Church and School
- Fallen Officer’s Foundation
- Special Olympics and Police in Pursuit
- Young Life
- Rebele Family Shelter
- The Scotts Valley Dare program
- The Moose Lodge
- Meals on Wheels
- Scotts Valley Kiwanis
- Scotts Valley Recreation
- The Scotts Valley Education Foundation
- Music in Skypark
- Numerous local family-owned businesses
For years, wherever there has been a need, Ed and Mari have been there giving.
I remember the first time I was aware of the magnitude of Ed and Mari’s generosity. I was invited to come help get gifts ready for the families at the Rebele Family Shelter. Not just gifts for a few families. Gifts for ALL 40 of the families in the entire shelter. I arrived at the Scotts Valley Community Center to a flurry of action.
People everywhere wrapping gifts, filling out Christmas cards, bagging gifts and loading them on a big truck. In the middle of it all were Ed and Mari full of holiday spirit of giving and thanking everybody. I walked up to Mari and asked where I could help, she told me to wait and disappeared for a moment, she came back carrying a gift bag for me to say thank you. I was surprised that she’d even thought of the helpers in her generosity. She brought me over to a gift card table where I met other people who had helped with this project before. Mari was busy going around to every station to make sure each family had all of the things the children and parents asked for.
Not just a few of the items on their Christmas list, but EVERY SINGLE item they asked for. And she wanted them to have more, there were gift cards for each family for groceries, clothes and restaurants. It was a huge operation and many people from the community were there helping. When we were all finished I left with a big smile, just completely blown away by the generosity and love in that room and knowing these families were going to have a wonderful Christmas despite being homeless.
Since that first time helping, I have come to know Mari and Ed and call them friends. Throughout these years I have witnessed them give to so many people and causes that I am in awe of their generosity and kindness. Several times while dining at Bruno’s they have looked around the room and discreetly pulled me aside to anonymously buy dinner for several tables of families with young kids or single parents, citing, “I remember how hard it was to afford to go out to dinner when the kids were young.” The joy on the families’ faces is enough of a reward for them. They don’t need accolades. If you know them, you know how generous they are. And if you don’t know them and live in this community we call home, then you have most likely benefited in some way from one of the causes they had their hands in giving to.
Now they need our help.
They don’t know how to ask for help, but they need it right now and we need to step up to help two of the people who have been helping all of us and our community for so long. I ask that you please look into your heart and give whatever you can afford to contribute. If you aren’t able to help monetarily and have another idea of how you can contribute to raising the funds needed, please contact me or my husband Ro, we are planning on a future fundraiser at Bruno’s to assist.
The goal is $45,000. To donate, see www.gofundme.com/f/our-local-heroes-need-our-help