When their teen daughter was diagnosed with cancer, Mario and Gisele DiNatale were devastated. Although she had excellent medical care and overwhelming community support on her side, Alicia Rose passed on at the age 17, having lost her courageous battle. Yet through their grief, her parents decided to help others by creating The Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation in their daughter’s honor. The Foundation has a very special purpose—to provide amenities and activities that boost the spirits of hospitalized teens.
As a longtime friend of the DiNatale family, Safelite Solutions Vice President Client Sales & Support Gary Strain offered to help, and soon got involved in the Alicia’s Art Cart Program. Designed to give patients a creative outlet during treatments, the art carts are filled with plenty of art supplies, then delivered to teens who are patients at local hospitals. Since then, Gary has encouraged other Safelite leaders to get involved, including District Manager Ronnie Randall.
“When Gary first reached out to me, I knew I wanted to get involved in this program,” Ronnie said. “It is very heartbreaking for me to see any child or young person that has to suffer through illness, abuse, or poverty. The support of our youth within our communities should supersede everything.”
Ronnie shared the idea with his team, and they were enthusiastic about volunteering to assemble the art cart. “It was a great team building activity,” Ronnie said. Then Ronnie and Market Agency Manager Mike Brothers presented the cart at a very special event—the unveiling of Alicia’s Art Cart at The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart Hospital.
When they arrived, they met a group of hospital representatives, including Director of Community Relations and Child Programs, Cathryn Outzen, and Certified Child Specialist Amanda Soldani. All of them were excited to receive the art cart for their facility.
Although the other Pensacola team members who helped behind the scenes were not on hand for the reveal itself, Ronnie is grateful for the following volunteers who helped make the event a success: Theresia Martinez – Customer Advocate; Serena Snider – Repair Specialist; Martin Vela – Store Manager; Demetrius Stallworth – Lead Technician.
After speaking with the people he met at the reveal event, Ronnie got a better understanding of their needs and saw the potential
to help them, even more, going forward.
“I plan to stay connected with them and continue our giving relationship for the children—not only by keeping the cart stocked with supplies, but in other ways as well,” he said. “It was—and is—a great opportunity, and I can’t say enough how much I appreciate the gift of being a part of it.”
And Ronnie does consider supporting this effort to be a gift, one that gives him a new perspective.
“Never dismiss just how much something simple can make a difference in a child’s life—especially a child in need,” he said. “Giving back in honor of Alicia Rose was a privilege for us, and her courage will continue to inspire so many others.”
For more information about Alicia’s Art Cart, visit www.victoriousfoundation.org/artcart.
Source article written and published by Safelite AutoGlass The Wire.
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About Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation
Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation (ARVF, Corp.) is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization founded in 2002. ARVF is dedicated to providing age-appropriate Victorious 4 Teens programs, for hospitalized teens and young adults, battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Since inception, over $2.5m has been dedicated to Victorious 4 Teens programs, including funding 65 Teen Lounges, located at children’s hospitals in 38 states across the country. ARVF also distributes over 2000 Teen Kits & Bandana Pillows annually to hospitalized teens and young adults. For more information about ARVF and to find out how you can help hospitalized teens, visit www.victoriousfoundation.org.