Raising money to fight cancer and keeping the memory of their son alive is a yearly endeavor for parents Dennis Fasone and Marty Fasone-Rugh, who lost 21-year-old Rod Fasone to a rare form of colon cancer 14 years ago.
Rod’s Day, a Hawaiian-themed luau and family event, will raise money for the Rod Fasone Memorial Cancer Fund, which aids research, patient care and education. Contributions are made each year from Rod’s Day to the John Wayne Cancer Institute.
Rod’s Day is scheduled from 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 22nd, at Mo’s Place, 203 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey. Admission is free.
Money is raised through fundraising raffles and donations. Raffle drawings begin at 4:15 p.m. A donation presentation will be hosted by Rod Fasone’s childhood friend, Dr. Chris Morrison, who was also involved with a Rod’s Day event in Tampa, Florida that was held Memorial Day Weekend.
“Now that Rod’s friends are all grown up, some of them have found ways to contribute and put on their own fundraisers, which I’m thrilled about,” says Fasone.
Morrison is a doctor in Tampa who practices sports medicine.
This year’s event features a skydiving exhibition by military veterans Jumpin’ Bill Heskamp and Friends.
Guests are encouraged to play along with the Hawaiian theme by wearing Hawaiian shirts, luau dresses, sarongs, pareos, bikinis or grass skirts.
“Rod’s Day is exactly the kind of fundraiser that Rod would have created himself — fun, all-inclusive and community-based,” says Dennis Fasone.
He says that, since 1994, the Rod Fasone Memorial Cancer Fund has provided grants totaling approximately $1 million for cancer research and treatment. Among organizations benefiting are:
ï John Wayne Cancer Institute (colon cancer research), $220,000;
ï Rod Fasone Children’s Hospice, $99,000 (Indianapolis);
ï Hope Lodge “Rod’s Room” patient family housing, $35,000; and
ï research, case studies and various programs, $25,000.
Information, (310) 337-2821.