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Fund raiser to benefit injured jogger

By Staff | May 8, 2015

Several Cape Coral entities have partnered up to host a fundraiser for a jogger hit by a truck.

The “Cape Love” fundraiser will be held on Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Cape Coral Town Center, also know as Big John’s plaza. Organized by Beattie Development, with the assistance of local businesses and community leaders, the public event will feature live entertainment, raffles and more.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will help cover the medical bills of James P. Rosso, 20. Paul Beattie, president of Beattie Development, explained that Rosso’s father is a carpenter at his company.

“I run my business very family-orientated,” he said. “We can’t even imagine what they’re going through. We really just wanted to do something to show the family that we’re here for them.”

At about 8 p.m. on April 9, Rosso was running on Diplomat Parkway West in the outside lane with two others. The three were running shoulder to shoulder, with Rosso positioned near the middle of the lane, police reported. In the 2600 block, a Dodge Ram truck headed eastbound struck Rosso from behind.

Rosso was airlifted to Lee Memorial Hospital, where he remained Tuesday in fair condition.

Beattie said Rosso has a broken hip and is unable to walk, but he has been improving.

“He’s slowly regaining his speech,” he said. “He’s having to learn everything over again.”

Recently, there has been talk of discharging Rosso to continue treatment at home.

“When he got to the hospital, the doctors didn’t have much hope for him,” Beattie said. “But he’s been recovering very well – he’ll still need around the clock care (at home).

Rosso’s medical bills are estimated to top $500,000.

The fundraiser is being held with the assistance of the Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral, Cape Coral Construction Industry Association, Cape Coral Board of Realtors and Cape Coral Town Center.

“It’s been great to get the support of the community,” Beattie said.

Open to the public, the event will feature entertainment, as well as free food and drinks.

Carrie Strongin, one of the event organizers, explained that Ralph’s Place, the South Cape Diner and Hooters, along with other restaurants in the plaza and within the Cape, are donating the food.

“The Cape Coral Fire Department is going to come out, too,” she said. “They’re going to have stickers for the kids, and they’re going to take pictures.”

Various raffles, with door prizes, will take place at the fundraiser.

“The big giveaway, we’re going to give away a week’s stay in the Keys at a house,” Strongin said.

A chance auction will also be an option. She explained that participants will place their tickets in bags next to the items they wish to win. Tickets will then be picked for the bags to determine the winners.

“We have several donations, from Fort Myers all the way down to Naples,” Strongin said.

The items include gift baskets, like one from Macy’s, gifts cards to venues like Blu Sushi and Outback Steakhouse, a round of golf at the Fort Myers Country Club round of golf, local services and more.

There will also be a 50/50 raffle, with tickets available for sale on site.

“It’s just about the community coming together to help this young man,” she said.

Rosso’s siblings recently started a Go Fund Me page at: www.gofundme.com/jamesthejogger to help with the expenses. People can donate and help cover his medical expenses by visiting the website.