December 14, 2009

Students raise funds to help Murphysboro family

by Stacey Grote

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Students in the Department of Speech Communication at Southern Illinois University Carbondale raised more than $3,000 to aid a local child at a recent fundraiser.

Six students from a speech communication class on group communication and non-violent communication organized the fundraiser. The Little Red Rosie Event, as they called it, benefited Rosie Gordon, a 5-year-old Murphysboro girl who suffered serious injuries after a dog attack last summer.

The event brought in more than $3,400 for the Gordon family to assist them with upcoming surgery and hospital bills.

Suzanne Daughton, an associate professor in the Department of Speech Communication, said the students in her class who organized the event formed a voluntary partnership based on an issue that was important to all of them.

“In class, I’ve watched with delight as 22 young men and women have gotten to know and care about one another very quickly, and I’m inspired by the way that, through their different projects, they have extended that caring out into the world,” she said.

“Everyone will get on with their lives today knowing they have contributed to a worthwhile effort, and that effort is appreciated,” Diann Gordon, Rosie’s grandmother, said about the event organizers and participants. “All of you have become part of the support system that has contributed to Rosie’s healing and has assisted in Rosie being the wonderful little girl she is. You are all Christmas angels to us.”

“Little Rosie and her optimism inspired me beyond what I could have imagined,” Michelle Restivo, an organizer of the event said. “This event was more than a class project. It was a life-changing experience.”

Donations for Rosie Gordon may be made to “Reach Out for Rosie,” at the First Southern Bank in Carbondale. Contact Stacey Grote at or at 618/218-0062 for more information.