R 206
97-H 6797
Passed in House
Apr. 11, 1997

H O U S E     R E S O L U T I O N


I want to know
Why do kids have to cry
Why do kids have to die
Why oh why can you tell me why

WHEREAS, Only 18 years old when first diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer which attacks children ages 12 to 19, Robert Venditelli had lived but 19 years when the disease claimed his young life. Robbie was a very special person who always thought of others before himself, and now he was gone before ever truly experiencing the infinite diversity and joys of life; and

WHEREAS, Robert Venditelli's tragic death has, however, become the fountainhead from which has sprung an event that offers hope and life to others. When asked by his parents during the final days of his life what they could do for him, he replied, "Yes. After I'm gone, please try to do something for other children and teens stricken with childhood cancer."; and

WHEREAS, After struggling for four long years with Robert's death, his devoted parents developed an idea for a miniature golf tournament for all ages to benefit the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. This year marks the Fifth Anniversary of the actualization of this dream as the "Spring Swing" -- the Robert Venditelli Memorial Miniature Golf Tournament -- takes place at Fiddlesticks, in North Kingstown, on Sunday April 27, 1997; and

WHEREAS, Having raised a phenomenal $62,000 last year, with only $2,000 in expenses, the Tournament hopes to raise $100,000 this year for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; and

WHEREAS, Located in Memphis, Tennessee, the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital opened its doors in 1962, and since then has been making a significant contribution to alleviating catastrophic childhood diseases, such as cancer; and

WHEREAS, The largest childhood cancer research center in the world in both number of patients and treatment successes, St. Jude has treated more than 13,000 children from 45 states and 47 foreign countries. With daily operating costs of approximately $309,000, which are covered primarily through public contributions, 86% of every dollar raised goes toward the current or future needs of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; and

WHEREAS, Thanks to the fine work of St. Jude, volunteers, like Arthur and Joanne Venditelli, and the selfless love and concern exhibited by wonderful people like Robert Venditelli, the dream of making childhood diseases but a painful memory is all that much closer to being realized; and

WHEREAS, "Yes, some still die but many live, because there are folks like you, who give of your time, your energies, your dollars and dimes, year after year, and time after time. There's no way to measure the worth of a child with eyes that glow and lips that smile. So 'til a cure is found our work is not done, the job is not finished -- only just begun."; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby expresses its admiration and support to those remarkable people working to end childhood diseases by sponsoring the 5th Annual "Spring Swing" -- the Robert Venditelli Memorial Miniature Golf Tournament -- to support the splendid efforts of the St. June Children's Research Hospital. This House, moreover, is pleased and proud to proclaim April 27, 1997 as "Robert Venditelli Day in Rhode Island."; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to Arthur and Joanne Venditelli and to Mary Ann Cecere, who Chairs the Robert Venditelli Memorial Fund-raising Committee.


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