Molly Fund Reaches $100K Nonprofit Goal
Monday marked a lofty achievement for a local charity.
The Molly Fund, a memorial created in honor of a beloved Hampton girl, celebrated a significant milestone earlier this week, as the nonprofit announced it has raised over $100,000 for children fighting cancer.
Meighan and Buck Rowlee, the parents of Molly, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 5 due to cancer, said they originally expected it to take about five years to raise that amount of money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
Instead, thanks to what Meighan Rowlee called an overwhelming level of community support, the fund raised that money in a mere two years — something the couple never envisioned when they devised the idea to pay tribute to Molly and help others through similar traumatic and highly emotional times.
"This is never something I thought I would be doing, but it feels incredible," said Meighan Rowlee. "Without this focus, I'm not sure the healing process would be going the way it has. I have always been a very private person — until cancer entered our lives — and the people supporting The Molly Fund have supported me personally and emotionally. It is hard to explain, but I hope we are providing hope to families as we have been given."
The money raised by the fund helps offset expensive chemotherapy and other treatments, allowing families to focus more on the emotional side of their child's recovery, rather than checking accounts and medical bills.
A variety of residents, businesses and community organizations have joined in the effort since it began in 2009, including American Legion Post 35 Cmdr. Ralph Fatello, who rode a wave for 365 days in a row in order to pay tribute to Molly and raise money for her cause.
Meighan Rowlee said her daughter didn't like being the "center" of fundraising attention during her final days, although she said Molly likely is smiling down on her parents for their fundraising accomplishment.
"I know she is watching us and is loving what we are doing to help others," she said. "She was a very compassionate 5 year old and would want us to keep helping."
And that's exactly what the couple, who is expecting to give birth to a baby boy at the end of March, plans to do.
"There is no stopping us," said Meighan Rowlee. "We know that times are tough and we don't expect to keep up this kind of fundraising, but we will keep [the fund going] through our three major fundraisers and the generous donations of people throughout the year."
The Rowlees are currently in the middle of one such fundraiser, the Molly Fund Moustache-A-Thon, and a hockey game between Boston Bruins alumni and local surfers is scheduled for 1 p.m. on March 18 at The Rinks in Exeter.
More information about the efforts, as well as how to donate to the cause, is available on the nonprofit fund's website.