Solid support from local company

Published 8:39 pm Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Employees at Massimo Zanetti’s processing plan on Progress Road enjoyed lots of fun activities during Employee Appreciation Week last week.

Checkers and Jenga were available for them to play during breaks, and friends could take pictures together with an island-themed backdrop and props. Each employee also got four tickets to Busch Gardens to take their family on a trip to the theme park.

But the best part of the week at Massimo Zanetti, according to employees, is when they get to give back.

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This year, for the eighth year, the facility employees supported the Roc Solid Foundation, which assists families with a child fighting cancer. Employees donated and assembled 20 bicycles for families the foundation assists.

Anyone who has never been through it probably couldn’t imagine the fear and anguish a family goes through when one of its children is fighting cancer, not to mention the financial expenses. The isolation a family experiences when it spends all its free time traveling from doctor to hospital to treatment and back again, and when a child needs to avoid germs because of his or her compromised immune system, can magnify the feelings they’re experiencing.

The Roc Solid Foundation, started by childhood cancer survivor Eric Newman, has a number of programs that can make a child’s cancer battle seem a little bit more survivable, in all kinds of ways. The foundation builds swingsets for children who are battling cancer, as they often are unable to play at community playgrounds because of their compromised immune system. Bicycles are also provided, and teenagers or kids who live somewhere that prevents a swingset can get room remodels.

The foundation also facilitates kids partnering with real-life professionals in their dream professions to see what the future holds through its “When I Grow Up” program.

And for that unexpected hospital stay that often accompanies a cancer diagnosis, Roc Solid Ready Bags include a blanket, toiletries, pens, journals, coloring books, a preloaded debit card, quarters for the vending machines and an Amazon Kindle Fire.

Miscellaneous needs such as yard maintenance are also within the purview of the foundation.

The Roc Solid Foundation does excellent work for families fighting cancer, and Massimo Zanetti’s commitment to supporting them is an admirable addition to its employee recognition.