The BiGG Gala
The BiGG Gala was the first annual gala Inspire MEdia Network put on. We raised over 100,000 dollars and created a night full of fun and inspiration. I, along with a small committee, planned the Gala in order to raise money and awareness for Inspire MEdia's mission. The night was filled with angus steak, wine, inspiration, interviews, and a lip sync battle featuring local celebrities.
The Wheel of Kindness
This is one of the BiGGs that I was incredibly involved in, every single detail. One of our winners wanted to make a wheel of fortune but a wheel of kindness. You spin it, do the funny or thoughtful task it asks of you, and we give money to a charity of your choice.
The BiGG Premiere
The BiGG Premiere was the first big event Inspire MEdia did. I, along with two other event planners, invited local kids to send in their BiGGs (Big Ideas for the Greater Good). We picked the top 10 Biggs and gave the kids everything they needed to complete their idea; money, resources, volunteers, and a full film crew. We produced each BiGG into a short film and presented them at the BiGG Premiere that summer. 1,000 guests walked down the red carpet, took pictures with vintage Krispy Kreme trucks, ate donuts while watching the most inspiring and incredible films, and kazooed the song, "Let it Go" during intermission. Every single person left feeling inspired to pay it forward and CBS evening news aired it on their "On the Road" Friday night news segment.
CBS Evening News' Segment on the BiGG Premiere 2014:
Chris Rosati Eulogy
First of all I want to thank you all for coming and welcome. Under each of your seats is a gift, find me after if you did not get one. After this program please feel free to stay and enjoy some donuts and Cheerwine and we will also have a biodegradable balloon release on the upper school soccer field, one of Chris’ favorite places.
I want to thank Anna, Delaney and Logan for trusting me to do this. Last, I want to thank Durham Academy for hosting and Mr. Ulku-Steiner, Mr. Bohanek, Mrs.King and the whole team for helping me make this happen. Who would have thought that when I graduated Durham Academy in 2012 that one of the most important friendships I will make in this amazing DA community would be two years later with a man who graduated from here in 1989. And here I am now standing on the very stage I once stood on five years ago, honoring his incredible life.
So, for those of you who don’t know me, my name is Alida and I have been Chris’ right hand woman in almost every crazy idea he has had over the last three and a half years. Most of you probably know my Aunt Laura and I am forever grateful to her as she introduced me to Chris, so thank you Laura. I met Chris three and a half years ago and over these years I was his first intern, the assistant to the chief dreamer and now, the co-producer to his celebration of life. To me Chris was the guy who was high on life, he could make the smallest things into the most amazing moments. He was a friend and a mentor, someone that changed the course of my life. We became very close and I feel blessed to be able to say he, Anna, Delaney and Logan are some of my closest friends.
Chris and I used to talk about why we came into each other’s lives, what the lesson was there. He once said, that maybe the reason why we met was so he could watch me, a nineteen year old young woman go through heart break, college, falling in love, post grad and life. So that he could give me advice along the way, watch me fail and succeed and support me and that then I could pass all of that to his girls when they go through the same thing. So, Delaney and Logan when you’re in college, or heartbroken or confused about life, I will be honored to tell you guys exactly what your dad told me in those moments.
For me, the reason why Chris was in my life was easy. Chris came into my life to show me how to love. As a nineteen year old, I was still catering myself to other people, I was shying away from what I knew I was passionate about in order to stick to the norms. I was heartbroken over some guy, confused about school and what my purpose was in life. Chris taught me to love myself, to believe in myself and to simply, worry less. Because of that, I am who I am today and I have no shame in my love for what’s important to me. No one loved more than Chris did, we can all agree on that. I think we can all remember a time when Chris was there for us, when he went out of his way to make you feel loved and when he simply got you believe to believe that everything was going to be okay. Chris loved and felt the world so deeply that it determined his every action and every step. It made the good times, great and the bad times, horrible. He once told me, “a wise, good looking guy said, hurt is the cost of loving deeply, it’s the best way to live.” He was right, loving deeply is the only way to live and I hope you are all reaffirmed of the deep love he had for all of you, today.
Chris texted me about 6 months ago asking me to co-produce his Celebration of Life. He needed my help and wanted my advice and I immediately said yes. Chris and I spent a couple days together bouncing ideas back and forth and he made a Google doc in which the two of us communicated about this event for the last five months. Many of you who know Chris or who have worked for Chris know that details are not his best friend, he was always the big picture guy to say the least. In the three and a half years working with him, I truly don’t think he ever worried about a detail and to imagine Chris saying, “hey y’all lets hash out the details first,” is as shocking as a him turning down a Bojangles ice tea. Well, I am here to tell you that Chris gave me every single detail for this program. He wrote the script that John just read and you will hear for the rest of the service after me. He sent me every single picture he wanted shown and he picked out each song that you will hear today. He then told me that I just need to put it all together and add the creativity that will make all of you smile and laugh. Chris picked Kenan Auditorium as he said, “full circle, poetic, no where else would feel right.” That’s how Chris’ mind worked, always straight to the point, always meaningful and always purposeful. I am so honored he asked me and that he and Anna trusted me and believed in me to do this and I hope that you all feel, see and remember Chris today.
I once spent months interviewing Chris and Anna as he wanted to tell me his story all the way from the beginning. So, I know who each of you are sitting in the audience, what each of you mean to Chris and how you shaped him into the man he was. Chris told me on multiple occasions that being diagnosed was hard, but having to tell you all, the people he loved was the hardest part and he never thought he could hurt you the ones he loved that bad. I have never seen a man love the people in his life with such deep, pure, and unwavering love. So, to his family and friends he wanted this to be a big thank you, he wanted to surprise you all and he wanted to make you laugh. I can’t tell you how much he stressed that to me. His love for you guys was like nothing I have ever seen before. And to Anna and his girls, he wanted this to show you who he was, to make you remember and to hopefully, make you smile. To say I feel lucky to have met Chris is an understatement. Not many twenty something’s get a chance to befriend a guy who is trying to befriend the world before he leaves. Chris and I had a special friendship which I am sure everyone here can say too. I am forever grateful for him and I am forever grateful for Anna, Delaney and Logan for sharing their most prized possession with me.
Chris once texted me, “I cant wait to see all the amazing things you do from up above,” and as I stand here today and as he watches down on us all, I cant help but laugh thinking this is the first thing he will watch me do from up above and the pressure is on. So, Chris I hope this is exactly what you wanted and I hope you all enjoy.
Habitat Homeowner Story
“I have to be able to have a place of my own,” April’s words are ones that many of us have said on our own, whether it was when we we’re 6 years old sharing a room with a newborn sibling, or in college when our roommate always left the dishes in the sink or as an adult when the only thing grounding us was the safe haven we called home. For April these words mean so much more, because she knows what life could be like without a place of her own.
In 2001, April and her family of five moved to Concord from Virginia. As a couple they decided the best decision for their kids would be giving them a stable, safe and forever home. Together they joined the Habitat Cabarrus Homeownership program in 2002. Soon after, April and her husband divorced and she was left to pick up the pieces of the world she once knew and the only world her three daughters had known. She was now left to do everything on her own and the homeownership program was not an easy feat. So, she dropped out, she had too many things to handle and this one just didn’t seem like it was doable as a one woman show. Within months April realized that she didn’t want to be in apartment, that her children didn’t deserve to be in an apartment and that she, and they needed a place to call their own. She contacted Habitat and without fail April was back on board as a future homeowner.
She spent the next year getting to know each and every homeowner, working together on the build sites and creating a family, a new support system that was exactly what April needed. April and her three daughters moved into her home on August 6, 2006, the same day as her brother’s birthday who had passed in 2002. It was a great omen, a perfect welcome home.
10 years later April is still living and thriving in her home. The list of things she has done since her move in day is extensive and never ending as she says, “I have never stopped moving forward.” She sent three children to college, all of which have stable careers today. She started her own business, a daycare, in 2013, one that she had dreamt of since her younger years and one that she had written down during her marriage. She started her daycare on her own and started off as an evening provider for families and now is a full-time provider 8 am until 11 pm. What she had written down as a dream in the crux of one of her most shattered times became a reality because she went for it. And just like owning your own home, she learned that you can not turn down opportunity no matter what life looks like because in the end you can achieve anything if you just go for it.
Her home is hers, her business is hers, she is in the driver’s seat in nearly everything in her life and as someone like April who had everything taken and life’s mishaps were in control, there is nothing more liberating. “Once you have something that is yours, that you can say I own this, God has blessed me to do this, you will have the strength to move forward. When you are alone with three daughters, you have to have strength, you cannot lick your wounds. I had to get up and move forward, but I was determined to not let my situation beat me down. My daughters need to see my strength so the can move forward,” April’s strength has made her a homeowner, a business owner and above all, a fearless mother who has given her children the world and defied gravity proving to them that with strength anything is possible.
April looks back at the moment she decided to return to Habitat as she saw the flashes of what life would be like without a home she couldn’t call her own. She is grateful for choosing Habitat as she says, “I feel like this home is my new beginning. There are so many opportunities available in the future, but this is my foundation.” April is what Habitat strives for in homeowners, she has paved the way for herself and her children and we feel grateful to have been a small part of that. April, we’re thankful your Habitat home is your foundation and we are thrilled to continue to watch you turn your foundation into a world of opportunities.
Habitat Volunteer Spotlight
You’ve probably seen her with her welcoming smile at the register of the Restore, her name is Mary and she is our most loyal volunteer. Mary has been a volunteer at the Habitat Restore, since it started back in 2000. She had just moved to Kannapolis as a travel nurse and knew nearly no one. She was working the night shift and meeting new people didn’t fit into her schedule easily. But, Mary made a point to put herself out there and meet people. So, Mary joined a local bowling league. Occasionally the league would participate in charity nights and Mary found herself wrapping presents for Habitat for Humanity one winter night. Just as giving and eager as she is now, Mary decided to sign up to volunteer at the ReStore for as many days as she could. Just like that Mary became a loyal and trusted volunteer for our ReStore. The years passed and her work to life balance with blurring as she worked the night shift three nights a week and volunteered at the ReStore on her off days. Mary suffered a heart attack due to the stress of everything and her doctor told her she had to find a way to relieve stress and find balance for her health. “So, I quit nursing and I focused on volunteering,” Mary said in her sweet yet strong voice. And that was that. Now,17 years later, she still comes every Monday and Thursday and dedicates her off time to the ReStore. She loves the ReStore team, all of the customers she gets to interact with and the treasures the ReStore finds. Thank you, Mary for being you!
July 29, 2015
The Inspire MEdia Network is pleased to announce that they will be hosting a gala on Nov. 21, 2015 at Bay 7 located in Durham, NC. Tickets are available for $125 and can be found at inspiremedianetwork.org. A dinner, live auction, and entertainment will all be included in this black tie affair.
The Inspire MEdia Network’s mission is, “to help youth inspire the world by enabling, celebrating and sharing their big ideas for the greater good.” We aim to make the world around us a happier place by creating and collecting random acts of kindness. Inspire MEdia started this mission when our founder, Chris Rosati, was diagnosed with ALS. He decided to dedicate the time he has left to bettering the world around him. He began with the idea to steal a Krispy Kreme truck and give out donuts to random strangers. His idea became reality with the help of Krispy Kreme and ever since then, he and the Inspire MEdia Network have been creating acts of kindness just as creative as that. Chris always says, “let’s just have fun making people smile,” it’s as simple as that.
After a year of successful events inspiring the community’s youth to benefit the greater good, the Inspire MEdia Network is excited to be planning an event to simply raise awareness of their mission. Tickets and more information are available at inspiremedianetwork.org.
Inspire MEdia Network
July 29, 2015
The Inspire MEdia Network is excited to announce the hiring of the Director of Operations, Kyle Mumma. He has joined the Inspire MEdia Network team to further their success of their mission. Kyle Mumma comes with a great deal of experience in operations. He spent his four years at Duke managing theMen’s basketball team and in the last two years after graduating, he has been working for the Duke Basketball Legacy Fund as an administrator for their events, ticket requests, and community outreach opportunities. Kyle has also been managing the Duke football team’s logistics and day-to-day operations.
Kyle joins Inspire MEdia Network’s team as Director of Operations as a very busy year for Inspire MEdia begins. He will be running the 2015 Club Launch, planning the November Gala, and helping with logistics for the second annual BiGG Premiere in the spring. Kyle comments, “After years of being inspired by some of the best coaches in athletics, I am thrilled about the opportunity to work with one of the most inspirational men on the planet, Chris Rosati. Inspire MEdia represents so much that is good in our world, and I am looking forward to contributing to that goodness."
The Inspire MEdia Network team is thrilled to have Kyle on board as the 2015-2016 events are only getting bigger and his expertise will be nothing short of a necessity.
Feel free to email me for a draft of some of my screenplays!