Foxboro Rafikis


Rafikis raise $3,000 to help kids in Africa

Some of Rosie’s Rafikis pose in Rosie’s Garden at the Burrell School which was dedicated by family and friends of Rose Shatz in June of 2007. Ahern Middle School 8th graders, from left: Megan Spinney, Jessica Erving, Maddie Canfield and Lauren Sampson.


On Friday, March 28 Mabel Burrell Elementary School in Foxborough, Massachusetts will host a Family Fun Night Fundraiser sponsored by the Foxboro Interact Club to benefit Rosie’s Rafikis. The proceeds will go toward helping to pay the expenses of our 8 scholarship students who, through your generosity, are able to attend High School in Kenya. Click on the link below to see the flyer!

Family Fun Night to Benefit Rosies Rafikis

By Christine Igo Freeman
Published: Thursday, June 30, 2011 10:05 AM EDT
“Rosie’s Rafikis,” a group of family and friends of the late Rose Shatz who want to continue her hope for peace here and around the world, have seen many residents of Foxboro try to make that wish come true.The group has raised more than $3,000 since starting a campaign earlier this year — beyond their initial hopes — and will use it to fund a project started by Rose’s parents, Cliff Shatz and Joni Block.Since Rose, who died in December of 2006 after being struck by vehicle while riding her bicycle near her home, loved learning as a fourth-grader at Burrell Elementary School, her parents have adopted a school and a family in a village in Africa. Their hope was to raise enough money to send a student to school there for an entire year.Thanks to the response to the Rafikis’ campaign and generosity of so many, now multiple students will be able to attend school.

“The Rafikis — Maddie Canfield, Abby Rongione, Jessica Erving, Kate Todd, Erin Hussey, Callie Santos, Meg Spinney, Sydney Barbato and Lauren Sampson — put their time, heart and passion into the many activities they were involved with and we commend them for their community service and friendship,” says Block. “They communicated a number of important messages to their peers as well as other members of the community. Messages of friendship, of service, and of hope.”

She and husband Cliff are grateful that Rosie’s friends, teachers and school administrators have continued to remember their only child in meaningful ways.

“We so appreciate the support from the Ahern and Burrell School staff, particularly Sue Abrams and Michele McCarthy,” she says. “They provided space, resources and most importantly, the opportunity for Rosie’s friends to honor her and share her message.”

The following are reflections and messages of thanks from a few of Rosie’s Rafikis:

“My favorite part of Rosie’s Rafikis is knowing that I’m not only making a difference in Foxboro, but I’m also making a difference all the way to Kenya.” — Maddie Canfield

“Community service is important for young people because it teaches them to help others and be responsible, which you should learn before you are an adult. My favorite part of being one of Rosie’s Rafikis was collecting the donations and knowing my friends and I were helping someone else.” — Sydney Barbato

“My favorite part about being a Rosie Rafiki is knowing I’m not only keeping my friend Rose’s memory alive, but I’m also making a difference in the community. It makes me so happy to see Joni and Cliff so excited about our projects and new ideas. They are truly great people and it’s fantastic to see them so happy. They always say how happy they are that we remember Rosie, I’m really just glad that they remember us. This has been a great opportunity and I can’t wait to see where it goes in the future.” — Meg Spinney

“Overall, I believe community service is important to young people because it helps them realize if they start off with something small, like our making lasagna for homeless people in Brockton, it can have an influence on others and they will begin to help. The follow-up from one small activity can be a chain reaction. Just like Rosie’s Rafikis are aiming for.” –Jessica Erving

“My favorite part of Rosie’s Rafikis is keeping the memory of Rosie alive and keeping her Greatest Wish moving forward.” –Callie Santos

“Being part of Rosie’s Rafikis has been a great experience because it gives us a chance to honor Rosie’s Greatest Wish and help provide education to kids in Africa. It was amazing that so many people helped to raise so much money so quickly-people in Foxboro really care.” –Abby Rongione.