Aug 25, 2010
Meg took the time last night and tallied up the money that we were able to raise on Sunday during "The Molly - Surf Celebration" and it looks as though the event raised close to $11,000. Absolutely beautiful....
Thank you all.
I was reading Ralph Fatello's blog this morning and he summed up the event perfectly. Please check out the link for Ralph's story of the event as well as to scan the awesome photos. Just scroll down to 8/22/10.
11 more months to go, Ralph!!!!!
Aloha and mahalo!
Aug 23, 2010
I woke up this morning and my face was sore from smiling and laughing throughout yesterday’s “Molly Surf Celebration.” The day was magical. The entire event was just epic.
Meg and I want to sincerely thank all of you that supported the Molly event. It was truly a beautiful day.
I have been flooded with emails, text messages, and FB hits from folks that wanted to let us know how amazing yesterday was and what the event meant to each of them. Wonderful words, such an unreal show of support, and after speaking with a friend of mine this morning on the phone I immediately was made aware to the fact that “Molly” has turned into a legitimate brand.
“Molly” is a brand, and Meighan and I have realized that “Molly” has evolved into signifying the strength, love, and support of a community. You cannot possibly define the word “community” by limiting that definition to only our friends and family here on the seacoast of NH because “Molly” has brought people together from all over the planet. I don’t have the insight to depict the big picture, but I feel as though people are coming together in order to help other folks survive a nightmare. We all face drama in our lives. Every single day each one of us has our own nightmare that we have to endure, but the beauty of “Molly” is the fact that so many people have put their own problems aside – if only for a brief time – in order to come together to help other families. If there is one lesson that I have learned from Molly’s death that has truly made me a better person, it’s that you never know what’s going to get thrown at you. Eighteen months ago Meighan and I had the perfect life. Perfect. In the blink of an eye our world was devastated. Life is so very precious. Kieran and Meg now define my world, they are what are most important in my life, and I honestly feel that “Molly” allows me to keep my priorities in check. I love my family, I love my community, and a big part of loving my community is the responsibility of giving back to those that need help. Molly taught me that lesson, “Molly” is teaching us all, but we wouldn’t be able to do the good things that we’ve been able to accomplish if it wasn’t for the support of our “community.” We love ya’ll…..thank you.
I am sure that there are going to be a lot of photos dropping onto the website that will paint a much better picture of what an amazing day “The Molly – Surf Celebration” was so I will not bore you with the lengthy details, but I will say that next year we will award those that surf in full costume. We had a group of pals, Francois’ crew from Montreal, that got “dressed” up for their heat and I believe there are photos of them on http://www.ralphspic.com. I was in a heat with Brian Nevins, Johnny Grosso, Casey Lockwood, and Adam Coates and those guys were in full costume. I surfed a 15 minute heat with those dudes laughing uncontrollably the entire time - which explains my facial cramps today
The day was just so much fun. We had 30+ groms turn out to surf in the event, there were 60 adults surfing in the event, and the beach was packed with people throughout the entire day. Our pals were helping us sell “Molly” swag, raffle tickets, and there was just an incredible amount of joy in the air yesterday. I can’t explain it but you just had to be there to experience it for yourself. It was awesome – simply an awesome day.
Obviously, you can’t pull off an event like “The Molly – Surf Celebration” without a lot of help from your “community.” My brother-in-law, JD, and I were lying half dead in the living room last night, lounging, when he looked over at me and commented that we have a lot of great friends. Meighan and I know that we’re blessed, we’re so fortunate to have so many beautiful friends, and some of these folks stood on their feet all day yesterday and judged 33 heats – during some of those heats it was raining….and cold….thank God for pals
The Nichols family, Arlene and Lenny, organized the chaos of the surf event and there is no way that we could have possibly pulled off the “Surf Celebration” without their expertise along with Bob McNeil. We couldn’t have run the event without the help of these three people. Much love, much respect, and many…many thanks!!
For next year’s “Molly – Surf Celebration,” we’re all going to have to volunteer some time to pull judging duty because I felt badly for Lenny Nichols, John, Win Fream, and Mike Velstos for having to judge the entire contest. Thank you, gentlemen….I’m sorry. I owe ya’ll dinner.
Food: There were A LOT of people at the event yesterday and it wasn’t our intention of asking area restaurateurs to feed the world. But some folks stepped up to plate and donated a lot of food for the event and I cannot possibly thank them enough for the unreal support. Bella Rose Pizzeria, Market Basket (Kettenbach family), Jumpin’ Jack’s Java (beach location – thank, Nick!) and Secret Spot rallied for the event and provided an assortment of fantastic grinds. Thank you so much, gang! We must mention and give thanks to the Flatbread Company for donating the awesome gift cards as raffle items.
Daniel Pullen is a friend of mine from NC, a talented artist/photographer, and Daniel donated several wave prints as well as a mounted photo that we raffled off in order to raise a lot of money. Bless you, Daniel. Hannah Vokey is a local artist that donated a “wave” painting that we’re going to use as a silent auction item because I have a hard time raffling off a $1200 piece of art. If you’re local, you can view some of Hannah’s art at KB’s Bagels. I am going to take the piece to Stevie at Pioneers where he’ll display the painting and hopefully some wonderful person will buy it and the proceeds will benefit The Molly Fund. Dean Hager, this painting will look INSANE in your “man cave!” We’ll have to work on Karen…..
We raffled off Scotty Lago’s contest ridden snowboard because the groms were begging for it to be offered up in the raffle. Scotty, as many of you know, took the Bronze Medal in Men’s Halfpipe in the 2010 Olympics. The kid is a Seabrook local and he offered up his board in order to benefit the Molly Fund. A little grom won the board, he was so amped, but he was also bummed that the board was too big for him to ride. RIDE?!?!?! Dude, you have to hang that on your wall!!!! Much love, Scotty. Thank you, brother….
There were a few of us “Oakley” guys around yesterday, which explains all of the Oakley branded tents and tables, but I have to thank my pals at Oakley in CA. for hooking us up with the Custom Oakley “Molly” sunglasses that we sold during this event. Mark Wakeling, Andy McCollum, and Aaron Quigley made the impossible happen by getting these glasses made in a four week time frame. Their effort was amazing, thank you so much, and thanks to all of you that bought some “Molly” glasses yesterday because it was so great seeing so many people wearing their new glasses at the event.
Huge props, and many thanks, to Chuck White who always designs the "Molly" fliers and Chuck is the marketing wizard behind the "Molly" brand. We must thank John Adams, ODI Imaging, for his generosity in printing the posters for the Molly event. Truly, thank you, fellas!
How funny was Jimmy Dunn on the mic – commentating during the surf event? Hilarious!!! I was laughing so hard at one of his jokes, about our French Canadian friends, that I spit food on a kid that was sitting in front of me. For those of you that don’t know Jimmy Dunn, Jimmy is a world renown comic that just so happens to be a Hampton local. The guy can surf well, but Jimmy agreed to MC the event and he provided the color commentary and kept the crowd entertained while we flailed in the surf. So funny! Thank you, Jimmy!
Just for the record, Ralph Fatello surfed in his very first contest on Sunday but he didn’t know that he was being judged. Ralph was on the beach with us all day, taking photos and documenting the event, but he paddled out with us for the Men’s Final in order to catch his one wave for the day in order to keep his “Catch a wave for Molly” streak alive. It was a five man final, but Ralph made six because he paddled out with a bunch of pink balloons tied to the back of his wetsuit and the judges thought that Ralph made the final. Classic! Ralph caught the last wave to the beach, it was the last wave of the event and therefore; Ralph “officially” was a contestant. Thank you, Capt. Ralph….for everything.
Thank God for pals. That statement seems to make its way onto the page a lot when I write about “Molly” events, and the support that we’ve received, because it’s so very true. Thank God for our pals that volunteers their time to make sure that each event is successful. Thanks to all of you that “bucked up” and participated in the “contest,” and thank you to everyone that donated the boards for us to use during the surf event. It takes an army to pull off an event, and we’re blessed to not only have had an army beside us when Meg and I were facing Molly’s fight but we’re lucky to have so many wonderful friends that volunteer their time to help us with the “Molly Fund Events.” Thanks to all of you that made it out to the beach in support of the event. The list is long, and we would feel horrible if we failed to mention one single person, but please know that Meg and I truly appreciate your willingness to help and your constant show of support. Thank you. Bless you. We love ya’ll so much….
Erica, next year - please keep that G&S “thing” at home….
I had the microphone in my hand for the closing ceremonies. I said a few words about the event, but I was really on the mic in order to present the trophies to the finalists in the surf event. I had more than a dozen kids in front of me; all of them fully stoked knowing that they were going home with a trophy that night. That was the best part of my day, honestly, because the smiles on these kid’s faces were incredible. So stoked! I did my thing on the mic, we hustled and packed up before the rain began to pour, and on the drive home I felt goose bumps on my arms and legs. Molly. She was beside me, riding shotgun, and I closed my eyes for a second to imagine her smiling as big as the smiles I saw from Allie and Sophie…Gavin and Christopher…..Kai and Kyle. It was a glorious day, a fabulous event, and I smiled all the way home. Happy birthday, baby girl.
Aug 20, 2010
I feel unsuitable to be the one writing this. You weren’t my daughter, we never even met. I met you after you were gone.
I’m not one to believe in the afterlife. I have a hard time trying to understand that part of our universe. The one that is so much bigger than all of us. I can tell you though, I catch myself talking to you every now and again. Those days I’m in the lineup by myself watching the sun rise over the ocean realizing how good I have it. I believe that, in those moments whenever you feel that something is bigger than yourself; there is meaning. Whether it’s God or just my mind playing tricks on me, I accept its comfort in an unfair life.
I remember how we met. I found myself surrounded by hundreds of people with your parents and baby brother in the middle of us. Somehow, whether we knew you before you died or not; we found ourselves in a paddle out ceremony listening to your father pour his heart out. As your mother cry to the heavens and your brother threw flowers to the sky in your name, it seemed for a moment we all knew you. A collective bleeding heart of over three hundred. I was right next to your dad. It’s hard being next to someone you barely know and watch them grieve in the most personal, intimate and painful way. I watched as he squeezed the life out of the flower lei he wore for you. His heart was in so much pain. His hand lifted in the air and he called your name with every breath left inside him. It was as if he tried to reach for you one last time.
It was in that moment I knew you.
Your parents let us in. As they said goodbye in front of us all I could feel you were there, giving your father the strength to stand. They knew you had to go. One more moment with you; just one more part of you to have was the simplest request; but not a single one of us could offer it in return. The day we met was the most helpless moment I have since I put my hand on my father’s shoulder as he said goodbye to his dad. What I would have done to take away the pain from your parents hearts, to warm their soul, to ease their mind.
That’s not how it works though is it Molly? Maybe you knew that the whole time.
Little Miss Molly, the five year old who fought lymphoma with all she had.
It’s been over a year since you died. Since then we have had Molly bbq’s, Molly pizza’s, Molly stickers and snowboard jams. We’ve had Molly get-togethers, raffles, t-shirts, websites, Bruins hockey games and just about anything we can put your name on. At times it seems a little inappropriate, at times it feels like we are just picking up the torch and continuing the fight for you. “Kicking cooties butt” is what I think your phrase was? We are a community now, a team and a family. We know how much fighting cancer meant to you and your family. While not one of us can understand the pain you all went through and continue to cope with, we know your name will carry on, and with it all the heart of your fight. The difference one person can make is so much clearer now.
There are moments in life that stop you dead in your tracks and change your course forever. Saying goodbye to you with your family was one of those moments for me. It was the day I realized how delicate our time is. It was the day a lot of us realized that. None of us are exempt from death. We never know when our time is but rest assured it is coming. Excuse me for stating the obvious Molly. I know we all understand our time better when others pass away and maybe it’s cliché to say but important regardless. “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”
You were only five years old and dealt with the pains of dying from cancer. Five years old. You never had the chance to smash your father’s bumper while texting, have your first kiss, fail a big exam. You never got the chance to steal a boy’s heart, bitch about how lame small town life is, nor sit at the coffee shop blowing your mornings talking about nothing. At five years old you were battling rounds of chemotherapy. Some days you rode your bike and went to school, some days you spent in a hospital bed loving your parents while they prepared to say goodbye to you over and over again. At five years old you and your family were enduring more pain than I have in 31 years.
I felt so unworthy of this life reading your father’s care page updates; I sometimes caught myself feeling thankful it wasn’t happening to me. Grateful – that I was an outsider. It was those moments of selfish human error that helped me understand how easily it could be me in Buck and Meg’s shoes. I remember feeling worthless when I watched how strong your father was, as if I could never be strong enough to handle the same pain. I remember looking around at all the people mourning you and feeling my life wasn’t as valuable and would never be remembered the same. It was your father however that taught me just this morning that you stand up and fight when your back is against the wall. Pain is part of being alive, it’s what shapes who we are and yes we are all strong enough. It was your parents who both reminded us how valuable we all are and there is no moment to late to make a change for the better, to make our story worth remembering.
I remember feeling a yearning for deeper love. The day you died I stood next to the girl I’ve fallen for, a group of close friends and a lot of people who have become my friends because of you. I knew then that the people in my life were all that truly mattered. Regardless of how much we all get on each other’s nerves, this community is our community. It’s our duty to look after each other and remember that at any moment we could lose each other. Your parents showed me that and so did you. Your parents would have given anything to hold you one more day. We have nothing that is as valuable as each other. I never want to regret not spending enough time. There is nothing as important as one moment more. I see that now.
God, I can’t write this without sounding conventional. It’s hard to explain. I’m writing to a friend’s passed daughter. I know your dad is enjoying me squirming right now. I hate talking about this stuff sometimes. I hate thinking about saying goodbye to my parents one day, saying goodbye to the loved ones in my life as those days come, feeling vulnerable, crying, understanding how damn human I am. I write this and when I think of you I think of my own life, how much I love my nephews, my girlfriend, my best friend…. how the tears just build thinking about if I had to go through with them what your parents went through with you. I hope I’ve done enough before my time is gone. I hope I give it everything I’ve got before I have to hope for one more day.
Buck, Meg…I am so sorry. I know that means so little but I don’t have the words to offer that would ever comfort you. I know none of us can bring back your little girl.
Your parents still feel you Molly. Your dad feels you in the car next to him on the way to work. Your mom can still hear your voice. They know you’re home now, and they know you’re watching over them as well. Kieran is doing well, he misses his sister but is growing stronger every day. I know… he stood up to me and my Yankees hat this morning… like father like son. Watch over them Molly. Life’s short and no doubt you will all be reunited again one day but right now keep watching over them. We are all covered in your memory. Watch over all of us. Keep us reminded how lucky we all are to have one another. Remind us how special our home is. Remind me every time the salt water runs over my surfboard that life is happening in that moment.
Thank you, Molly Rowlee. Thank you for bringing us together. Thank you, Buck and Meg for sharing your baby girl with all of us.
If you ever wonder the difference one person can make, just think about the five year old girl who fought lymphoma with everything she had.
“To know you’re never really far, to know you’re never really gone”
We miss you Molly.
Aug 19, 2010
“The“The Molly – Surf Celebration” is coming up quickly (8/22) and we’re gearing up for a big ol’ beach party! It looks like we’re going to have small waves for The Molly Surf Event – which is awesome! Please check the “EVENTS PAGE” for all of the details and we have a lot of wonderful things planned for Sunday. So get stoked!!!
Many thanks to our pals (Todo Bien, Big Handsome Daddy, and Kings Highway ) who may swing by Bicentennial Park on Sunday and provide some live music so we can all dance the day away!
For all of those that are planning on spending the day on the beach with us, we encourage everyone to pack their own lunches. We will have food/drink at the event thanks to our wonderful friends at Bella Rose Pizzeria, Jumpin’ Jacks Java, and the Kettenbach’s (Market Basket). But we cannot possibly feed the world, so please pack a sack lunch…just in case. Just as a FYI….there is “Secret Spot” and “North Beach Grill” located just across the street from the beach bash and both of these fine establishments offer da’ kine grinds!
My good pals at Oakley handcrafted some custom “Molly” sunglasses for this event. Oakley hooked it up! We have black Holbrook’s ($110), Hijinx ($100), and Gas Can’s ($90). All three are black with pink Oakley icons and the Molly “shaka” logo is etched on the lens. WOW! You have to see these glasses to truly appreciate how beautiful they are. Much love and many thanks to Andy, Mark Wakeling, and AQ who made it happen super quickly. We will have these for sale at the event, but we’re also going to be raffling off a few pair as well.
You can’t possibly have an event without a raffle. We do have some swag to raffle, so please come prepared to scoop up some goodies. Scotty Lago, Seacoast shredder and Olympic Bronze Medalist in the Men’s Halfpipe, contributed one of his “contest ridden Flow snowboards” that we’re going to offer up to the highest bidder. Scotty’s board can’t fetch less than $500! This kid is a Seabrook folk hero! He has an Olympic Bronze medal! Scotty donated this board to help us raise some money for the Molly Fund so we have to hang a hefty price tag on it. The first person that hands me $500 goes home with Scotty’s shred sled. Thank you, Scotty! Much love, brother!
We will have a lot of cool stuff available on Sunday for a “donation.” Molly tees, stickers, and bracelets. Our pals at Action Sports Now contributed a lot of these tees as well, so thanks to Carl and Jessica Wallin for the “Kick the Cooties Bootie” tees. We will have a ton of hats and beanies for sale ($10) so please don’t forget your cash or checkbook at home because this event is a FUN…RAISER!!!!!!
Molly has been gone for just over 13 months. Cancer took our baby girl, but we’re able to manage the pain of her death and grow stronger with each passing day because of the fact that we’re surrounded by a community that kept us alive by showering us with love and support. The worst is behind us. Meg, Kieran, and I are doing well. We know that Molly is close by and she’s keeping tabs on us all. Molly will be stoked for the Sunday event. A party on the beach, live music with people dancing, and I’ll be bouncing around wearing my cowboys hat. Throw in a surf contest too?!?! Molly will be amping and she will be on the beach with us for sure. Promise……
Buck & Meg
Aug 19, 2010
Hurricane Bill looks like it's tracking in our swell window, and we should see some solid waves for the weekend. Swell reports and surf forecaster's depict that this coming swell may be the best that we've seen in the past five years. Thank you, Mol. Daddy needs to get some barrels.....
With that said, we may need to pick an alternative location for Molly's paddle at 8:00am on Saturday. We need calm waters in order to conduct the ceremony, so we're thinking that we may gather at the north end of The Wall, close to the bath house, and paddle out in the little boat cove that's located across the street from Cinnamon Rainbows. We will strategically place people at various spots along the Wall to direct people to the exact location so don't worry about missing the paddle. If you want to get in a session before the paddle, then I recommend paddling out at first light because we would like to get Molly's paddle started at 8:00 am and we would love to have everyone join us. I have asked Dave Cropper and Steve O'Hara to bring their rental boards for those folks that need to use a board for the paddle, but please bring your own if you have one on hand.
After Molly's paddle, everyone is welcome to join us at KB's Bagels, at the bottom of 7th St. at The Wall, where we will share some "aloha" before scattering for that next session....ha. The big ol' Molly Bash is from 12:00pm - 4:00pm on our street - Rings Terrace in Hampton. Our street is located off of Winnicunnet Rd and it has been officially closed for the party. Please do not park along Winnicunnet Rd. Our good friends at Seacoast United have given permission for folks to park at the soccer arena, located on Winnicunnet Rd., and it's an easy .2 mi. walk to our street. Please also park at the Wall (North Beach) and walk or ride your bikes up Winnicunnet Rd. to Rings Terrace. If you live locally, please ride your bikes or walk to the Bash.
Just as a FYI.....We have a backup plan if rain becomes an issue. If we do get rain, and it looks like it will not clear in time for Molly's Bash, then the party will happen at Marston School which is located off of High St. in Hampton. We will pull the trigger and make that decision on Saturday, but we're paddling out to honor Molly rain or shine!
A lot of people have asked us what they can bring to the Bash. Many people have donated food, there is going to be beverages on hand, but I suggest maybe bringing some food to share as well as some drinks (community style pot-luck!). Please bring a lawn chair. There is going to be live music thanks to Big Handsome Daddy, Todo Bien, and Kings Highway and there will surely be a ton of kids playing in the yard(s). We can't wait to celebrate Molly's life and we certainly can't wait to share this day with all of ya'll.