Dear Friends,

We cannot believe a year has past. Team Rocco wants to take this opportunity to express to all of you what the last year has meant to Rocco, Marco and Rita. We are extremely thankful for your support.  Because of your generosity we have been able to purchase Rocco a wheelchair, a computer communication device and most importantly, pay for a qualified respiratory nurse to come for three 5-hour shifts per week to provide Rita relief from her 17-hour days of caring for him.

Your support has allowed the family to stay together rather than see Rocco in a sterile hospital setting.  Rocco’s quality of life is enriched by being at home.

Your help and unwavering support for his family brings a smile to his face, a gleam of hope to his eyes, and his unbroken spirit shines through. As he lies locked in a broken body, dependent on others for nourishment and on a machine to breathe, it is friends like you who continue to feed his heart. It is your continued support that feeds our spirit too.

We are so pleased to hear how everyone enjoyed last year’s Gala and are humbled by everyone’s urging to have another. It was a wonderful night and we all loved reconnecting with so many of you.  Rocco has spent hours looking at the pictures of the event and living the evening through them.

The Volunteer Committee is hard at work planning this year’s event and would like to invite you to the 2011 Gala of Inspiration, on Friday November 18th, 2011, at the Bellvue Manor, 8003 Jane Street in Vaughan, ON. The cocktail reception will begin at 6.30 p.m. followed by dinner, dancing and entertainment starting at 7:00 p.m. We look forward to our evening together.

This year we hope to raise funds to continue with Rocco’s homecare and in addition be able to purchase a devise that will allow him to have a full shower.

With heartfelt appreciation,

Team Rocco

To purchase tickets please contact Team Rocco at

(416) 881-2582 or by email at

 Donations can also be made payable to Team Rocco at

P.O. Box 21 Kleinburg, Ontario L0J 1C0


Our Life with ALS: 

On December 17th, 2007, our world was turned upside down when my husband Rocco was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) at the age of 44.

While this disease has attacked Rocco’s body, his mind remains completely alert and lucid. The disease has progressed to the point where his lively alert mind is trapped in a completely immobilized body. Rocco’s breathing is assisted and his only means of communication is through the use of his eyes. I am his voice and advocate. Rocco communicates with me by blinking once for yes and twice for no (this of course only works with yes and no questions). When he’s in a chatty mood I read off the alphabet and watch for the blink and write down the letters as he spells the words to me. Let me tell you I never realized how broad his vocabulary is. We are perfecting the use of short forms. He is also using a computer communication device that has preprogrammed words that are activated by tracking his eye movements. We have this device thanks to your generosity.

As we face the challenges each day brings I watch my proud husband face this new path with courage and an unfaltering devotion to his family. I have drawn inspiration from his commitment to life. Rocco savours every moment he spends participating in our son, Marco’s everyday life. We privately struggled with all the stressors this disease brought to our family until November of last year. The time had come to let our family, friends and community participate in our fight against this debilitating disease. So many of you expressed your desire to help and help you did. We are forever grateful. Our dream was to be able to keep Rocco at home where we could continue to nurture the strong family bond that means so much to him. Because of you we are living that dream, as a matter of fact he just celebrated his 48th birthday surrounded by family and friends. Thank you all for that. We look forward to next year’s birthday celebration.

God Bless You All

Rita Tatangelo


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Silent Auction and Raffle Update

We have just collected a few more last minute gifts for the Silent Auction and Raffle taking place at the Gala on Friday night. We have accumulated a vast amount of wonderfully tempting items including:

  1. Day yoga package for 10 people which includes delicious lunch provided by Alta Rossa restaurant
  2. Golf clubs worth $1,000
  3. A trip to England
  4. Dyson Ball vacuum cleaner
  5. Gorgeous nightwear
  6. Italian oil painting
  7. Beautifully hand crafted walking sticks
  8. Dinner and golf packages

Just to name but a few!!! I shall certainly be bidding for some of these things because I really want them!! A huge THANK YOU to all of you who have been so generous. Our job has been made easy because this community is in awe of what Rocco and his family have managed to cope with and because this really is a society that cares about each other. I have just loved meeting new folk and enjoyed catching up on old friends. What an amazing time this voyage with Team Rocco has been. What are we going to do next? I for one am not ready to quit!! I do have an idea if anyone is interested to hear it? How about a center with a therapeutic pool for people who need help moving their body? Obviously a trained physio therapist would be required. Aromatherapy and yoga type classes could also be offered. Who knows what we could all achieve?!!!!!!! Dare to dream.

Chris Robinson

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A Note from Angela

I heard about Rocco from his brother, Walter, and I have been so personally touched by the amazing family that Rocco has.
Walter and his family has never given up and took many roads in order to assist Rocco, his wife and child. I deeply admire Rocco although I have not met him or the rest of the family. Now I find out that he of course has many admirers and supporters out there willing to carry his journey a step higher, ALS awareness and fundraising. It is in my thoughts and prayers that Rocco is being a spiritual teacher to all of us and although his body may not have the strength to carry on, the ability of his heart and spirit is impeccable and touching.
- Angela

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Team Rocco

Dear Team Rocco,
Would have loved to attend the fundraiser but sold out, I will be sending a donation today.
I remember when the little fruit market opened up in Kleinburg, I would visit often to pick up fruit and vegetables, and remember how kind and always helpful Rocco was.
I do not know you personally, but my heart goes out to you and your family.

God Bless You.

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Pumpkin Soup Recipe from Halloween Fun Day

Chef Gabe’s Recipe for Pumpkin Soup

Chef of Alta Rossa Restaurant in Woodbridge

As promised, the following is the recipe for the pumpkin soup that was served Saturday Oct. 30 At the Silver Spur Ranch for my brother Rocco Tatangelo’s Fundraiser

This is based on 1 medium sized pumpkin, you can divide accordingly

16 cups of pumpkin
½ lb. butter
4 large carrots
2 cups shallots sliced
4 small stalks of leeks, white part only
4 vegetable bouillon cubes, I like using Knorr for home use
16 cups of Water
2 cans mandarin orange segments
1 tbsp of nutmeg if desired
4 Bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste (be careful to not oversalt because of the bouillon cubes)

Milk if desired
Cream for decadent soup for special occasions

Oven 350 degrees
Keep peel on pumpkin and cut in half. Scoop out seeds, doesn’t have to be perfectly clean some seeds roasting in the pumpkin add another dimension to the soup

Place ¼ stick of butter in cavity of each pumpkin half. Place the halves on a baking sheet and bake in oven until pumpkin flesh is soft.

Place the bouillon cubes into the warm water and set aside

Peel Carrots, slice into bite size pieces and place in a deep baking dish and pour mandarin segments with the juice over the carrots. Place foil on pan and bake in oven as well until they are softened and tender

In the meantime, slice the shallots and leeks, be very careful because leeks are very sandy, the best way to clean them is to remove the green part. Slice each individual leek down the middle lengthwise, then slice the leeks diagonally. Once you have the small pieces you can place them in cold water and rub vigorously to remove all of the sand from in between the layers of the leeks.

When the pumpkin is baked you scoop out with a ladle the remaining butter and place into the Soup Pot. Cook the leeks and shallots at a low temperature so all of the intense flavors sweat out of the leek and shallot; at this point you can almost smell the sweetness from the caramelization.

While this is going on, scoop out the remaining seeds from the pumpkin half, turn the pumpkin upside down and remove the hard outer skin of the pumpkin. Cut into rough cubes, measure the amount you need for the soup. Place the pumpkin flesh into the pot

Add braised carrot and mandarin orange into the pot

Place the remaining ingredients into the pot and add the bouillon flavored water

Simmer the soup at a medium temperature until the soup bubbles, turn the heat down to low and let simmer for 35 – 45 minutes.

Check at this point to see if the soup has reduced too much, if so you can add water, salt and pepper to taste, be careful to taste first to not oversalt.

Remove the bay leaves

There are three ways to finish the soup, if desired,

Puree the soup, chunky, thick or creamy whatever you prefer.

Leave it at it’s pureed state for a light soup, or add milk as your blending it, or cream if it’s a very special occasion, The desired amount depends on when your soup has the consistency you prefer. There are so many ways you can enjoy it. Another special way is to puree it and add a dollop of warm cream in the centre of the soup as it is being served.

Enjoy, if you are having any difficulty you can email me at

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Halloween Bash

As I have said repeatedly during our fundraisng efforts, the big guy up above must be looking down and blessing us every step of the way! To wake up on Saturday and know that it was going to be sunny and mild was huge! If it had been one day later….snow and freezing cold!

The buzz around Kleinburg is ever growing stronger, about what an amazing family these Tatangelos are, and people are asking what else they can do to help?

The “take 5 ladies “were truly amazing….they set up, sold wonderful bake goods and treats, tore it down again,and met with Rita later that night to give her the proceeds of their sales. By the next day their chair Pina, was e-mailing saying “okay that was great, but what can we do for the silent auciton you are having at the Gala“????

I want to give a big shout out to the Robinson family who keeps this website running so well, and who all came out to enjoy the Halloween Festival.You are truly appreciated.

As for the Blasi family, only Tristan had the voice to announce the 50/50 winner, and then get the money donated back to Rocco! Thank-you so much to our winner for doing that!

I can’t wait to see everyone who have bought tickets to the Gala…it is a sold out event with over 800 people attending!

Thanks to everyone for a great day on Saturday!


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Thanks to everyone by Marco Tatangelo

I would just like to thank everyone for coming last Saturday to the Halloween event. It was great seeing so many people and especially those who I have not seen for a very long time. My family and I would also like to thank everyone who volunteered. We are hoping to see some of you at the gala!

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Halloween Fun Day

A great day! A lot of fun was had by all. I would like to thank all of our very awesome volunteers. Your support and hard work before the event, during, and after made it the great day that it was. A special thanks to Sophie and Peter and their wonderful team at Silver Spur Ranch. Your generosity and support is greatly appreciated. A posting of all our wonderful vendors and supporters of Halloween Fun Day will follow in a couple of days. Rocco we have many wonderful photos for you.
-Anna Blasi

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My Little Brother Rocco

What an overwhelming day………today was our Halloween Fun Kids day. The generosity, kindness and support extended to our family by the organizers, family and friends was unbelievable. We are so blessed as a family to have so many incredible people on our Team. Rocco, Rita and Marco have suffered in private for so long. The day I met Suzanne and Chris I thanked them for wanting to organize a fundraiser for Rocco, their response was, “It is harder to do nothing, than it is to do something”. Now I know what they meant, today gave me a feeling of purpose, knowing that I was doing something for my brother, Rita and Marco after feeling so helpless for so long. Thank You all from the bottom of my Heart, I know I speak for all of the Tatangelo family, God Bless You All!
- Gabriella

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A note from Sandra

Although I have not had the pleasure of meeting Rocco and Rita, I have had the fortune of meeting Pat and the rest of her family. That, in and of itself, has been a blessing for me. It is very rare to meet one person let alone an entire family who are so generous, kind, and loving. With that being said, I can’t wait to have the opportunity to meet Rocco and Rita one day. For now, I feel compelled to become involved and help such a deserving family.
Much love and Godbless,

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