Bowling for MSA Awareness

Bowling for MSA Awareness
Frank Cervone MSA Charity Event
Frank & Susan Cervone

This is the next part in our continuing series about Frank Cervone’s continuing battle with MSA and how it effects his life as a Republican Councilman in the mid-western city of Fairborn, Ohio.  I hope you are all enjoying the series and learning more about this very dangerous and unknown disease.

Someone once said, “One’s life is not measured by the two dates on your tombstone, but how you lived the dash between them.”   But how do you really know?  Is your view of your dash the same as others see it, or is it tainted?  I don’t know how many people get the chance to see the results of their dash, but I was fortunate enough to see some of mine tonight.

I have always tried to live by the “Pay it forward” principle.  Do nice things for others and hopefully they will pass it on.  Tonight, I was honored by two young Fairborn mothers, Chrissy Fisher and Valerie Sorrells who spent an incredible amount of time and energy to plan a fundraising event in my honor for Multiple System Atrophy.  I met Valerie several years ago when I was made aware of a widowed elderly woman who was facing being locked out of her property due to it being cluttered and considered a fire hazard and had also been cited into court for tall weeds and grass.  I stepped in and with the help of several citizen volunteers including Valerie and her mother, Patricia, mowed, weeded, trimmed, and edged her property into conformity.  It took a couple of days, a lot of hard work and a visit to Urgent Care to get an injection for poison ivy, but this woman was allowed to stay with her property and you couldn’t have found a more grateful citizen.  Because of this small token of kindness I had given to “Miss Mary” and for the other citizens I have stepped up to the plate for, these women thought enough of me to assist me in my journey to make the entire world aware of MSA.

Being the mothers of sons and the community recently having a Father/Daughter dance, Chrissy and Valerie decided to have a Mother/Son bowling fundraiser for MSA.  These girls, in addition to being wonderful moms to primary school age children and holding down their jobs, found the time to organize a very successful fundraiser which included door prizes, raffle items and a 50/50 drawing.

Frank Cervone MSA Awareness
Frank Cervone at the MSA Bowling Event

I arrived at Aero Lanes in Fairborn tonight and found the organizers already hard at work.  They had registration, door prize and raffle tables set up complete with balloons and pizza was being delivered to feed those attending.  There was even a massage therapist there to give chair massages for the mothers.  The mother/son couples, after paying their admission fee to Carrie Adkins had their hand stamped with a purple MSA stamp and were given a door prize ticket and guided to the counter to pick up their bowling shoes.  Chrissy and Valerie were proudly wearing their newly designed t-shirts that boldly stated Mother Son Awareness for MSA.  Very catchy right?  They even had purple lapel flowers for Susan, Angelina and myself.  They had thought of everything.

The boys had a wonderful time picking out the perfect bowling ball to show off their expertise and the mothers chatted with each other while having a great bonding night with their young men.  I do have to admit, it’s been a while since I have been in a bowling alley and the fluorescent colors of balls were much different from the standard black, blue and red I had grown up with.  The facility was filled with laughing and whoops of excitement as each young PBA hopeful knocked down the pins.  One couldn’t help but notice though, as each boy ran toward the pizza table to grab a slice, they slowed down as they passed the table that sported not one, but TWO brand new bicycles.  Then, to increase their excitement, there were two more bikes by the pepperoni pizza!  You could see the anxiousness in their eyes wondering who would be the lucky boy that would take one of those shiny new bikes home.

List of Benefactors to MSA Awareness Night
List of all those who Contributed

The mothers had the chance to purchase tickets and place them in a bag next to the raffle item they would most like to win.  They had a multitude of items to choose from.  Everything from a coffee gift pack to an overnight stay at a local hotel with a dinner for two included.  In addition, each and every person attending was given a hand-wrapped gift bag of goodies from local businesses.

The evening went by much too quickly.  Susan and I were able to meet and chat with the mothers and share their experiences.  We met one mother that had been widowed at age 35 and another who is the caretaker for her husband who has suffered a stroke and is paralyzed.  Although Susan and I know the outcome of my battle with MSA will be my death, we did somehow feel fortunate that we have been able to share raising our children and having time to share together, something that some of these mothers and sons have not been able to have.

MSA Charity Event Door Prizes
Door Prizes from the Bowling Event

When speaking with Valerie and Chrissy,  they expressed their desire to have more fundraisers every few months to continue to raise funds for MSA research and told us about an event BW3’s is sponsoring on May 23rd.  If you visit BW3’s and present a MSA flyer, (available on my Facebook page) on that date, BW3 will donate a portion of the proceeds to us to further MSA research.  We shared that we will also be having the same type of event at Mimi’s at The Greene later this spring.

Laughingly, Valerie admitted she had gotten on Chrissy’s nerves a lot during the planning of this event.  Apparently, although they are good friends, they have very different personalities.  Chrissy readily admits to being obsessive-compulsive and controlling, Valerie boasts a more reckless, life to the limit attitude.  Whatever their personalities are, it works.  And I want to thank them, Paul Filbrun, (for donating his tips tonight) and the 88 local businesses that donated to this event, from the bottom of my heart.

If anyone would like to help fund research for MSA, they can make their tax-deductible contributions to:

Greene Giving/Hope for MSA

25 Greene Street

Xenia, Ohio 45385-3101


To order the Mother Son Awareness for MSA t-shirts, contact:


2630 Col Glenn Highway

Fairborn, Ohio 45324


MSA Awareness - Thank You
Thank You For A Wonderful Evening

A warm, heartfelt thanks to:

Valerie and Eithan Sorrells                          Chrissy and Ethan Fisher

Carrie Adkins                                                     Aero Lanes

TgiFridays                                                           Main Street Flowers

Texas Roadhouse                                             Don Pablo’s

Purrfect Pet Salon                                            Arby’s

The Inside Scoop                                             Premiere Designs by Kristie Gray

First Watch Restaurant                                 Simply Said by Patty Fisher

Christian Light Bookstore                            Cousin Vinnie’s Pizza

Luciano’s Pizza                                                 Needful Things

Taco Bell                                                             Celebrating Home by Amanda Marconet

NewsReaders Bookstore                              Regal Cinemas

Tropical Smoothie                                          Roush’s Restaurant

Chantilly Cream Dessert Shop                    El Riacho Mexican Restaurant

Rachel’s Spa Experience                               Direct Jewelers

Cakes for All Occasions                                  The Bird Cage

Foy’s Halloween Stores                                 Schwartz’s Jewelers

Logan’s Steakhouse                                        Papa Murphy’s Pizza

Cornerstone Health & Wellness                 Young’s Dairy

Domicone Printing                                          Homewood Suites

Expressions Coffee House                            Super Subbys

Longhorn Steakhouse                                    Cadillac Jacks

Jennifer’s Landmark and Gifts                    Tupperware by Sara Waymire

McDonald’s                                                         Jack Wilson

Olive Garden                                                      Chilis

5/3 Bank                                                              Frisch’s

Bounce U                                                            Gammies Jammies

Build-a-Bear                                                      Quaker Steak

Dayton Dragons                                               WSU Nutter Center

Links and Kinks                                                Kentucky Fried Chicken

Face Painting by Robby Patterson          Dave & Busters

Unique Hair Design                                        Pure Romance by Tami Gehres

Bob Evans Restaurant                                   Fairborn Alteration and Embroidery

Chick-Fil-A                                                         Fairborn City Schools

Red Lobster                                                       Sinclair Athletics

Gold Canyon Candles by Jamie Lynn      Threadworks

Fairborn Natural Foods                                Christian Family Bookstore

TJ Chumps                                                          Hothead Burritos

Abbey’s Donuts                                                Dove Chocolates by Lisa Hughes

Waffle House                                                      BW 3

Salon Express                                                    Wright State University

Tastefully Simple by Lisa Gridley             Fiffe Eli Salon

BFF Baskets & More                                        FPS – Mr. Sheeler

National Cash Advance                                 Arlington Village Apartments

Creative Memories by Lisa Hughes         Mary Kay by Shannon Kennedy

Wendy’s                                                               Longaberger

To read the local news story on the event, visit:

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8 Responses to "Bowling for MSA Awareness"

  1. Another example of how selfless Frank Cervone is. He and his family continue to “pay it forward” even as his time nears. What an example he sets for us all. And MSA is getting the exposure it neds thanks to him.

    1. And thanks to Jarrod Martin, State Representative 70th District, there is a bill before the State House of Representatives to make March MSA Awareness Month in Ohio every year!

      I am going to the House tomorrow for the vote!

  2. Well said, Mr. Gilbert. We should all learn from his example, as folks like him are few and far between. No one has set a better example for “paying forward” in our community than Frank.

    1. Dan and Lorrey,

      Thank you so much! But it’s those of you that elected me to this office that gave me the chance to do it.

      My sincerest thanks for that.


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