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updated: 7/8/2011 8:45 PM

'Toy box' collects donations today in Palatine

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  • Rosie, left, and Bella Colucci will collect toys for Children's Memorial Hospital on Saturday at Photo's Hot Dogs in Palatine.

      Rosie, left, and Bella Colucci will collect toys for Children's Memorial Hospital on Saturday at Photo's Hot Dogs in Palatine.
    Courtesy of the Cilucci family

By Zuzanna Skwiot

As she continues to battle her own brain cancer, one 6-year-old Palatine girl is collecting toys Saturday, July 9, to donate to Children's Memorial Hospital.

"Rosie's Toy Box" will be held at Photo's Hot Dogs, 301 N. Northwest Hwy. in Palatine.

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Diagnosed on her third birthday, Rosie Colucci has visited Children's Memorial often, sometimes three to four times a week.

Her mother, JoAnne, recognized the importance of the toys and entertainment that Rosie would get during her stays.

"Toys would give us stuff to do," said JoAnne. "That made a huge impact on her and so she wanted to help other kids."

To do so, the family established "Rosie's Toy Box," which collects new, unopened and unwrapped toys to give to kids. This annual toy drive, named "Christmas in July," helps provide the hospital with presents for their youngest patients.

The collection will also provide the hospital with other essential game room supplies.

When the collection ends, the Colucci family loads up the car and Rosie personally delivers to toys to the hospital rooms.

"When she sees that kids like the toys, it just makes her smile," said JoAnne.

"With this disease, there's not much you can do. You feel helpless," she added. "But this is a positive way to make the hospital a better place."

This family effort extends to Rosie's 11-year-old sister, Bella, who will be hosting a bake sale and lemonade stand to raise additional funds for the hospital.

"Rosie has always said: 'I'm spreading sunshine and joy and hope,'" said her mom. "And now we can make a difference in the lives of the children."

All of the proceeds from the toy drive will benefit Children's Memorial Hospital. For more information, visit

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