Monday, May 3, 2010
Just down the road from the iCan Group’s headquarters (the parent company of InteractiveMD), the Deerfield Beach community has rallied to support a child and her family at their darkest hour. On March 17, fifteen-year-old Josie Ratley of Deerfield Beach Middle School was severally beaten by a student from a neighboring school, and for three weeks lay in critical condition in a drug-induced coma. In an overwhelming grassroots showing of support, the surrounding South Florida community put together the “Walk for Josie” on Sunday, April 25th to raise funds for Josie Ratley’s hospital care and recovery.
When InteractiveMD employees got word of the growing effort, we were honored to donate pro bono services to help raise the necessary awareness, ensuring the “Walk for Josie” would be as successful as possible. Drawing from the talented and big-hearted staff from within our media department, our team developed the logo design for the event, as well as the outreach materials which included promotional flyers and banners and a press release announcement.
Josie’s struggle for life following her brutal attack has captured attention and deep concern on a national level, as programs like NBC’s Today Show and ABC’s Good Morning America have covered her story extensively. The story strikes at the heart of a growing national epidemic of teenage bullying and brutality. Statistics show that the problem of teen violence is growing and has become significantly worse in the past few years. “The community has organized this rally to raise money to help Josie Ratley, and to define actions that can help reverse the trend towards teen-on-teen violence,” said John Esposito, head organizer of the event and father of a 7th grader who attends Josie’s school. “We’re just trying to raise awareness and get the community involved in helping this child and her family recover from this tragedy.” InteractiveMD understands the severity of this problem and was passionate about supporting young Josie in her painful struggle.
Thanks to the brave spirit of the Ratley family and power of a community coming together, the “Walk for Josie” did more than just inspire. The event brought thousands together and raised well over $10,000 for the "Josie Lou Ratley Fund" to help pay for her medical expenses.