Saturday, April 26, 2008

My Girls A Star

My Daugther Ashley made it on the label of Jones Soda and
Here is her story.
At age 11, Ashley Roggero runs her own business and has a pretty good idea what she’ll do when she grows up. She’ll become a professional golfer, doctor or veterinarian. At home she keeps an eye on turtle Tina (or Tina Turtle, if you like) and cat Tyler, who suffers from diabetes.
“I’d like to be a vet because I don’t like it when animals get sick,” said the Portsmouth Middle School sixth-grader.While her golf career so far has been local, her face is being seen nationally. Ashley’s picture graces the label of Jones green apple flavored soda.
Her Dad, Jim, took a picture of her relaxing on one of the family’s living room love seats after a long day at the beach in 2006. Her parents submitted it as part of an online contest, with Ashley’s photo among 800,000 vying for the label front.“We had a lot of friends and family voting,” her mom, Jane, said. “I didn’t know what her chances were but I thought it would be fun. Then one day we got a letter saying she’d been chosen. They don’t tell you a whole lot else. But it’s great.”The bottles should be hitting local stores such as Shaw’s and Stop & Shop any day now. Jones soda is manufactured in Seattle, and Seattle-based Starbucks also carries the product.
The Roggeros have yet to see bottles in stores featuring Ashley’s face, but there are plenty of people looking.“We have people looking up and down the East Coast,” Jane Roggero said. “We have family in Florida and friends in different places on the lookout.”Ashley said the pending fame, however short-lived, will have little effect. “My friends think it’s kind of cool,” she said. “They want to be on the bottle, too.”There is nothing one-dimensional about Ashley. One day this week she and her mother spent time walking the sand at Island Park, looking for sea glass. She makes the glass into necklaces, earrings and bracelets, for her company, My Beach Glass Kits. She sets up shop at fairs and events, and she includes instructions for making your own glass jewelry.“I love to feel all the different shapes and sizes of the glass,” she said.In the meantime, she loves math and science in school and plays mallets in the school jazz band. She looks forward to polishing her golf game in the warmer months.
Summer mornings are spent playing golf, usually at the Wanumetonomy Golf and Country Club, as a member of the Rhode Island Women’s Golf Association, and at clinics. The rest of the day is spent at the beach. Two summers ago, Ashley attended the U.S. Women’s Open, meeting pros such as Michelle Wie and Annika Sorenstam. She also draws inspiration from Portsmouth High School graduate Katherine Murphy, who now plays golf at Penn State University.“She’s nice and encourages us,” Ashley said. “She’s very helpful.”Ashley lives with her parents and 5-year-old brother James in a house that her father grew up in overlooking the Beach. “I go a lot,” she said. “In the summer, I like to stay there until it gets dark.” Or as her mother puts it, “She’s there until her head hits the pillow.” She still finds time to watch TV shows such as “American Idol” (she’s a Carly Smithson fan) and follows the Red Sox. Her next goal is to win the Rhode Island Women’s Golf Association’s Junior Championship and play in the national tournament. “I really want to get better this year,” she said. Meanwhile, the Jones soda bottle should be appearing locally soon. Ashley had entered the contest so long ago that she’d pretty much forgotten about it when she learned she had been chosen. “I think everyone should get to be on a soda bottle,” she said.

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