In 2011, Connor Grossman found a box of marbles and had an idea: “What if I dipped these in paint and rolled them around?” The result of his experiment? A cool piece of art — and an even cooler idea: “Let’s sell it! Marbles for MS!” (His mom has multiple sclerosis, so fundraising was a no-brainer.) His dad, Michael, created Marbles4ms.org, posted the news to a support group, and within an hour, the painting sold — and a charity was born.
How It Has Grown
As demand increased, Connor’s brother, Jackson, jumped in to help, prepping supplies and choosing colors. Now, the Rochester, NY, duo sells a range of marble-painted goodies, from $2 bookmarks to $60 biking jerseys, with proceeds going to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. So far, they’ve raised $70,000. Half has come through web sales fueled by social media promotion, and the rest they’ve earned through charity auctions and sales in a few local gift shops.
The boys’ mom, Annette. “MS used to run me,” she says. “But working on this, knowing how many others are being helped by my sons, has made a bigger difference in how I feel than any medication.”
These guys dream big! They hope to pen a book, lure celebs to sell marble paintings (hi, Tom Brady!), get a Guinness World Record for the biggest marble painting, and meet Mrs. Obama, whose dad had MS. Says Connor, “I won’t stop until there’s a cure for everyone with MS.”