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Fifth Annual Rock Out the Flu Set for April 20

Posted on March 26, 2024
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Jessica Stein was a healthy 4-year-old when the flu claimed her life in 2002. At such a young age, her passing was a shock to her entire family. More than 22 years later the Stein Family, along with other proponents of the importance of annual flu vaccination, are gearing up once again to raise money in her honor at the fifth annual Rock Out the Flu charity event.

“Rock out the Flu started as a way for us, the Steins, to specifically honor Jessica and give back to Families Fighting Flu in our own unique way,” said Jessica’s mother, Doris Stein. “The first time we did it in 2015, we had no idea how impactful it would be on our friends, our family, and ourselves. Every year we do it, the crowd gets bigger, the auction items get better, and the event gets better. I can already tell that this year will be no exception.”

The event, hosted by Families Fighting Flu, will feature food, drinks, a silent auction, a gift bag with memorabilia glass, and live music by Curtis Knocking, a Northern Virginia-based classic rock cover band in which Jessica’s father, Gary Stein, plays bass. 

Gary helped form Families Fighting Flu to raise awareness about the seriousness of flu and the importance of annual flu vaccination. When Jessica passed in 2002, annual flu vaccination was not recommended for healthy children of her age. However, Gary and other partners—including Families Fighting Flu—played an important role in advocating for the change in flu vaccine recommendation that now includes everyone six months and older.

The Stein family has always been very musical, explains her guitar-playing brother Eric Stein. He recalls an often-told family story of the time a Beatles song came on the radio. Gary asked Jessica who was singing and she picked out John Lennon’s baritone specifically. Everyone in the family has some connection to music.

“I never really got to know her which has always been upsetting,” says Eric. “You never really think about how different my life would be if I had an older sister present. Ever since I was old enough I wanted to give back and for my family to be involved in putting on Rock Out the Flu is special because I know it means a ton to my parents and it’s giving back through music, which is very special to us.”

In addition to live music, this year’s silent auction promises to be bigger and better than ever with international group trips, gift baskets from wineries and breweries, and local business gift cards up for grabs. 

“As much as we want people to come and raise money, it’s good to just see people who buy a ticket and show support for a cause,” Eric said. “Families Fighting Flu is commemorating 20 years of starting the organization. We really want to show people that this isn’t a political issue. We want people to be healthy, stay safe, and stay flu-free. We put on this fun, happy event, but it is a serious subject matter.”

Rock Out the Flu will be held at 7 p.m. at Solace Outpost in Falls Church, Virginia. Tickets are available now. All proceeds support Families Fighting Flu’s public education efforts to raise awareness about the seriousness of the flu and encourage people aged six months and older to get vaccinated against this preventable illness.

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