The Under My Skin For Life Foundation (UMSFL) is a family-founded not-for-profit organization for those in need in honor of Ramon “Ray” M. Rodriguez, who was diagnosed with cancer (lymphoma) in 2005. Since then, he has undergone intensive rounds of chemotherapy and is currently in remission. He is the father of three children: Richard, Tony of Under My Skin Tattoos in Atlantic Highlands, and Gina Rodriguez; he is also the grandfather of eight.
It is the passion of our family and friends to help raise funds, awareness and support for others affected by diseases and disorders. Our volunteers are from all walks of life and are dedicated to helping meet the needs of others. Not to be confused with any kind of a “gang,” we combine our active membership in the tattooing community with the desire to help our neighbors. The board of directors of UMSFL includes professionals in the legal and human services fields.
In June of 2012, one of Ray’s great-grandchildren was diagnosed with autism. It came as a tremendous shock to find out how few resources and help was available to individuals with autism and their families. No one knows why or how autism happens, but we consider ourselves privileged to love such a child, and hope to educate others and support the research that is so urgently needed in this area. To quote Ray: “We should always try to take a step in the other persons shoes before we think we know everything about them.”
On Saturday September 22, UMSFL is hosting their seventh Tattoo For Autism benefit at the VFW Post 217, 1 Veterans Lane, in Port Monmouth for OASIS Therapeutic Life Centers, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote inclusion and acceptance of autistic individuals into their local communities by establishing meaningful work, peaceful and healthy residences, and community interaction. The day begins with a bike run from the Stewart’s Root Beer in Howell, and features live heavy metal bands, pro wrestling, a petting zoo, a live auction, vendors, pony rides — and, if you like, tattooing!