Q: Who are you guys?
A: We are a group of people that have worked together in the past and remained friends after we moved on to other jobs. We all decided to form a Maker Space Group and chose the name, Solid State Social Club. Our goal is to teach kids, teens and adults about technology and wood working. Wood working for geeks is CNC, we program the computer and the machine cuts out the parts for us.
The people involved with this project and current employer are:
Dennis Megarry – StateAuto Insurance
Tyler Wickiser – StateAuto Insurance
Josh Hamilton – StateAuto Insurance
Johan Van Zijl – Chase
Robert “Downtown Bob” – CoverMyMeds
Q: How did your group start a relationship with our Ronald McDonald House?
A: Robert was on a tour of the House after cooking a lunch meal for CoverMyMeds when he spotted the Game Room there with non-working arcade machines. Since I was already into building arcade gaming machines & Johan into repairing them, we decided this was a great start to our maker group. So we contacted Joel (the House facilities supervisor) and came down to diagnose the issues with the units there already. We were able to repair the pinball machine, and while we can repair the rest, we fund this out-of-pocket so plan to continue as soon as funds become available.
Q: What made you guys decide to do this? Have you done this kind of thing before?
A: I was already making custom arcade machines and Johan was repairing cabinets, so it was a great fit for us. Given how much RMHC benefits the community and children, we all jumped at the chance to help out.
Q: How was it all paid for? Do you have an approximate value of the machine?
A: This was all my personal donation. I bulk buy parts and usually have enough to build a few machines on hand so the expense of this was drawn out over the course of a year prior to this build. We all have families to support as well, so for the moment while we grow, we can only do things like this as we save up the funds. I build custom arcade cabinets for corporate clients who have an employee game room setup, as well as individual people. No two cabinets are alike so putting a cost on one is difficult to do. Depending on options, we’ve made them from $2700 to more than $4000. If we built yours for a customer, it would have been about $3000.
Q: What was involved in making it? Where was it assembled?
A: Making things like this is how I relax after a day in front of the computer at work. It is a lot of fun. Since our group is just starting out, we do not have space to setup shop so it was made and built in my garage (my garage is rather large).
This build though was extra special for us. Lynne Holmes, the graphic designer at the Ronald McDonald House, created the graphics for us. To finish the cabinet, our respective employers gave us each a paid day off through charity volunteering-for-a-day programs. So we need to give a big thank you to StateAuto, Chase, and CoverMyMeds! It wasn’t just us that were involved in this project.
Q: Does it have more than one game?
A: When we build one of these, the insides can go from inexpensive to OMG! Just depends of what people want. For corporate builds, as well as this one, we chose a commercial board which is pre-loaded with games that we bought off of Amazon. It has a lot of the ones adults grew up with such as: Galaga, PacMan, Street Fighter, TMNT, Asteroids, Super Mario, Tetris and many others.. There are more than 2,100 games on this board.
Q: Joel says you’re also repairing our other arcade games?
A: Yes, as funds allow we will be repairing all the machines there. The Ms. PacMan, for instance, has a blown transformer. But rather than just replacing it, the cabinet is in bad shape as well so we will most likely make a new cabinet for it, reprint the original graphics and when finished, it will be as good as new, or better.
Q: Do you have a message for the families that will be using this machine and the others you repair?
A: We built the arcade hoping that it brings a little joy to people when going thru a difficult time in their lives.
Marilyn & Bob Holb like to volunteer their time reading to students at Salem Elementary School in Columbus. About a month ago, Marilyn read the book, “How I Became a Super Hero” to fourth grade students at the school.
The book was written by our House’s frequent guest, 8-year-old Ashton Zari. Ashton was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease around his third birthday and since then, he has spent more than 300 nights at the Ronald McDonald House. Ashton says he decided to “write a book to make people in the hospital feel better”. He also says he wanted to encourage people to understand the power of kindness.
After finishing reading the book to those 4th graders, the Holbs informed the children that all of the profit raised by the book is donated to The Ronald McDonald House. This inspired the children to do a little writing of their own. They decided to write greeting cards to Ashton to thank him for writing the book and for helping the Ronald McDonald House. They also wanted to let him know the book was uplifting for them too. Marilyn & Bob delivered the cards to Ashton while he was staying at the House recently, and we were able to listen in as Ashton read a few of the cards aloud to his mom, Amanda, sister Addison, and brother Alex while sitting in the Ronald McDonald House dining room. Click the links below to hear Ashton read a few of the cards.
Ashton just celebrated his ninth birthday on December 20th while staying at our Ronald McDonald House and shared the celebration by giving to other kids staying with us . Happy belated birthday, Ashton! For more about Asthon, visit Ashtonsbirthdaywish.org, or you can purchase “How I Became A Super Hero” directly at Ashtonsbirthdaywish.bigcartel.com.
By Caitlin Wolcott
“New year, new me” is what every person is saying as the clock strikes midnight on New Years Eve.
Every year people are making resolutions for the New Year and the number one resolution always revolves around losing weight or working out more. Six of the local Orangetheory Fitness gyms and Ronald McDonald House Charities teamed up to create the perfect fitness challenge for one week in January to kick start the year to a healthier you.
Team RMHC, the Ronald McDonald House Charities running team, was looking for a way to stay in shape outside of the running season. Runners love to compete and stay fit so a fitness challenge seemed to be the perfect fit. As many of you know, Orangetheory Fitness is the hot new fitness craze. This high intensity, full body workout focusing on endurance, strength and power is the perfect way to whip anyone into shape. Every Orangetheory Fitness across the country operates off of the same workout plan so that no matter which gym you attend, you will be doing the same workout as someone else across town. Therefore was the perfect match for the first ever Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio fitness challenge.
The Challenge will take place from January 22nd through January 27th leading up to Orangetheory’s global transformation challenge. Those who join Team RMHC and are not currently a member of Orangetheory can sign up for this challenge and receive a discount on Orangetheory membership packages. Current members of Orangetheory may join the challenge as well using their existing membership packages. All participants will recruit donors to pledge a specific dollar amount per calorie they burn throughout the week of the challenge. All of the proceeds will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities here in Central Ohio and the 4,500 families we serve each year.
If you are telling yourself “new year, new me” or simply want to try something new to better your health and help a good cause, sign up now at Runsignup.com/OTFChallenge!
Written and Submitted By: Lion Jane Jarrow
In early March, the Tri-Village Lions Club was preparing to do a fundraiser in support of CureJM (www.curejm.org ), following on the heels of a successful “Visit to Santa’s Workshop” in December (www.tinyurl.com/SantasWorkshop-2016 ). We planned to invite children in the community to bring us their favorite stuffed animals for an overnight visit to the Easter Bunny. But as long as we were at it, why not bring the fun home to some children who might not otherwise be celebrating all the Spring rituals (Easter egg hunts on the top of the list!)? So we decided to share OUR Easter festivities with the children at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
We couldn’t think of a way to safely collect (and then return) stuffed animals from the children, so we decided that they should get NEW stuffed animals from us. Of course, if you are going to celebrate Easter, you should have an Easter basket. And, of course, that Easter Basket should have Easter eggs. But that was going to mean we needed a LOT of decorated Easter eggs.
We reached out to the Tri-Village community to help us make Easter a little more fun for the kids at RMH-C and NCH. We invited folks to stop by for just a few minutes to the MCL Cafeteria at Kingsdale (the home base for the Tri-Village Lions) and decorate an Easter egg for a sick child. There was a terrific response from our community, with more than 100 people turning out over the course of an afternoon to put together an Easter egg (actually, most folks were having so much fun they stayed for two or three!). Added to that, students from Jones Middle School in Upper Arlington and Stevenson Elementary School in Grandview asked if there was something specific they could do to be involved in the project, since they were already focused on doing things to support the children at RMH-C. We assigned them specific roles in preparing the Easter baskets and considered Phase One of our project a complete success.
Phase Two found us collecting stuffed animals from community children (in exchange for a $10 donation to CureJM) and taking them overnight to see the Easter Bunny. While we were at it, we asked the Bunny to pose for some pictures with the animals that would go with our gift baskets, too. He was more than happy to oblige, and we were able to put together a little souvenir “photo album” of the trip to hand out along with the baskets.
Finally, we delivered Easter baskets, photo albums, stuffed animals, and activity books to 40 children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and another 20 at the Ronald McDonald House in the week before Easter. We thank the Tri-Village Community for supporting the Tri-Village Lions Club as we, hopefully, brought some big smiles to some little faces. You can watch the little video we put together about all this at:
Here at the Ronald McDonald House, we know how important it is to provide family-centered care for the tiniest patients we serve—children. And we are fortunate to be part of a large team of professionals who believe in, and focus on, that mission here in Central Ohio.
This week, along with our partners at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, OhioHealth, and Mount Carmel Health, we celebrate one of the most important members of that team—nurses.
May 6 through May 12 is National Nurses Week! The week ends on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is considered the founder of modern day nursing of which there are over 3.1 million registered nurses in America. The purpose of the week-long celebration is to raise awareness of the value of nursing and help educate the public about the role nurses play in meeting the health care needs of the American people.
In Central Ohio, we’re lucky to have medical facilities that employ such caring and dedicated nursing professionals, who help our families through difficult and trying times.
So take a moment this week, and every day, to join with us and recognize the outstanding nurses in our area with a heartfelt, “Thank you!”