The Love family from North Carolina has been spotlighted often in our blogs & social media posts. Christin and her mother’s stories allow us to give you, our supporters, some insight into what it’s like to be family that needs and uses the Ronald McDonald House often. This time, we’re featuring Christin Love because she’s also been sharing her stories with school children back home in North Carolina.
A couple of the pictures with this post were taken at Cardinal Charter Academy in Cary, North Carolina where Christin spoke a few months ago. She shared her medical journey with them and told them how much she loves the Ronald McDonald House here in Columbus. As her mother, Michelle, tells us, “She shared with them that she has not been scared to go through all of the test, surgeries, and procedures that she has had because her family has been able to be with her and that could have only have happened because of the Ronald McDonald House.”
As Michelle explains in an email to us, “After hearing Christin’s story, Cardinal Charter Academy wanted to help out the Ronald McDonald House! They decided to support Christin’s RMH not only during this past school year but during the upcoming school year as well. They are doing this by making blankets for the welcome bags and collecting pop tabs for the House. One of Cardinal Charter’s teachers, Ms. Laurie Hohstadt, said that her 4th grade class has shown so much excitement in supporting the Ronald McDonald House that now the entire school is helping support Christin’s home away from home by collecting pop tabs in each classroom and at the front office!”
Thank you, Chirstin, for sharing your story back in your hometown area. Thanks, also, to Ms. Hohstadt and the student’s who send love and support to all of our families at the House. And thanks to all who have donated pop tabs and other items to the students so they can share that support with our families as well.
On Wednesday, July 10, the Ronald McDonald Family Room at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital celebrated it’s 2nd anniversary with cupcakes for visitors to the room. Families and hospital staff were invited to the family room to take part in the celebration. We invited Trish Wright, president of the Wright Ways Foundation, to the family room. She and her family had used the family room almost exactly a year ago. Trish had given birth to Chosen at the hospital and Chosen had to stay in the NICU for a few months. Her family found the family room to be just what they needed during that time. Chosen and her family came back for our celebration and to help Trish donate care bags for NICU moms on behalf of the Wright’s Way Foundation. Click the image below to hear her story.
11-year-old Ella Wintringer is a member of the Skating Club of Western New York in Buffalo, New York who frequently stays with us at the Ronald McDonald House in Columbus with her mom, Jamie. This was the second year she participated with ice skating professionals in the annual Skate It Forward show & competition at the Ice Haus at Nationwide Arena. Skate It Forward has raised nearly $100,000 over three years for RMHC! Thank you Ella and to all of the ice skating pros who took part in this year’s show! You can read a blog post about Ella written for us by her mom last year, by clicking here.
We also want to thank all of the skaters & cast members who helped make this year’s show so awesome:
Mollie Quakenbush McGrail
John M. Haferman
Correction: An earlier version of this article showed Ella as raising the total amount of nearly $100,000. Skate It Forward has raised these funds collectively over the past three years, including various other fundraisers throughout the year with hundreds of individuals and teams making contributions. Thank you all and we apologize for the confusion.
The 4th Annual Nationwide Children’s Hospital DISCOVERYx program two weeks ago included our own Chef Blair Arms with a talk titled, Beyond Our Patients: Keeping Families Fed. She was one of 7 presenters selected for the afternoon’s TEDx-inspired event. An email from the hospital to staff said the planning committee was looking for hospital community workers to showcase the sharing of ideas, opportunities, experiences or discoveries and how these have contributed to improving health and wellness at the hospital and beyond. The hospital’s DISCOVERYx event has been enormously popular and some of it’s speakers from previous years have gone on to present at both the Columbus TEDx and National TEDx programs.
The planning committee invited enthusiasts from every discipline or area within the hospital community of employees to apply and selected speakers based on their passion and ability to deliver innovative ideas. A professional coach even helped prepare the selected presenters for their appearance on stage during the live event. Through communication, speakers were expected to share thought-provoking ideas to spark conversation, make connections and inspire others. Chef Blair met that expectation, giving an emotional testimony about why she loves her job of guiding groups of people through the process of making healthy meals for families staying at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House. Watch her presentation below.
Ms. Pac Man is back in working order and back in the Ronald McDonald House, thanks to Maker Space Group member Dennis Megarry with some help from a couple of the other members too. You may remember that this group built an arcade game machine just for our House.
Megarry knew we had Ms. Pac Man in storage because it wouldn’t work and took it upon himself to fix her. Last week, he was able to deliver the rebuilt machine just in time for our Father’s Day celebration (see pictures above). We were able to bring Ms. Pac Man and the new RMHC arcade machine into our main dining room for the party.
Megarry was so excited to work on this machine, he described it this way in an email to us: “I am on such a personal high from doing this, I am sad that it is completed. Was a really fun project.. But, you still have 4 more needing repair! 🙂 I will probably wait till end of summer to start the next one, I fund these out-of-pocket so need to build my bank account back up.. lol”
Thanks again to Megarry and his group for making arcade games a fun escape for families staying at our House during such a stressful time.
This will be the second retirement for Connie Sartori. Her first was from her job at Southwest Airlines. Her second “retirement” will be from volunteering at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House. Right from the start of her job with Southwest, she began volunteering with groups from Souwest Airlines. She’ll be moving to Florida, now that she’s retired after 25 years of service to our families. We had a chance to talk to her on her last day coming in with the Southwest Airlines meal group Tuesday night. That night, the Southwest Airlines meal group donated a brand-new grill to honor the occasion. Thank you, Southwest Airlines, for continually serving our families meals for a quarter of a century. Watch our talk with Connie in the video below as she was about to leave her last volunteer shift.
You may have seen or heard of a steer auction or livestock sale at a county or state fair, or even attended one, but this one will be a little different. The Vice President for Agricultural Administration and Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, Cathann A. Kress, together with the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and Telhio Credit Union, are hosting the first-ever Dean’s Charity Steer Show at this year’s Ohio State Fair benefiting RMHC of Central Ohio.
A website set up for this event by OSU says, “This event brings together our community to celebrate agriculture and support kids and their families that rely on RMHC during difficult times. The show and sale will feature local celebrity exhibitors partnered with a 4-H member and their steer. All funds raised will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Ohio.”
The celebrity exhibitors, including such high-profile members of the community as Dean Kress, CBS Sports’ Clark Kellogg, and former “First Lady of OSU Football,” Shelley Meyer are having a friendly competition to raise donations leading up to the July 30 steer show. You can find your favorite celebrity or make a general donation at give.osu.edu/deanscharitysteershow.
The steer show will be held at 2 p.m. in the Voinovich Livestock & Trade Center at the Ohio Expo Center during the state fair on July 30. Awards will be given out for best steer, showmanship, and people’s choice. There will be a livestock “sale,” however, without the actual transfer of livestock. Instead, winning bids will go to the RMHC of Central Ohio.
As the Dean’s Charity Steer Show website asks, “Can you imagine what it’s like for a family traveling for childhood medical care? Or if you had to travel for care for your child for two or nine years? RMHC helps miracles thrive.”
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio and Post House Creative are proud to proclaim that our short film, Something’s Missing, has won a gold Telly Award in the non-broadcast, general cause marketing category. The organizers of the 40th annual prestigious international competition announced the winners last week on a special website, www.tellyawards.com/winners. The link to the announcement about our film, specifically, can be found here: https://www.tellyawards.com/winners/2019/non-broadcast/general-cause-marketing/ronald-mcdonald-house-charities-somethings-missing/217487/
The five-minute film premiered online the night of the Academy Awards, February 24 and, just days later, won a gold Columbus ADDY award for Public Service (Film, Video, & Sound). Now, it’s being considered for an Addy award at the national level. It has been viewed more than 100,000 times on social media and, last month, was featured during the Columbus International Film & Animation Festival.
The short film, which is written, directed, edited, and produced by Post House Creative, tells the story of a family with a seriously ill child in a way that Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio has never done before. Post House Creative created and gifted Something’s Missing to Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio as a generous donation to promote the mission of the charity. The idea for the film was born out of a brainstorming session by our marketing & communication committee. Tim & Kim Flaherty, owners of Post House Creative, are members of the committee and, once it was agreed that this visual story needed to be told, the Flahertys offered to immediately put a production together.
The Telly Awards is the premier award honoring video and television across all screens. Established in 1979, The Telly Awards receives over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents. Entrants are judged by The Telly Awards Judging Council—an industry body of over 200 leading experts including advertising agencies, production companies, and major television networks, reflective of the multi-screen industry The Telly Awards celebrates.
Congratulations to Post House Creative!
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.
This is one of the most exciting times of the year for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. It’s the time when our chapter has the honor of hosting other RMHC chapters for the RMHC Midwest Summit. It’s a great opportunity for staff members from these various chapters to share knowledge and ideas to improve all of our organizations. This year’s summit welcomes more than 50 chapters from around the country and even a few from Canada.
The three-day educational/training opportunity also allows attendees to participate in a variety of educational sessions. The gathering kicked off today with a general session featuring an inspirational talk from Dave Kaufman, CEO of Motorists Insurance Group who has also been a volunteer and past board member at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House.
This year’s venue takes place at Top Golf with the unique opportunity to have specialty sessions in the open-air.