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How do I explain the complexity and generosity of the Ronald McDonald House in one
page? I do not believe it is possible, but I will try to describe its profound impact and nurturing
As a recent graduate, I did not think I would be fortunate enough to find a job that I
was truly passionate about right out of college. However, upon graduation, I was hired at
Nationwide Children’s Hospital to work with the young siblings of patients in the hospital. Over
the past year, I have spent countless hours interacting with children while their precious
brother or sister was staying in the hospital.
One afternoon, I was playing a very intense game
of Monopoly with a sweet 4 year old boy. I was engaging in small conversation during our
game and asked him, “Did you have a long drive to the hospital this morning?” He replied, “No
we walked…and we live in the coolest house you have ever seen.” Of course, this statement
sparked my interest! I asked him, “Well, what makes it so special?” He then went on to say,
“Grace… it has a lego room….a splash pad….so, so, so many cookies every single day…Ohio
State Buckeye stuff… oh! and a movie theatre – me and my brother watch a ton of action
I acknowledged his statement sincerely, but I assumed it was most likely just
a childish exaggeration of where he actually lived. When it was time for pick-up, I told his
mother about our conversation. She teared up and explained to me that they had been living
at the Ronald McDonald House for over two hundred days due to her daughter’s extended
stay in the NICU. Her two other children had started to truly consider it their home. Without
ever walking through the doors of the Ronald McDonald House, I felt entirely connected to
this amazing organization.
During my time spent at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, many of the conversations I
have with families are humbling, and they make a difference in my day and my outlook.
However, my experience with that little boy and his mother really stood out to me. I
immediately wanted to learn more about the mission of the Ronald McDonald House and find
a way to get involved.
A few months later, I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity to
work there. At the house, I have been welcomed with warm smiles, friendly encounters, and
impactful stories by employees, volunteers and residents. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of
such a place? What we do at the Ronald McDonald House has a positive impact on more
people than we will ever know, and for that reason, I am truly proud and honored to be a part
of such an amazing organization.
COLUMBUS—Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio is pleased to announce its 2017 “A Toast to Tinseltown” community award winners including NBC4’s Matt Barnes with the Outstanding Red Shoe Society Member Award and Carioti Jewelers Sylvia Carioti with the Outstanding Community Service Award.
“This is always an exciting time of year for us here at the Ronald McDonald House to recognize those individuals and groups who give so much to our families,” said Dee Anders, Executive Director of RMHC. “We have a tremendous network of supporters in this community that we have awarded over the years. This year’s class of inductees is nothing short of amazing and we’re thrilled to honor them.”
2017 honorees include:
Sylvia Carioti, Outstanding Community Supporter – As host of Diamond in the Rough, a major fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House, Sylvia Carioti has shown her passion and commitment to helping children and families in need. Sylvia is a member of the RMHC Board of Trustees, helps Chair our Community Fundraiser Committee, and is a generous donor to many RMHC special events.
The Ladies of Hylant Group, Outstanding Community Supporter – These nine ladies continuously strive to go above and beyond for families at the Ronald McDonald House. From helping with Diamond in the Rough, to making meals for families, hosting fundraisers for the House and volunteering at nearly every special event we host, the Ladies of Hylant Group are true gems and we couldn’t do what we do without them.
Matt Barnes, Outstanding Red Shoe Society Member –Matt Barnes is a much-loved member of The Red Shoe Society. He co-chairs one of Red Shoe’s largest fundraisers, “Dig It for the House,” which raised over $48,000 this year alone. Matt has been an emcee for many of our special events, including “Dig It for the House,” “A Toast to Tinseltown,” and the many “Handbag Hullabaloo” events that we host each year. On top of that, Matt has helped to put Food Truck Friday’s on the map here at the House with his constant support.
Karl Hastenstab, Outstanding Volunteer – Karl Hasenstab has been an integral part of the RMHC Team for over a decade. In his role as Project Executive at Continental Building Company, Karl has overseen each building project at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. He is our go-to for any building related needs. From coordinating a donation of window replacement at the Ronald McDonald House, to dealing with wood replacement, to plumbing projects, Karl is always ready at a moment’s notice to support our mission. Karl’s commitment to the House is seen physically and felt emotionally.
Telhio Credit Union, Outstanding Corporate Supporter – Telhio Credit Union is one of the most crucial partners to RMHC of Central Ohio. Over the past five years, they have donated well over $100,000 through cause marketing campaigns. In addition, they have played a vital role in growing awareness and giving through the RMHC Vehicle Donation Program by sponsoring advertising campaigns and building relationships with the local auto dealer community. Leslie Bumgarner, Telhio CEO, sits on the RMHC of Central Ohio Board and chairs the Marketing & Communications Committee for the Board. Their support is key to the success of our charity.
Steve Casciani, The Vickie Easterday Spirit of Community Award – Steve Casciani is one of the most kind, compassionate, and caring supporters that the Ronald McDonald House has ever known. His love for the mission of caring for children and families shows in all of the ways he steps up to help provide more nights of rest to children and families in need. Steve is a member of the RMHC Emeritus Board, as well as a co-chair of the “RMHC Joe Mortellaro Golf Classic.” Steve embodies the spirit of our beloved Vickie Easterday in all of the many ways he cares for his Ronald McDonald House family.
The honorees will receive their awards during an official presentation at this year’s “A Toast to Tinseltown,” Friday, Oct. 13, at The Ivory Room in Miranova, presented by the Columbus Red Shoe Society in conjunction with the Columbus Ronald McDonald House.
All proceeds and ticket sales from the event go to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. Tickets for the “Hollywood Gets Spooky” event can be purchased online here: http://rmhc-centralohio.org/event/a-taste-of-tinseltown-hollywood-gets-spooky/
For more information contact Senior Director of Communications Ryan Wilkins at 614-227-3768.
The Trans Siberian Orchestra(TSO) announced its highly-anticipated Winter Tour 2017 will be returning to Columbus! Over the past 20-plus years, Trans-Siberian Orchestra has become a critically-acclaimed, multi-platinum, musical powerhouse, and its annual winter tours a beloved, multi-generational holiday tradition. 2017’s tour, a completely updated presentation of TSO’s unforgettable “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve,” is set to begin on November 16th and will visit more than 60 cities, for 100-plus performances, before concluding on December 30th in Columbus, Ohio!
As in all previous years, a portion of every ticket sold benefits select local charities, including Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. To date, more than $13 million has been distributed from TSO to worthy charities all across North America. Tickets go on sale Sept. 15 at 10 a.m.
See the full press release here:
For 27 weeks, Brittany Mullins pregnancy had gone perfectly. No signs of trouble—just smooth sailing for her and husband, Chance, as they eagerly awaited the coming birth of their first child, Asher, a boy, in the Gallipolis, Ohio, area.
But then, a sudden increase in the size of Brittany’s baby bump and pre-term contractions sent the concerned parents to the hospital.
“We got an ultrasound and found out there was fluid on his abdomen,” said Brittany. “We weren’t sure what was wrong. There were a lot of scary diagnoses.”
Four short weeks later, the extra fluid caused Asher to be born prematurely at 31 weeks. He lived his first four weeks of life at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, before being transferred to the NICU at Riverside Methodist Hospital.
“He was diagnosed with a posterior urethral valve, which meant urine wasn’t draining correctly, causing the fluid on his abdomen,” said Brittany. “He had surgery at one month old and his prognosis is good.”
Brittany said it was the Ronald McDonald House and the Ronald McDonald Family Room that kept her and her family going during the tough time.
“I couldn’t imagine driving two hours back and forth to see him,” said Brittany of the House for Asher’s first four weeks at Nationwide Children’s. “It was so helpful to have a place to shower and eat. Plus, I have an immune disorder so I have a specific diet. And the family kitchens helped keep me from getting sick while I was there.”
When Asher was transferred to Riverside to a bed for more critical babies, it was the new Family Room that helped her and her family.
“Having the family room allowed me to move in with Asher and breastfeed him,” said Brittany. “It’s allowed me to stay here and have a shower and eat. It’s been such a blessing to us.”
Brittany said it’s the little things that the Ronald McDonald House and Family Room offer that keep families going.
“When your baby is in the NICU, fighting for his life, you forget the little things,” said Brittany. “And to have people there supporting you and making it available to just be clean and to eat makes a difference. It made all the difference in his care and his discharge time.”
Brittany has just one thing to say to all the donors who made the Ronald McDonald Family Room possible: “You have changed lives by making the Family Room available. It is of the utmost importance in our lives that we can express to them how thankful we are.”
I was first introduced to Nationwide Children’s in my clinical as a nursing student. Through my experiences in the hospital I learned very quickly how much the Ronald McDonald house does for the patient with 5 appointments in one day, the confused sibling, and the exhausted parent who’s just trying to keep up with it all. Seeing first hand from the nurse’s point of view how much the house does for families in need encouraged me to get involved. I will continue working at the RMHC, however, because of the infectious positivity that surrounds the people who run it. Every volunteer and employee here is an integral part of why the house is so effective in helping these families and I am so glad to be given the chance to be a part of it!
The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio is excited to offer a brand new event for you and your little ones!
Pirates & Princesses is a swashbuckling good time for young children ages 10 and under to “walk the plank,” enjoy a photo booth, treasure hunt, kiss a frog (not a real one…ewww!), play Magic Wand Toss or Dig for Buried Treasure, and dress like pirates and princesses for a day in the Ivory Room of Miranova.
And, bonus—valet parking for the event is FREE!
You and your child (or children!) can come anytime between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., Sunday, June 11. Stay as long as you like for additional activities including, face painting, tattoos, Pin-the-Kiss on the frog, a fishing game, craft corner, tiara making, tea cup decorating, a dance floor, and a movie-viewing area.
Upgrade you and your little one to V.I.P. tickets (that’s Very Important Princess or Very Important Pirate!) to include pirate or princess training, hair and make-up studio, and a super cool Treasure Hunt.
An online auction will also be available as is a dress shopping area for you and your littlest princess, housing the finest gear royalty could ever dream.
Parents and their little ones will enjoy Cameron Mitchell catering that will make even the simplest kid’s cuisine a culinary delight fit for a pirate and princess!
The very best part of the whole event is that money raised, even from ticket sales, benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, serving families with seriously ill children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and other area hospitals. Money donated to our organization, including through events like Pirates & Princesses, allows us to provide a home for families whose children are going through a medical difficulty.
And if you want to go one step further for our organization, after buying your ticket to the event, sponsor a family at the House to come to the party, too! You’ll see first-hand how your generosity is changing lives at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House.
Thank you for your continued support!
What is better than golf? This is #mywhy. Golfing for a cause. I love fundraising for the RMHC of Central Ohio through the Joe Mortellaro Junior Golf! As I begin fundraising for my third junior golf outing, I think about how lucky I am that I have been able to raise thousands of dollars for those families that need to use the house. I have been the top fundraiser the past two years, and have enjoyed not only the junior outing, but the Joe Mortellaro Golf Classic where I have met two of my favorite coaches: Urban Meyer and Thad Matta. My parents even let me bid on some items at the silent auction! Getting to golf through this outing allows me to help the house while I get to enjoy my favorite sport.
In the past three years, I have putted for change outside a local store, sent letters to area businesses, family and friends, and of course, put in my own money. Why have I done this? My answer is because it matters. There are families that need to use RMHC to remain close to their children, and they should not have to worry about where they are going to stay. It doesn’t matter that I am only 9-years-old. My efforts are as needed as my parents or even strangers. We can all give our time, services or money to help RMHC of Central Ohio. Throughout the year, I also collect pop tabs, have purchased items off the wishlist, and gave money for an organization to make a meal. There are lots of ways people can make a difference at RMHC.
Although I hope I raise the most money in fundraising again this year, I know whatever amount I am able to raise will make a big difference to RMHC of Central Ohio. Please consider donating your time or money today!
~ Written By Junior Golfer Griffin Beach
Meika (a staff member) asked me why I like volunteering for Ronald McDonald House. She wanted me to write something down and share with everyone. Well, I’ve been putting it off because I didn’t know the exact words to say but today was my turning point. I saw a young woman today who was crying over losing her child. Everyone in the office was hugging her, talking to her, trying to console her the best way they knew how. That’s what this House is all about. It exudes love and compassion for these families and their children. I saw this on day one when my friend Jean (God rest her soul) brought me to the House to see if I would like it here. She had me hooked at day one! The brave little people here are so special to me. One day, for example, a little girl came up to me and said, “I had a heart transplant,” and showed me her scar. She said, “I had to come today for tests and had to lay still for lots of hours.” My heart melted for her. I told her how brave I thought she was and she smiled that big smile. She is just one of the precious moments that I have shared here. The good Lord knows why He sent me here. I cherish every day. I love you all. The tears have been rolling steady since I started this letter. So, I think you will all get my message.
Love to all, Chris Hicks
Written By: The Smith Family: Jen, Ryan, Bren and Gideon
Summer 2016 we went in for an ultrasound to measure how big our little man was since due date was quickly approaching in the beginning of August. My favorite ultrasound tech noticed something that didn’t seem right. She went and got another tech that was more advanced to take a look. She also got the doctor who was filling in for mine who was on vacation at the time. They spotted what appeared to be a mass on his heart. They decided to send me down to OSU for a level 2 ultrasound to see what it could be. After going down to OSU it was determined there was something on the baby’s heart and we would need to team up with Nationwide and get a fetal echo as well as an MRI performed. Once we had both performed we met with a couple different doctors and came up with a game plan that I would come down to Columbus to deliver and our little man would be taken to Nationwide to have tests run as soon as he was born because of what they saw. They were confident they figured out what he had, but couldn’t officially diagnose him until after he was born.
A coworker of mine suggested asking if they could put my husband, my mother, possibly our 5 ½ year old daughter and once I got out of the hospital even myself up at the Ronald McDonald House across from Nationwide. I inquired at one of various appointments we had at Nationwide leading up to our son’s birth and they set it up for us to make this our home for the week we would be down there.
On August 6, 2016 Gideon James came into this world at a whopping 9 lbs 5 oz. Luckily for me there was no room for him at the main campus at Nationwide so he got to stay with me at OSU, only he had to hang out in their NICU and not in the room with me. Sadly the next morning I received a phone call that they are loading him up to go over to Nationwide and I need a nurse to roll me down to say bye until I could get a day pass to go visit him. I got down to give him Mommy love before they took him only to see he was already strapped into his transportation gear and I got to hold his hand from the opening of the carrier. My Mom had already been at the Ronald McDonald House and my husband had stayed the night with me at the hospital.
Flash forward to a few days later, I’m finally discharged from the hospital and I get to move in with my husband and mom into the Ronald McDonald house. Needless to say it was nothing like I had expected. The house was warm and inviting with everyone so kind and helpful from the moment you walk from the doors. The volunteers who came in to cook the meals for not only us, but the other families were friendly and took the stress away on having to worry about food. The beds were comfy and having a hot shower to freshen up in our own private room was wonderful. A few days before all of us were able to head back to our hometown my mother in law brought our daughter down to us so she could join in and get spend time with her brother. The house definitely won her over too with the various rooms in the house she could explore and play in. By far her favorite thing was one night she was invited to a princess party in the princess room. She still gleams that she got to dress like a princess and keep her princess dress. Which is why I think she insists on trying to go back with us every time we have to go down.
Gideon was officially diagnosed during his stay in the NICU with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. Luckily for us, two of his doctors from Nationwide come to our local hospital so we can utilize them from the comforts of our hometown. However, his neurologist requires frequent trips, right now of every 6-8 week visits. Due to the frequent visits we have become frequent guests at the Ronald McDonald House. The last two trips to the house we have got our church involved in taking up donations that we can bring as our way to say Thank you for being there for us. Our daughter who is now 6 does her part by collecting tabs to send with us as well. She has been able to have family members all the way from New Mexico mail her tabs. She created a video we had posted on my Facebook page in which she shows some of the tabs and tells people why they need to donate them and how they help families. Because of the video she has had various family members and some of Mommy’s friends mail her the tabs that don’t live close by to us.
The Ronald McDonald house has been a huge blessing to my family and I know it will continue to be as we continue to have frequent doctor’s appointments that our son will have. I encourage anyone who wants to help whether collecting tabs like our 6 year old does, to collecting items off their wish list, to volunteering to cook a meal, play games or make crafts with the families to do so. Don’t do it out of pity, but do it out of love and you will touch the lives of all who enter the house. We may be just one family, but what little we do to help makes a difference for other families.
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: