COLUMBUS, Ohio (RMHC) – A new specialty license plate has just been created to help raise awareness and funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities across Ohio.
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles is now offering the plates as of today, Thursday, August. 5, 2021. The proceeds from the sale of the license plate will be split among the RMHC Chapters across the state, including RMHC of Central Ohio.
RMHC of Central Ohio serves families of children with complex and life-changing medical diagnoses and injuries. Families of hospitalized children can stay at the House across from Nationwide Children’s Hospital whether they offer a donation toward their stay or not. The Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at The Behavioral Health Pavilion at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital also provide a space for families to rest and regroup without leaving the hospital.
“We are here to help families going through a difficult time while their child is in the hospital. By purchasing this organizational plate, Ohioians can help ease their journey.” said Dee Anders, CEO of RMHC of Central Ohio. “We are looking forward to seeing the House with a heart plate all over the state!”
In 2019, RMHC of Central Ohio approached Former District 26 State Rep. and current Franklin County Commissioner (D) Erica Crawley, about introducing a bill for to propose adding an RMHC license plate. Her bill passed through committees and eventually reached the governor’s desk in October 2020. Then, the Columbus chapter spearheaded a campaign to collect petitions necessary for the BMV to move forward with production. “Ronald McDonald House is a critical resource to families during their most challenging times, for those from Franklin County and across the globe,” said Commissioner Crawley. “I was proud to introduce the legislation to create an RMHC license plate that would increase awareness and generate new resources to further assist families in their times of need.”
Crawley’s proposal was eventually added to Senate Bill 163, sponsored by Sen. Stephanie Kunze, R-District 16. The bill was to create a new group of specialty plates, including one for RMHC. Governor Mike DeWine signed it into law in October of 2020.
“I know many times that I walk up in a parking lot or some place and just notice some of the different things on the license plates,” said Gov. DeWine. “It’s a great way to publicize and it’s a great way to get the public’s attention about something that’s very, very important.”
“This will continue to bring awareness to the important services local Ronald McDonald’s Houses provide to families in need of support so that they can be strong for their children receiving medical care,” said Sen. Kunze.
RMHC supporters can now purchase the plate for $35 in-person at the BMV or through OPLATES online. Of this, $25 will go to RMHC. Customers who agree to let the BMV give their contact information to RMHC, will allow RMHC of Central Ohio to distribute funds to the customer’s local chapter. The remaining $10 is a service fee to the BMV for processing purposes.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio is honored to be chosen for the second year by The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association BEST Program for its community service project. The BEST (Beef Exhibitor Show Total) is a youth program of the OCA that recognizes Ohio’s junior beef exhibitors for participation and placings through a series of sanctioned cattle shows that include showmanship competitions. This year, when participants raise at least $100, they’re eligible to enter The Celebrity Showdown, which includes costumed and non-costumed entries in the Champion’s Center at the Clark County Fairgrounds in Springfield. Members of BEST are also encouraged to collect pop tabs that will be donated to RMHC of Central Ohio. The following article, copied from The Pulse, powered by Sullivan Supply, gives more details:
The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and OCA BEST Program are teaming up with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio (RMHC) for the 2020-21 BEST community service project. RMHC’s mission is to create, find, and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families.
Miss Autumn Regula and her doctors, Dr. Maryam Fouladi – Nationwide Children’s and Dr. Lionel Chow – Dayton Children’s will be judging the dress up show this year. Although we can’t have spectators at the show, you can watch it online – thanks to Walton Webcasting, Friday the 29th at 6pm [see promotional video at the end of this article]. Each exhibitor in this special show raises at least $100 for RMHC to participate by dressing up themselves and their calf – it’s a lot of fun, if you have never seen it – be sure to watch Friday!
The online auction is hosted by the Clark County Cattle Producers and Clark County Cattle Battle, and all of the proceeds from this online auction go directly to RMHC. The proceeds from several lots will be going to a special research study, this is denoted on each lot. Proceeds will benefit Connect Consortium, DIPG research being conducted by Autumn Regula’s doctor, Dr. Maryam Fouladi. Dr. Fouladi is a global leader in this very rare form of pediatric brain cancer. Her research team currently has four studies that need funding to be able to open and impact children around the globe.
Auction starts Thursday January 28th and closes Monday February 1st, hosted by Breeders World. With over 100 lots, there is something for everyone on the online auction! Take a minute to see all of the wonderful items that have been generously donated by so many great people.
View the auction and place your bids at: www.breedersworld.com/search?auction=584
Any family that has had the unfortunate experience of having to get their young patient to a Columbus hospital during the holidays, and had to stay at the Ronald McDonald House instead of being home, knows about what’s known as Santa’s Workshop inside the House. Thanks to generous donors in our community, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio finds it’s basement storage area filled with toys & gifts from these special elves for family members of all ages during the holidays every year. Santa’s gifts for babies & kids are made available for parents to choose from in one of our large common rooms that’s closed off for parents to shop for their children privately and, of course, without charge. It’s one of the ways RMHC tries to alleviate the stress of being away from home while a family’s child get’s the care they need. This year, the pandemic has made this workshop even more necessary, to avoid having to risk making a trip to a store or waiting for a package to arrive.
Stephanie Stanavich of WBNS 10-TV reported on one family’s recent experience with Santa’s Workshop. Click the image below to watch the story as it aired Christmas Day, after a brief ad.
In a year that many would, perhaps, like to forget, a few bright moments stand out. For our Ronald McDonald House, much of that brightness is the gleam of light shining off the new equipment in our Columbus Crew exercise room. For Columbus, the light comes from the shiny 2020 Major League Soccer Cup that now belongs to The Crew. After the team played its 25th and last season at MAPFRE Stadium, they were able to bring home their second MLS Cup win. That stadium will now be the site of The Crew’s practice facility as the city readies for the opening of the team’s brand new stadium downtown this coming summer.
It’s a great comeback from a major league sports franchise that almost left the city a few years back. A campaign by Crew fans to keep the Crew in Columbus worked. So it seems the Crew players & community have the same perseverance as many of our families. This year has been especially challenging. COVID-19 almost canceling the soccer season. The team managed to get a 9-1-3 record, and tough-out major injuries on some players in September & October, but winning only once in seven games. Then, when the playoffs started, eight players tested positive for COVID-19.
Nevertheless, the Columbus Crew organization was committed to making sure our families stayed as healthy as possible while staying at the House. It had been 5 years since the workout room had originally been decked out in black & gold by The Crew and supplied with new equipment. This past week’s $10,000 renovation was made possible by The Crew, MLS Works (Major League Soccer’s social responsibility platform, & Major League Soccer itself with an assist from MLS community partner, AT&T. Our own craftsmen volunteers were happy to put muscle into the assembly of much of the new equipment just before the revealing of the renewed room.
The reimagined space had a mini-celebration last Thursday – the eve of the eve of the MLS Cup game – with former MLS Cup Champion and MLS Great Frankie Hejduk, along with Crew Cat (Crew SC’s club mascot), onsite to surprise two families staying at our House. The special moment also featured virtual greetings by Crew stars Gyasi Zardes in addition to the team’s Chief Business Officer and EVP, Steve Lyons and a lunch provides by MLS Works for all families in the House. It was a fun celebration for the two families who were able to see the new improved exercise room first, even if none of the players could be there.
It was announced later that day that two more players – a couple of the team’s best – had tested positive for COVID-19 and wouldn’t be able to be in the MLS Cup. And yet, last Saturday, with all those odds against the Crew, they pulled out a 3-0 win over Seattle, the current MLS Cup holders. Before leaving the celebration, Hejduk promised a couple of families that he would bring the cup here to the House! We’re not sure if he was joking, but our families have sunglasses ready to see the sunshine reflected off that cup in person!
Our mission: Create, find & support programs that improve the health and well-being of children & their families.
That includes mental health.
September in National Suicide Prevention Month and the rate of suicide among those aged 10 to 24 increased nearly 60% between 2007 and 2018, according to a report released earlier this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another report in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Network Open, shows an increase in depression and suicide among children after COVID-19 consumed China. And a study of the affects on children of a particularly stressful election season has yet to be conducted.
It does seem to be no better time for a new hospital structure devoted to mental health care for children and adolescents. Nationwide Children’s Hospital happened to open it’s Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion here in Columbus, just as the pandemic was starting to get attention in the United States. The national health crisis caused a slow opening of the pavilion and the opening of the Ronald McDonald Family Room on the fifth floor of the building. But now the room is open, just as this volatile year begins to come to a close and the cold gray of winter approaches.
These are tough times to be sure. Businesses have shuttered or struggled to stay open and our non-profit charity has needed to find multiple, unique ways to continue to bring in revenue in so our programs can continue to help families. That includes the new Family Room. Staff members at the Ronald McDonald House are taking turns covering shifts at the new Family Room while our volunteer-staffed Family Room at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital has been closed due to the pandemic. Because of the unique purpose of the BHP’s Family Room, a specially-trained staff member must be present when the room is open to families 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
For the next ten days, you and your network of family, friends, & co-workers have the ability to help us keep the new Family Room fully functional for those who need it. By simply casting your vote for RMHC of Central Ohio in the State Farm Neighborhood Assist® grant competition online, you’ll be making a positive impact on families getting the care their children need in this state-of-the-art new facility. Click the link below to read the grant submission by our CEO, Dee Anders and then be sure to click the “vote” button at the end of the request. You can vote ten times per day now through October 2. Should RMHC of Central Ohio be one of the top 40 finalists, $25,000 will be awarded to help the new Family Room.
In its first five years, BobcaThon raised nearly $350,000 in support of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. But for the Ohio University students behind this year-long fundraiser that culminates in a 12-hour dance marathon, it’s the stories of courage and resilience from area residents served by the nonprofit that will echo throughout their lifetimes.
“There are moments of real emotion where we all kind of realize what the impact of this event is and how important all our work is,” said Maggie Wolf, BSC ’20.
An Ohio University senior, Wolf has participated in BobcaThon since her first year at OHIO and is serving as president of this year’s fundraiser, which will come to a close on Saturday, Feb. 15, at the BobcaThon 2020 12-hour dance marathon. The event is the pinnacle moment in a year-long campus- and community-wide quest to raise awareness for children with serious illness and their families as well as funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, which provides free housing, meals and other assistance to families of children in Columbus-area hospitals.
Wolf has seen the impact of the nonprofit’s work firsthand. A couple close to her stayed at the Ronald McDonald House while their son underwent cancer treatment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Sadly, the boy passed away last summer.
“That’s the connection I really feel now,” said Wolf, adding that stories like these are the reason BobcaThon exists and a big component of the dance marathon, during which families served by the Ronald McDonald House take the stage and share their experiences.
These stories, Wolf said, don’t always have happy endings, but they remind everyone how necessary their efforts are.
“A lot of the time it’s professors or administrators from the University who are telling these stories about their children,” Wolf said. “And even if you might not know the professor, it’s really eye-opening to see that they live right here in the community and are facing such a challenge.”
Coming off a record-setting year in which BobcaThon raised more than $110,000, the BobcaThon 2020 leadership team worked with advisers in the Ohio University Alumni Association to solicit some expert advice on how to sustain the fundraiser’s momentum. They consulted with an individual who has studied dance marathon fundraisers and who advised them, in light of their extraordinary success over the past five years, to focus their efforts more on awareness than dollars raised.
“We shifted our focus to outreach and trying to partner with as many student organizations as possible, so we could set ourselves up better for future fundraising,” Wolf said. “We added new positions to our team, so I think we grew in different aspects than just the dollar amount that everyone sees.”
Wolf said that organizers expect about 370 dancers to participate this year, 55 more than last year. Each BobcaThon participant has been asked to raise at least $100.
For the students who participate in BobcaThon, it’s an opportunity to make an impact on a community that most of them will only call home for a few years and a chance to see the power of their philanthropy in action.
For Wolf, her final BobcaThon will be bittersweet as the fundraiser has not only been a significant part of her OHIO experience, but one she will carry with her after she graduates.
“BobcaThon is what helped me secure my internship and made me passionate about nonprofits going forward,” she said. “I’ve learned so much about how to present myself in a professional way and how to lead my peers, which at first can be kind of awkward. And, being a part of BobcaThon has given me a chance to give back to a community that has given me the best four years.”
The sixth annual BobcaThon kicks off at noon on Feb. 15 in the Baker University Center Ballroom and ends at midnight when this year’s fundraising total will be announced. For information on how you can get involved in and support BobcaThon 2020, visit the BobcaThon Facebook page.
If a fire truck comes to your house as lunch is being made, that might be a bad sign that lunch is burnt. But when the 108th Columbus Fire Recruit Class came to our Ronald McDonald House to make lunch on Wednesday, Aug. 7, the group brought a fire truck too. Not because the students & instructors weren’t confident in their cooking abilities. They brought the truck so after preparing and serving lunch for our families, family members were welcome to go out to the parking area behind the House and learn all about CFD Engine 40.
Patient Forest Winterscheidt’s mom, Kathryn Winterscheidt, both of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma said, “The house is a great home away from home and it’s really fun to have extra things to go above and beyond what to do at your own house.” “It was a real treat for him to see the truck and the flashing lights.” Forest said he thought it was, “Pretty Cool… using the water hose!” Kathryn said he learned, “The truck only fit 6 people so he wasn’t sure how the rest of them got here.”
Abigail Brumme, our Family Activities Manager, said, “We were beyond excited to have the recruits visit the House with the truck! As the Family Activities Manager, I have the honor of working with many groups that bring in exciting opportunities for our families to participate in. This was definitely an opportunity that myself and the families will remember forever. The recruits were incredibly kind and welcoming with our families and made it an extra special experience for them. They made sure that our families were able to tour the truck, use the hose, learn about the equipment and did all of it with a big smile on their face. We are so grateful for this opportunity and the joy it brought to our families. A big thanks to the recruits who made it such a special experience!”
The 108th Columbus Fire recruit class members are working to graduate in next month as state certified firefighters, fire inspectors and emergency medical technicians. Click here to see more pictures from this special day in our Facebook photo album. [All photos courtesy Columbus Division of Fire Public Information Office.]
We’re so honored to announce that yesterday’s inaugural Dean’s Charity Steer Show raised more than $135,000 to help keep families near their children in Columbus area hospitals. Cathann A. Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, along with Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and Telhio Credit Union, hosted this first-ever event benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. The show brought together our community to celebrate agriculture and support children and their families that rely on RMHC during difficult times.
The steer show included a “sale” following the same procedures as a typical livestock sale, but without the actual transfer of livestock. Instead, all buyer sale proceeds are going to benefit RMHC of Central Ohio. The show and sale featured local celebrity exhibitors who partnered with a 4-H member and their steer. The community could also make a donation toward their favorite celebrity’s fundraising page for the event. Thanks to all of the exhibitors, the 4-H families, donors, and steer buyers for making this inaugural show a huge success! Thanks, also, to all who supported and attended the event, especially Ohio Cattlemen Association members and county affiliates, OSU extension offices, the Ohio State Fair, and to auctioneers Ron Kreis, Johnny Regula, Darby Walton and Kevin Wendt.
2019 Dean’s Charity Steer Show Winners:
Best Steer: Clark Kellogg, CBS Sports analyst, with 4-H member Sydney Sanders – Highland County Best Showmanship: Bob Peterson, public servant and eighth-generation Fayette County farmer, with 4-H member Victoria Waits – Fayette County People’s Choice Award: Adam Sharp, executive vice president, Ohio Farm Bureau, with 4-H member Sam Sutherly – Miami County.
Remaining Celebrity Exhibitors:
Cathann Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and dean of The Ohio State
University CFAES, with 4-H member Wyatt Osborn – Highland County; Matt Barnes, NBC4 morning anchor, with 4-H member Caroline Winter – Pickaway County; Mark Berven, president and chief operating officer of Nationwide Property & Casualty, with 4-H member Allison Davis – Carroll County; Bobby Carpenter, sports talk host on 97.1 The Fan, with 4-H member Kyle Kardotzke – Erie County; Jay Edwards, Athens County small business owner and real estate investor, with 4-H member Austin Pullins – Athens County; Clay Hall, sports director for ABC 6/FOX 28, with 4-H member Shala Graham – Licking County; Woody Johnson, host of “Woody and the Wake-Up Call” on WCOL-FM 92.3, with 4-H member Lauren Schulte – Putnam County; Rick Malir, chief executive officer and co-founder of City Barbeque, with 4-H member Jocelyn Belleville – Wood County; Bob McElligott, sports broadcaster for the Columbus Blue Jackets, with 4-H member McKalynne Helmke – Tuscarawas County; Shelley Meyer, former first lady of Ohio State football, with 4-H member Taylor Poff – Geauga County.
Watch Ohio Ag Net & Ohio’s Country Journal’s report on the event here:
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.
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.”