Congratulations to long time volunteers Fred & Jill Winer who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Flag Day, June 14, outside their Columbus home with a ride around the block in a carriage pulled by two Clydesdale horses. Friends and family gathered at the couple’s home to help the couple celebrate while wearing masks and social distancing. Fred wore his RMHC of Central Ohio shirt, Jeff Duffield, one of our craftsmen volunteers, also attended with his wife and provided entertainment playing his calliope. Ronald McDonald House partner Graeter’s Ice Cream Truck was there selling ice cream to all who turned out for the occasion. Graeter’s Ice Cream Truck has continued accepting donations for the Ronald McDonald House on the truck’s order-ahead page on Street Food Finder since the special occasion. The couple even set up a donation jar so those gathering from the neighborhood could make a donation to the House!
Fred says he was a chemist at Chemical Abstracts where he worked for 40 years. He says a manager at the company, Kathy Leavy, decided to leave the chemical industry and get into community service work. That’s when she got a job at the Ronald McDonald House. Soon after that, Jill was retiring having worked in elementary education, wholesale pharmaceuticals, and computer sales but wanted to stay active. Fred suggested to her that she look into volunteering at the charity where Kathy was working. That was about 14 years ago and as Fred was nearing his own retirement, he came to the House to see if he could help in 2011.
Since then, Fred has been a “jack of all trades” at the House while Jill has helped answer questions at the front desk. Fred says it’s been wonderful, especially meeting families from all over the world and from different cultures. “You count your blessings,” he says about seeing what families go through when coming to Columbus for their child’s healthcare.
The couple has 2 sons and three grandchildren. A few years ago, all of the family members joined Fred in celebrating Jill’s birthday by coming to the House and preparing a meal for the families.
Thanks, Winers, for helping the House in so many ways and, again, congratulations!