April 28, 2010

RMH Food 101

If you ever come to the House for a visit there is something you will learn pretty quickly, the Ronald McDonald House knows good food.

You see, some of the best, most delectable, most unbelievably good-smelling meals ever prepared come through the doors of this House every single day. Oven roasted chicken, creamy pasta casseroles, slow-cooked green beans, Carolina BBQ… Italian, Mexican, Chinese, French, German and even authentic Greek! You name it and it is probably in one of our refrigerators.

And then, there’s dessert. Oh boy is there dessert. Pecan pies, double chocolate fudge cakes, delicately iced sugar cookies, sinfully sweet brownies, ice cream sundaes, zesty lemon bars…. Is your mouth watering yet?

How about now?

An extremely talented team of volunteers, friends, church groups, businesses and neighbors keeps the House kitchen stocked with every type of comfort food you can imagine. And for a family coping with the stress of caring for a very sick child, not having to worry about what to cook or how to pay for their next meal is a tremendous blessing.

Over the years we have seen some pretty spectacular recipes and we would like to share some of our families’ favorites with you here on the blog. Favorites like this beautiful strawberry cake made by Cathie Heck Loeser, a member of the Medical Center Guild.

Cathie sure picked a crowd pleaser with this cake. Or should I say cakes. Yes, she made two of these beauties. To say these almost too-pretty-to-eat cakes were a hit with the families would be an understatement!

Strawberry Cake
Adapted recipe from the “Pass the Plate” cookbook,
a collection of recipes from Christ Church in New Burn, NC.

1 (18-ounce) box white cake mix (Cathie uses Betty Crocker brand)
3 tsp flour
1 (3-ounce) box of strawberry jello
1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries, thawed
1/3 cup water
1 cup canola oil
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch pans or grease and flour sides of pans and cut out a circle of waxed paper to fit the bottom of the pan. Mix cake mix, flour and jello together. In a separate bowl, mix ¾ cup strawberries, water and oil. Add this to the cake mixture and blend well. Add eggs one at a time and beat 1 minute after adding each egg. Pour into pans and bake for 35 minutes.

½ cup butter
2 ½- 3 cups of confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk (Cathie says that she can use up to a 1/3 a cup of milk)

Cream all ingredients together. If icing is too thin, add more sugar.


Cathie decorated her cakes with fresh strawberries.

April 26, 2010

Girl Scout receives Bronze Award for work with RMH

We are so lucky to have the help of many local scouts here at the Ronald McDonald House. One of these scouts, Melissa Blakemore, recently completed her Bronze Award Project by making Easter baskets for RMH families.

Melissa assembling baskets

Melissa, a Junior Girl Scout from Pilot Mountain, NC, made 17 Easter baskets chock full of candy, games and treats for the families staying here. The baskets were beautiful and of course, the families loved them!

Delivering baskets to the house

In addition to helping to make the day brighter for those who called the House home this Easter, she has also been involved with the House through our meals program. Melissa and her mom, Diane, provided meals for our families on several occasions over the last few months. In fact, last Wednesday they delivered a delicious dinner to the Family Room at Brenner Children’s Hospital.

Melissa with Abby, RMH Director of Volunteer Services

According the Girl Scouts of America, “the Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can earn, requires her to learn the leadership and planning skills necessary to follow through on a project that makes a positive impact on her community.”

We definitely think she made a positive impact! Congratulations Melissa for earning your Bronze Award and thank you for supporting the families of the Ronald McDonald House!


April 22, 2010

Tomorrow, Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is Sport a Shirt, Share a Night Day! Please be sure to wear your Sport a Shirt tee shirt tomorrow to show your support for the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House!

And if you get a chance, please send us a picture of yourself, your family, your friends, your coworkers or even your pet sporting a shirt! We would love to feature you on the blog :) Send pics to info@rmhwinstonsalem or post them to our facebook wall.


April 16, 2010

Saying Goodbye to a Special RMH Friend

I have some sad news to share with you today, dear blog friends. Over the weekend, we said goodbye to one of our most beloved therapy dogs, Kelly. Kelly was a wonderful friend and an amazing therapy dog. If you could only see the joy he brought to the kids who stay at the Ronald McDonald House, you would know what I mean!

Kelly had exceptionally good manners, which he learned as a puppy from his much older sisters, Abbie, a Golden Retriever, and Annie, a very friendly cat. One day, Kelly’s human mom and dad decided his manners were so good that he should become a Certified Therapy Dog. As a Certified Therapy Dog, Kelly provided an immeasurable amount of love and comfort to the special people he visited. He would do tricks and wag his tail for anyone who would watch and he especially loved to play with kids! Here is a picture of Kelly playing with his friend, Shana:

Kelly told me once that when he wasn’t helping out here or visiting patients at Forsyth Medical Center, he was hanging out with his mom and dad at the beach. He loved to play in the surf!

Kelly will be greatly missed by his owners, George and Jeanne White, by his little sister, Molly (who is also a therapy dog), and by the many children who loved him here at the Ronald McDonald House.

I hope you will post your messages and share your happy memories about Kelly and his therapy dog friends here or on our Facebook page.

- Watson

To learn more about Therapy Dogs like Kelly, click here.
To read “Rainbow Bridge,” a sweet poem about losing a pet, click here.

April 14, 2010

We Love our Sport a Shirt Helpers!

We were so lucky to have the lovely ladies of Republic Mortgage Insurance Company’s Administrative Services Group come to help sort Sport a Shirt, Share a Night tee shirts last week.

This picture may have been snapped while they were taking a quick break but let me tell you something, these ladies sure know how to get the job done. They sorted, labeled, boxed, and organized over 200 orders… that’s 6,200 tee shirts!

RMIC has been a wonderful friend to the families staying in our house throughout the years. Their donation of dozens of Build-a-Bear bears each Christmas puts a smile on the faces of so many sick children and their siblings. For that, we could not be more grateful. Thank you RMIC!

And of course, where would we be without our incredible House volunteers?! They have pitched in countless hours organizing the remaining Sport a Shirt orders and getting the House ready for pick up day on Thursday.

A BIG thank you to:

Kaila Hires
Lois Miller
Lisa Petty
Dianne Hodges
Laura Doherty
Christy Munson
Alyssa Corne
Rebecca McNeely
Alice Martin
Margaret Macon
Dave and Mary Comeau
Dean and Misty McGuire
Brian and Pam Meyerhoeffer
Steve and Jen Byrd

April 8, 2010

Thanks for Joining the Fold!

Sport a Shirt, Share a Night tee shirts have officially arrived at the House and this year, they came folded thanks to our friends at Oracle Packaging in Winston-Salem!

Oracle folded and boxed 7,000 (wow!) Sport a Shirt tee shirts and delivered them to the House yesterday!

We are so grateful to Oracle for all of their help and the amazing job they did, the shirts look so neat and organized! Speaking of neat and organized, you are probably wondering where exactly we are storing 7,000 tee shirts. Well…


Volunteers have already started to divide and label shirts for pick-up day on April 15th. If you are an RMH volunteer interested in helping out anytime between now and pick-up day, please contact Abby Bowman at 336-723-0228 extension 11.


April 5, 2010

Hello Ronald McDonald House fans!

Move over Ronald. There is only one true house mascot around here and that's me!

Watson here. In addition to being the House mascot, I also provide on-site security. You see, I used to do some detective work but now I live here full-time with my mom Jeanie, who is the House night manager. The job seemed like a perfect fit.

I generally try to lay pretty low; my duties include a lot of sniffing, listening and good old-fashioned investigating. For example, this week I investigated the Sport a Shirt, Share a Night tee shirts.

My thorough investigation leads me to conclude that I look great in navy blue. I also found out that the shirt fits very nicely and that the design is top notch. So, I have decided to buy one. After all, all of the proceeds from Sport a Shirt, Share a Night tee shirts sales go to the families who stay in my house!

I also decided to buy a Sport a Shirt, Share a Night tee shirt for my sister, Peanut.

She may look like your average four-year-old rat terrier but don't let that cute face and great outfit fool you—she is a devious, devious toy thief. Devious!

Well, I'm off. Peanut mentioned something about tea and dog biscuits. I must investigate.


April 1, 2010

Easter time at the House

The Easter Bunny came to the House early this year! He had a little help from our wonderful group of Friends, who decked out the House with all kinds of beautiful decorations for families to enjoy while they are here.

Mrs. Easter Bunny sitting in the living room

Dining room table centerpieces made by the Friends

Lovely Easter egg trees in the hallway made by the Friends

This huge basket of adorable handmade chocolate candies was made by House volunteer Dinah Reece:

Almost too pretty to eat!

And this sweet card from the Ardmore United Methodist Sunday School is sitting in the kitchen for families to read:

The Summit Church in Kernersville definitely helped out the Easter Bunny a lot this year too by donating 35 of these wonderful Easter baskets!

We are so thankful to all of those that help make Easter a special time here in the House.

Happy Easter from our house to yours!