September 29, 2010

300th House!



This week, the 300th Ronald McDonald House opened its doors to families in need. There are now 300 Houses throughout the world—that’s 300 places for families to be together as they help their children heal.

Congratulations to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Metro St. Louis!

September 20, 2010

Dewey's Trick or Treat Cake Squares

Forget candy, the trick-or-treaters that come to my house this year are getting cake squares!




Right now, Dewey's is selling booklets with 20 free cake square coupons in them. A portion of the sale from each coupon book benefits the Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem.


These cake square coupons would make great favors for that upcoming Halloween party you are hosting too. Or a nice surprise in your coworkers' mailboxes at work... or in birthday party goodie bag... After all, you don't have to be a kid to love a cake square!

Books are $5.00 each and available here at the House or at any Dewey's retail location.

-Laura

September 15, 2010

It's Official!

Sunday, September 12th was a wonderful day for the Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem! Not only did we officially cut the ribbon on our brand new 18- bedroom expansion, but we celebrated it with almost 500 friends from the community. Many families who have stayed at the House came back to tour the new space and celebrate as well. It was wonderful to see so many people the House has touched since it first opened its doors 26 years ago.





We are especially grateful for the generosity of BB&T, who sponsored the Open House and Ribbon Cutting and brought 35 amazing volunteers to help out.

We would also like to thank the following local groups and businesses that helped make this event possible:

Krispy Kreme
McDonald's
Hunter Farms Ice Cream
Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated
Jill & Kimberly at Stella's Sweet Shop
Spevco
K&W Cafeteria
Clint Bowyer Racing, #33 BB&T Car
Jimmy Absher Racing, #39 K&W Cafeteria Car
Wake Forest Cheerleader, Demon Deacon and Athletes
Winston-Salem State Cheerleaders and Ram
Ronald McDonald
The RMH Therapy Dogs
The Greensboro Grasshopper
Amazing Andy
Whitaker Elementary Wheelpower and Whirlwind
The RJ Reynolds High Acapella Group
The RJ Reynolds High Service Club
The Mobile Jukebox
Forsyth EMS
MKT Real Estate
The Winston-Salem Journal
WFDD
WXII
WGHP
Hospital BP
Fleet Feet
Piedmont Port-a-Jon
Aaron's Rentals
Camel Pawn

Pictures can't really do the amazing day justice! Here are a few shots from the big day:


































Thank you for celebrating the Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem!

-Laura & Watson

September 14, 2010

Blog Love

Watson and I had the best time showing the newly expanded House to a group of local bloggers on Saturday morning.

The fun group came from all over the triad to check out the House. First, we gathered in the new kitchen to munch on some breakfast goodies donated by our sweet friends at the Reynolda Road Starbucks. (They donate delicious baked goods to the House once a week for families too!)


Then Watson, fresh from his day at the spa, stopped in to say hello. He had a great time! Of course, he pointed out to me later that he didn’t get the cream cheese danish he had ordered. Sorry Waston, maybe next time...


After breakfast, the bloggers toured the new space and learned all about what RMH does for the families of sick children.


I could tell you more but, I think I will leave that to the bloggers! Check out each of their great posts (all very different) by clicking here, here, here, here, here, here and here!

-Laura

Be sure to bookmark these Triad Area Bloggers!

Katie writes about being a wife and mom and shares home decorating ideas on her blog, Daffodils and as a blogger for Three Little Army Wives.

Kim spent many years as a pastor and is now a public speaker. He blogs about life over at Kim’s Korner and tweets as @WilliamsKim.

Lisa’s Pickles and Cheese Blog will make your mouth water. She blogs about food, DIY projects and all things French!

Erin, The Fierce Beagle, is a journalist turned blogger. She writes about her family and pets on her blog and also blogs for GoSimplifi.com. Erin tweets as @fiercebeagle

Becky is a former RMH night manager. She blogs about her family and life in general on You Can’t Make This Stuff Up.

Nancy is busy 'finding Winston’s cool' over at Carpe Salem. She blogs about discovering new places in town and writes about all of the latest happenings around Winston-Salem.

Rachel keeps Triad moms in the know with all of the latest news and events happening in our area as a blogger for TriadSmartyPants.com

September 13, 2010

Only one word can describe it... Wow!

Where should I begin?

This weekend was truly incredible. From celebrating RMH volunteers and meeting local bloggers to seeing so many former RMH families and members of the community come tour the new expansion, this weekend was full of amazing experiences to share.

Let’s start with Friday night’s Volunteer Event.



I’m biased… but I think we have some of the best volunteers in town! :) They are really what keep this House and our two Family Rooms running. They clean rooms, change light bulbs, weed flower beds, cook meals, stock refrigerators, call bingo and visit with families at the hospital. And that’s just a small sample of what they do, the list of things goes on and on. They work so hard to make the House and Family Rooms a welcoming place and their love for RMH families is inspirational.

Friday’s Volunteer Appreciation Party was a blast!


House and Family Room volunteers enjoyed lots of good food and toured the new space. Of course, many of our volunteers didn’t really need tours—some of them have been here practically every single day helping to get the House ready for families.

Here are a few highlights from the party:





We also honored some special volunteers who really stood out from the pack this year.

Forsyth Family Room Volunteer of the Year is Lisa Petty (pictured with volunteer Dinah Reece, who presented the award). Lisa’s bubbly personality and bright smile lightens up the Family Room ever time she volunteers.


Jack Arzonico was named Brenner Family Room Volunteer of the Year. Jack’s experiences gained from raising a large family make him a good person for young dads to talk with while they are in the Family Room. (Pictured with volunteer Jo Anne Helms, who presented the award.)


The lovely Claire McNaught was named Family Support Program Individual Volunteer of the Year. Claire and her dog, Rocket Dog, have worked as a part of our Therapy Dog program since 2006. She and Rocket Dog bring a special brand of joy to the children and families they visit twice a month. (Pictured with Family Support Coordinator Chacy.)

Family Support Program Programming Volunteers of the Year honors were given to a group of talented women who bring peace to families through creativity. Shannon Jeune (not pictured), Susy Miller and Karen Culler of Stampin’ Up! help families make beautiful homemade cards for them to give to medical staff and friends and family back home. In addition, they make thousands of cards each year for the Family Support Program to use in comforting families and celebrating volunteers.


Our House Volunteer of the Year always is usually reserved for an individual. But this year, we cheated a little bit and gave it to a very special group… our hard working House Maintenance Team! Typically, they are here once a week. But in the past few months, they have been here around the clock! In August, they volunteered 160 hours, a huge increase compared to their average of 45 hours a month. Craig Smith, Dan Heaton, Charlie Mays, Charlie Miller (all pictured), Tony Ebert, Larry Stalnaker and Stacey Wood (not pictured) are, as volunteer coordinator Abby Bowman describes them, “our knights in shining armor!”

This year we also honored a special long-time volunteer. Charlie Mays, the founding member of our Maintenance Team, has been a House volunteer for 18 years. A retired chemist from R.J. Reynolds, Charlie has been our resident engineer, light bulb changer, furniture installer and plumbing fixer-upper for almost two decades. There really isn’t anything he can’t fix! So, in honor of all of his hard work and his truly remarkable dedication to the Ronald McDonald House, the brand new storage room has been named in his honor.


All of are volunteers are great and we were so honored to have them join us on Friday night.

Okay, next up, the Blogger Breakfast and Tour. Check back tomorrow for more on that fun event!

-Laura

September 11, 2010

Tomorrow!!!

The Open House and Ribbon Cutting is tomorrow from 3 to 5 pm!



I will be there signing autographs.

Oh, and lots of other great people will be there too:

The RMH Therapy Dogs (I LOVE THEM!!!)
Ronald McDonald (I know! He is so famous!)
The Greensboro Grasshopper
The Demon Deacon
The WSSU Ram
Whitaker Elementary Wheel Power and Whirlwind
The RJ Reynolds Acapella Groups (I wonder if they are anything like that TV show Glee? That is one of my favorites.)
The Wake Forest Cheerleaders
The Winston-Salem State Cheerleaders
Tanner Price, Wake Forest Football Quarterback
Ryan Britt, Wake Forest Football Offensive Guard
Joe Looney,Wake Forest Football Offensive Guard
Brooke Thomas, Wake Forest Women's Basketball Point Guard

...and did I mention that I will be there signing autographs?

Clint Bowyer's #33 BB&T car will be there too. Plus, there will be lots of food, interactive games, a bounce house and even a giant inflatable slide!

I will also be there signing autographs.

See you there!

-Watson

September 10, 2010

Celebrating RMH!


Last night, we were honored to host a very special group of people here at the Ronald McDonald House. Friends who have generously supported the mission of the House over the years joined together to toast the start of a new chapter in the RMH story. Through their generosity, the dream of an 18-bedroom expansion has been realized and now, 700 more families a year will be able to call The Ronald McDonald of Winston-Salem home.

That means 700 more parents, grandparents, sisters and brothers will be able to stay closer to their sick child. That’s countless more hugs, kisses, held hands, smiles and I love you’s for children fighting for their lives just down there street from RMH.

Here are a few highlights from last night’s wonderful event:






So many people helped to make this event special through the donation of their time and talents.

The beautiful flower arrangements by Sissy Whittington and Sally Corpening made for stunning focal points throughout the House.


Delicious food by Five Loaves Fine Food was a hit with guests.


Lovely music was graciously provided by the very talented Bluebird Quartet, harpist Julie Money and classical guitarists Joe and Alexander Pecoraro.


Magician Hannibal kept guests mystified all night with illusions and tricks.


And, a spectacular cake given by Dewey’s Bakery stole the show!



Of course, this event would not have possible without the help of our amazing volunteers, whose hearts are filled with love for RMH families.



We are looking forward to celebrating our 260+ strong volunteer force tonight with a special volunteer event honoring them.

Our official Open House and Grand Opening is this Sunday from 3 to 5 pm. Come see "the House that Love Built'—a very unique place for families to stay as they face some of life’s hardest challenges.

Please plan to stop by to enjoy all of the festivities, food and fun! Whitaker Elementary Wheel Power and Whirlwind will be performing along with the R J Reynolds High Acappella Groups. Ronald will be there too, along with several Wake Forest athletes, the Wake and WSSU cheerleading squads and much more!

September 7, 2010

RMH is up in lights!

The RMH Open House and Ribbon Cutting Celebration is up in lights all over town!

Check out these signs and marquees celebrating the opening of the 18-bedroom expansion:

Fairway Billboard on Business 40

Jumbotron at BB&T Ballpark, Home of the Winston-Salem Dash



Quality Mart


AAA Office


Shell Stations on Peacehaven and Jonestown Rd.


Windsor Jewelers at night


Windsor Jewelers during the day