2014 Fall Newsletter - Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid


2014 Fall Newsletter - Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid
Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Mid-Missouri
Fall 2014
Family Close By
for a DoubleDose of Love
2 Golf Cart Improves
2 Volunteer Spotlight
3 Red Shoe Bike Ride
3 Caring Partner Spotlight
4 Letter from the
Executive Director
4 Upcoming Events
Our Mission
To support programs that
directly improve the health
and well being of children
and their families. The
cornerstone program of the
charity, Ronald McDonald
House® provides a low or
no cost “home away from
home” for families with
children receiving medical
care at a Columbia facility.
Connie Rardon traveled from Hale,
Missouri to Columbia for what she
thought was a routine appointment
to check on the pregnancy of twin
girls. During the checkup, her doctor
discovered that her blood pressure was
high and the girls had too much fluid
around them. Several other red flags
went up and Connie was admitted to
the hospital right away.
The news was so unexpected, she had
groceries in the car as she was planning
on driving back to Hale right after the
appointment. She remembers telling
her husband, Derek, to get the grapes
out of the car and sending him a long
list of things to bring from their home
to Columbia. Doctors were able to
wait until he got off work and made
The twins turned one week while still at the
hospital. Connie made the sign with supplies
from the Ronald McDonald House.
“Ronald McDonald
House was truly
our home away
from home.”
the two-hour drive before delivering
Harlow and Hadley via C-section.
Connie says it was a whirlwind right
after the girls were born. Around 15
people were in the operating room. The
twins were born before their lungs had
fully developed and their little nervous
systems weren’t telling their bodies to
The whole family came back to visit in September.
breathe. They needed to go immediately
into life-saving treatment.
Connie and Derek knew it would
be at least of couple of weeks before
the girls were ready to go home. They
checked into the Ronald McDonald
House so they could stay near them.
continued on page 3
Golf Cart Removes
Transportation Barriers
For many, the Ronald
McDonald House is within
walking distance to MU
Women’s and Children’s
Hospital, but for others, like
new moms that may have
had a difficult delivery, the
walk can be challenging.
To alleviate some concerns
parents had with getting to
and from the House to visit
their children in the hospital,
Staff member, Abby Keller, takes a
we added a 6-person golf cart mother to the hospital to be with her baby.
to our resources.
When a guest at Ronald McDonald House wants a ride to the
hospital, they simply let staff know and either a volunteer or
staff member drives the shuttle to the hospital. When they are
ready to return, they give us a call and we come pick them up.
This allows families a safe, comfortable alternative to walking
after a long day or driving a car such a short distance and trying
to find a parking space.
The golf cart shuttle was made possible by a generous
donation from Audie Walton and with the help of M&M Golf
Cars LLC in Mexico, MO. The golf cart also comes with a clear
vinyl enclosure to protect passengers from the sometimes wet
and cold Missouri weather, keeping them warm and dry on
their way.
New House Shows
Increase in Numbers
In the first nine months of 2014, Ronald
McDonald House Charities® of Mid-Missouri
served 432 families. That’s a 91 percent increase
over the same time last year when only 226
families stayed at the House. In fact, the total
number of families served in all of 2013 was
only 349, which we surpassed in mid-August
this year. The increase can be attributed to the
new Ronald McDonald House, which opened
last October. The new house accommodates
more families, which decreased the number of
families turned away due to lack
of space. The proximity to
healthcare facilities helped
as well. Many families
felt that the old House
was just too
far away
and opted
to sleep
in the
Volunteer Spotlight: Estela Haverstick
Estela Haverstick started volunteering at Ronald McDonald House a
few months ago. After graduating
veterinary school in Brazil, she
moved to Columbia to pursue her
post-doctorate in Animal Science.
She has Fridays off and she wanted
to volunteer to keep busy. She chose
Ronald McDonald House because she
knew what good work the charity did
in her home country and she wanted
to volunteer her time at a reputable
Estela takes a break from cleaning the kitchen
at the Ronald McDonald House.
intere he
If yo
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volunteers like Estela
work off a checklist of
household chores and when
they arrive for their shift, they can see
where the last volunteer left off. She
can be found on Fridays making beds,
wiping down kitchen counters and
sanitizing toys in the House. Because of
volunteers like Estela, the House stays
clean and comfortable for guest families
so they can concentrate on what matters
most – the health of their child.
continued from front page
A Successful Red Shoe Bike Ride
The 2014 Red Shoe Ride to
benefit Ronald McDonald House
Charities® of Mid-Missouri was a
great success! The event started and
finished at Shakespeare’s Pizza South
on Saturday, October 4. This year
more than 100 cyclists came out to
ride either a 100, 62, or 35-mile route
around mid-Missouri.
Cyclists enjoyed rest stops
throughout the ride, stocked with
food and beverages provided by
local businesses. Four of the stops
featured tastings of Bur Oak Brewing
Company beer - one rest stop was
even at the brewery.
After crossing the finish line,
cyclists and their families were
entertained with two live bands,
Jim & Jordan Heckemeyer and Jenny
Teator & the Fevers. All registered
cyclists received complementary
Shakespeare’s Pizza and access to
a Bur Oak Brewing beer garden.
Thanks to the generosity of the
riders, sponsors, and donors, the
Red Shoe Ride netted around
$15,000 for the charity and the
families we serve at the House.
A huge thank you to everyone who
made the Red Shoe Ride possible,
and to the riders and their families for
joining us this year, we hope to see
you again next year!
Connie says the expense of a hotel
would have wiped out their finances
had the Ronald McDonald House not
been there. And making the two-hour
drive home each night was just not
an option while trying to maintain a
feeding schedule for two babies.
Connie and Derek felt right at home
at Ronald McDonald House. “We
really appreciated the clean rooms,
laundry facilities, family atmosphere,
and the dinners each night were
wonderful.” Their two-year-old son,
Decker, had fun visiting Mom and Dad
at the House as well. “He loved playing
on the playground in the backyard and
playing with the wooden cars in the
Family Room.”
Connie says it was really nice to
have a place where they could just be
normal and still be close enough to the
twins to help them get stronger. And
after 18 days of one step forward and
two steps backward, they were finally
healthy enough to go home. Today
they are happy, smiling 14-week-old
Caring Partner: Cumulus Broadcasting
Chris Kellogg of 101.5 KPLA during the
Day of Change Radiothon.
Cumulus Broadcasting has been
a longtime supporter of Ronald
McDonald House. Their stations
include 101.5 KPLA, NewsTalk
1400 KFRU, 102.3 BXR, Nash
FM 100.1, and Q106.1. On
October 15, the stations hosted
the Day of Change Radiothon and
broadcast live from the Ronald
McDonald House and mid-Missouri
McDonald’s to encourage listeners
to call in a donation or drop change
in canisters at the restaurants.
In addition to the Radiothon,
they also promote the Red Shoe
Ride and the FORE the House
Golf Tournament to encourage
participation in the two fundraisers.
Terri Gray, executive director says,
“We are so fortunate to have the
support of a great media partner.
They help us get the word out about
what we do here at the House and
all the ways people can get involved
and help. We appreciate everything
they do to make our voice louder.”
2014 Board
Jeff Hilbrenner, President
Harper, Evans, Wade & Netemeyer
Sally Silvers, Vice President
Community Leader
Mike Ireland, Treasurer
Commerce Bank
Craig Riordan, Secretary
Boone County National Bank
Michael Barrett
Missouri Public Defender Commission
Kevin Czaicki
Peter Dyke, MD
MU Women’s & Children’s Hospital
Kim Lambert
MU Athletic Department
Mark Mehle
McDonald’s Restaurants
Butch Ruprecht
McDonald’s Restaurants
Keith Schawo
Central Trust & Investment Company
Jolene Schulz
Community Leader
Janice Smith
Behavior Solutions
John States
Little Dixie Construction
Administrative Staff
Terri Gray
Executive Director
Rachel Ellersieck
Director of Development
Angela Huntington
Community Outreach Coordinator
Lindsay DuCharme
Development Assistant
Linda Murrell
Office Assistant
Guest Relations Staff
Tammy Laughlin
Manager of House Operations
Mimi Curtis
Abby Keller
Riley Dean
Hannah Lammers
Liam Dillow
Jessica Miller
April Gray
Ana Stock
Letter from the Executive Director
Dear Friend,
Tears of joy and tears of sadness.
Laughing so hard you cry. Being so
distraught, you have no tears left to
shed. We experience many emotions
at the Ronald McDonald House.
We celebrate when new parents take
their baby home for the first time.
We mourn for those who never do.
We’ve celebrated birthdays, grieved
the passing of loved ones, laughed
at silly kids, and clapped and cheered
when our new golf cart took its
inaugural trip. We’ve calmed frayed
nerves, baked cookies, pies and
turkeys, and even helped build a
snowman last winter.
Our dedicated staff and volunteers
strive to make each day the best we
can for the families and children
staying at the Ronald McDonald
House. And with each day we are
thankful for the opportunity to
serve, hoping to make a difference
in their day – hoping to lighten their
load a little or a lot.
We’re thankful for our friends
and donors who provide the
necessary support so we can care
for the families that call the Ronald
McDonald House home for one
night, one week and sometimes
months at a time. Because of your
continued support and generosity,
we are here to celebrate milestones,
to wish them well, and to ask how
they’re doing when their child suffers
a setback.
Our caring home environment is
important to so many families going
through a very challenging time – as
is each dollar given and each prayer
Thank you for allowing us to
experience the joys (and occasional
sorrows) that flow daily through the
Ronald McDonald House. Each day
gives us new opportunities to serve
families and their children, to make
their day a little less stressful.
We appreciate your support and
wish you the very best throughout the upcoming season of
Terri R. Gray
Executive Director
Upcoming Events
Red Shoe Gala
Thursday, February 19, 2015
The 13th Annual Red Shoe
Gala will be held at Reynold’s
Alumni Center on Thursday,
February 19th. The evening will include dinner,
entertainment and a silent and live auction. Reserve
your table today by visiting www.rmhcmidmo.org/gala
or by calling 573-443-7666, Ext. 306.
For more information:
(573) 443-7666
3501 Lansing Avenue
Columbia, MO 65201
Pull Tab Pandemonium
Saturday, April 25, 2015
The Inaugural Pull Tab
Pandemonium in 2014 was
so much fun! Start collecting
now so that you can join the
fun next year. Congrats to
the 2014 winners of the interschool competitions! Shepard
Elementary, Gentry Middle,
and Cuba High.

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