2014 Summer Newsletter - Ronald McDonald House Charities of


2014 Summer Newsletter - Ronald McDonald House Charities of
Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Mid-Missouri
Summer 2014
Families Find Support in One Another
2 Day Pass Helps More
2 Volunteer Spotlight
3 FORE The House Golf Event
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-fromhome” for families with
children receiving medical
care at a Columbia facility.
Dads of babies in the NICU relax at Ronald McDonald House in between visits to the hospital.
Strangers just months ago, now
Keenan Riggs and Richard Liebau have
a friendship that will last a lifetime.
The two fathers met while staying at
the Ronald McDonald House while
their newborn babies received care at
separate hospitals.
“It has really
been great to
have someone
here who is going
through the
same thing.”
Keenan and his wife, Emily, had
just begun to think about how their
baby’s room would be set up when
complications sent them to the hospital
17 weeks before their scheduled due
date. After two weeks of bed rest and
monitoring, Emily gave birth to Mason
Riggs on March 7. He weighed just over
one pound and he was immediately
whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive
Care Unit at MU Women’s & Children’s
It was clear from the beginning that
Mason would need to stay in the hospital
while his little body finished growing.
But the Riggs’ home in Versailles,
Missouri was more than an hour away
and the new parents didn’t want to
leave their new baby for one minute!
That’s when the Riggs learned about
Ronald McDonald House. It was right
by the hospital and offered just what
they needed to stay strong and help
Mason get better — a true “home away
from home.”
Three months later, Richard and
Heather Liebau from Concordia,
Missouri had twins Peyton and
Jonathon at Boone Hospital. The
two babies needed some extra time in
the hospital as well and the Liebau’s
checked into Ronald McDonald House
continued on page 3
Day Passes Provide
for More Families
Families are stronger when they’re together, whether it’s for
an extended stay in the hospital or a day of medical tests or
treatments. This is why Ronald McDonald House Charities® of
Mid-Missouri offers the Day Pass Program.
The Day Pass Program is designed for families who are
not staying at the House overnight. Their child may have an
appointment with a local clinic for a day of tests, or they may
be in town for a day-long procedure that does not require an
overnight stay. Or sometimes there are families whose homes
are too close to make them eligible to stay, but too far away
from their child who’s been hospitalized. Often these parents
will find much-needed respite at Ronald McDonald House.
Families using the Day Pass are able to eat meals, bathe, relax in
the family room, do laundry, entertain their other children in the
play areas, and enjoy a “home away from home” atmosphere.
While families have always had the ability to stay only for the
day, moving into the new House has reignited the Day Pass
Program because of a special day room now available. The day
room offers a shower and bathtub, restroom, television, and
sofa chair – all completely private for those who would like
space from the outside world. This room was made possible
by a generous donation from Sally Silvers in memory of her
husband, Robert.
“The Day Pass Program allows parents to relax and recharge
so they can stay focused on the needs of their child.,” said Terri
Gray, executive director.
There is no fee for the program, however donations are
encouraged. Residents of Boone County, although ineligible to
stay at the House overnight, are eligible for a Day Pass.
New Study Confirms
What Moms & Dads
Already Know!
More and more evidence points to the
importance of keeping seriously ill kids and
their families together!
A recent study, funded by the UniHealth
Foundation and Ronald McDonald House
Charities® and published in Families, Systems, &
Health, a journal of the American Psychological
Association, finds that families that stayed
together at a Ronald McDonald House believed
their ability to stay nearby helped their child
recover and spend less time in the hospital.
This study supports our firm belief that
your gifts truly help
sick children
heal faster.
Your kind
makes it
Volunteer Spotlight: Candace & Elizabeth
As RMHC Ambassadors, Candace
Robison and Elizabeth Puricelli
represent us in the community
during public events and at RMHC
fundraisers. They are extremely
knowledgeable about the inner
workings of the charity, which allows
them to act as extensions of the
staff. With only four full-time staff
members, this is extremely helpful.
They also prepare meals for families
and help clean the House. But most
importantly, Candace and Elizabeth
Elizabeth and Candace staffing a game at the
FORE The House Golf Tournament.
spread RMHC’s mission to the public,
allowing more people to learn about
what we do and how to help.
“My favorite part of being an RMHC
ambassador is meeting and interacting
with the people,” Candace says.
Elizabeth agrees. “I love interacting with
the members of our community while
contributing to such a great cause,”
she says. “I feel the Ronald McDonald
House serves as an invaluable resource
and support for families of children
experiencing illness and injury.”
continued from front page
FORE The House Golf Tournament
The 2014 FORE The House
Golf Tournament presented by
Manor Roofing & Restoration was
a huge success! It took place on
Monday, June 23 at The Club at Old
Hawthorne. More than 50 foursomes
came out to support Ronald
McDonald House.
The event featured an 8 a.m.
shotgun start and a 1 p.m. shotgun
start. Participants were entertained
throughout the day with fun side
games, like attempting to land a ball
in a boat for a prize, using the Little
Dixie Golf Ball Launcher and four
hole-in-one opportunities sponsored
by Bob McCosh Chevrolet Buick
GMC Cadillac, Inc. Players of all
levels also enjoyed watching REMAX
Long Drive competition winner,
Mick Yelovich, drive for them on a
challenging Par 5.
After a fun day of golf, players
and guests alike enjoyed a
delicious barbecue buffet and a
live performance from Bruce Poe.
Attendees walked away with fabulous
door prizes and silent auction items.
All together, the event netted nearly
$50,000 for the charity and the
families we serve. A huge thank you
to all the sponsors of the outing and
all the players that came out to play
“FORE the House!”
so they could be near them.
Shortly after moving in, Richard
struck up a conversation with Keenan
and they have been chatting and
supporting each other through the
process ever since. Even though they
have been at different hospitals with
different issues, their experiences are
Richard says, “It has really been great
to have someone here who is going
through the same thing.”
Keenan agrees. “I feel like I have
known them forever.” The two couples
spend evenings watching TV together,
unwinding and rejuvenating after long
days of talking to nurses and doctors.
The good news is that all three
babies are doing really well. The bad
news is that the friends will have to
separate soon. But they plan to reunite
at the House to prepare a meal for
the families that will be staying in the
future. Both families are so grateful for
what Ronald McDonald House offered
them: shelter, comfort, food and most
importantly, friendship.
Caring Partner: Executive Lawn Service
Shawn Dent of Executive Lawn Service with his two
sons outside Ronald McDonald House.
Executive Lawn Service has been
mowing the grass outside Ronald
McDonald House for the last ten
years. They also help with snow
removal in the winter and odd jobs
when needed. These services help
Ronald McDonald House Charities®
of Mid-Missouri save valuable
resources so more families can be
accommodated. By mowing, they
keep the property looking great so
families feel comfortable when they
stay. And the snow removal is vitally
important so that families can get in
and out to visit their children in the
hospital or other medical facilities.
Shawn Dent owns the company
and he said his son had to spend
some time in the hospital right after
he was born and he sympathizes
with families who want to be near
a sick child. “My wife and I feel
blessed to have four healthy kids,
but it’s nice to know there is a
place for those families that find
themselves in a different situation.”
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
Craig Deken
Jessica Miller
Liam Dillow
Ana Stock
April Gray
Letter from the Executive Director
Dear Friend,
For most of us, normal
summertime activities include
picnics, warm weather and family
Here at the Ronald McDonald
House, we try to put a little
“normal” back into the lives of our
guest families while they’re staying
with us, but this is no vacation for
them. Most of our families have
traveled many miles so their precious
child can get the best medical care
possible. The stress and day-today worries surrounding the health
and recovery of their youngster
is overwhelming. We encourage
families to interact, but even though
the circumstances may be different
from one family to the next, the
common thread is a sick child who
needs mom and dad close by.
Thanks to many volunteers, our
guest families have enjoyed several
evening meals featuring grilled
burgers, hot dogs, pork steaks and
other yummy foods. We appreciate
all the individuals and groups that
have provided an evening meal and
After a long day of doctor
appointments and/or being by
their child’s side in the hospital, our
families are truly grateful to come
“home” to a delicious meal – one
less thing for them to be concerned
with – allowing their energies to stay
focused on their little one.
We’ve had many full nights at the
House this summer, so it’s even
more important that we have ample
food and supplies to support the
children and families staying with us.
Thanks to each of you for your
continued support and generosity!
And special thanks to MFA Oil
for donating a gas grill and to Sally
Silvers for donating patio furniture.
These generous acts help guest
families feel a bit more comfortable
at our Ronald McDonald House -their temporary home away
from home.
Terri R. Gray
Executive Director
Upcoming Events
Red Shoe Bike Ride
Saturday, October 4
Sign up for a 100-mile, 60-mile, or 30-mile ride.
All rides start and finish at Shakespeare’s Pizza South.
After the ride, participants will enjoy an after-party
featuring Shakespeare’s Pizza, a Bur Oak Brewery
Company beer garden and live music. While the 60and 100- mile routes are for the more serious riders,
those on the 30-mile ride will have a chance to sample
Bur Oak beer at each rest stop, so by the time you get
to the beer garden, you should know which is your
favorite! Find more information at RedShoeRide.com.
Day of Change Radiothon
Wednesday, October 15
Listen live to KFRU 1400 AM and 101.5 KPLA
for stories about families that have stayed at Ronald
McDonald House while their children receive medical
care. You can support the families at the House by
calling in to the Radiothon or dropping your change in
the collection box at a McDonald’s near you.
For more information:
(573) 443-7666
3501 Lansing Avenue
Columbia, MO 65201

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