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The Ronald Report
How you are helping to keep families with cancer together.
Ronald McDonald House Celebrates 5th Annual Block Party
By Megs DiDario, Volunteer Staff Writer
On Saturday, September 29th, the street outside Ronald McDonald House New York was jamming with music and buzzing with hundreds of volunteers, family members, and friends who came out to enjoy the festivities of the Fifth Annual Block Party.
From touring an FDNY fire truck to making your own pizza, there was no shortage of things to do and see at this year’s Block Party, which was a part-festival, part-street fair extravaganza.
The Block Party started five years ago as a fundraiser and a thank you to the local community for supporting the Ronald McDonald House. All volunteer hands were on deck, as volunteers from the House and the FDNY and NYPD were the driving forces behind the event.
The Monday Night Team organized a successful bake sale and cupcake-decorating station. A special thanks to team leader Karen VanVleet and her mother, Diane Kellerhals, for organizing the sale and baking many of the delicious treats that Block Party patrons enjoyed.
The Tuesday Night Team organized a “Funbrellas” station through which children and their families could decorate umbrellas. Tuesday night volunteer Ken Schulman arranged to have the umbrellas donated by Alex Funbrellas, who donated Dylan’s Candy Bar-themed umbrellas for the event.
Masterpiece paintings created by the kids of Ronald McDonald House were on full display at the Art Gallery organized by the Wednesday Night team. Wednesday Night team leader Anne Lekow put her experience as an art teacher to good use over the past few Wednesday nights when the kids worked on their paintings, which were sold to raise money for the House at the fair.
Jef Campion, Thursday Night team leader, and the rest of the Thursday night team organized “Be a Part of Art,” another fundraiser through which block party-goers got to channel their inner artist and create various wacky art displays.
In the spirit of Fall, the Friday night team organized the ever-popular pumpkin-decorating station. Friday night team leader Steve Simon purchased the pumpkins at a discount from Dee’s Nursery in Oceanside, NY, and helped oversee the station’s operations.
With close to $10,000 in profit raised for the Ronald McDonald House, and an outpouring of support from the local community, a special thanks goes out to all volunteers who helped make this year’s event  another success. From early morning set-up to tear-down and everything in-between, the event would not have been orchestrated so seamlessly without everyone’s help!
Upcoming Events
Share a Night
Hope Awards
Save the Date

Our annual Light a Light, Share a Night campaign has officially begun!

This Holiday Season, you can make a difference by donating $35 or more for a night's stay at Ronald McDonald House New York for a family in need.

In an effort to increase fundraising surrounding this year’s Share a Night program, we are going to be utilizing a tool that many of you may be familiar with through our fundraising efforts with the Team Ronald volunteer fundraiser and the ING New York City Marathon event.

Essentially, anyone or any group that would like to can create a personal fundraising page on behalf of the Share a Night Event on the Ronald McDonald House New York website. From this page you have the ability to send emails and acknowledgement letters, or you can just set up a friendly URL to direct your friends, families, and colleagues to donate.

This functionality is online and available now at http://www.rmh-newyork.org/share-a-night.

Santa and a House Guest
The Company Store Connects Families on National Family Pajama Night
The Company Store®, famous for top quality, US-crafted bedding essentials, is extending warmth throughout America by partnering up with the Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) to celebrate National Family Pajama Night™ on Saturday, November 17, 2012. Celebrating its second consecutive year, National Family Pajama Night is aimed at helping families create an unforgettable evening by encouraging them to spend quality time together during the holiday season.
In an effort to make this year’s National Family Pajama Night the most memorable, The Company Store will be donating 3,000 pairs of pajamas to families caring for a sick child at Ronald McDonald Houses nationwide. In addition, The Company Store will donate $1 to RMHC global for every pair of pajamas purchased from October 15 through to December 17, 2012. The Company Store will be making stops at Ronald McDonald Houses across the country.
“The Company Store and RMHC, through the Ronald McDonald House program, share a similar mission --to provide comfort and care to families across the nation,” said The Company Store Director of Marketing Karen Feldman. “With this year’s National Family Pajama Night, we’re urging families to spend some quality time together, while helping other families in need.”
Family pajamas are available in an array of six different holiday-themed styles, including The Company Store’s most popular “Ho Ho Ho” and “North Pole” family pajama lines. Sizes are offered for the entire family, including the family dog. To participate, visit The Company Store’s National Family Pajama Night™ website to purchase pajamas and support RMHC.
Autumn Leaves Ball
By Megs DiDario, Volunteer Staff Writer
Thirty-five black town cars arrived at the New York Athletic Club on Wednesday night, October 4th. Out of each town car stepped a sparkling, elegantly dressed family from Ronald McDonald House New York who had arrived for the Third Annual Autumn Leaves Ball.
The ball, held in a private room overlooking a beautifully lit-up Central Park West, was set up for a dancing party – a party that did not disappoint, as a sea of colorful dresses and bowties converged on the dance floor all night.
Many months of preparation and volunteer help were involved in coordinating all aspects of the ball, which provided the families with a chance to leave the stresses and hardship of their daily lives at the door for a night – and dance the night away while sipping festive mocktails.
The Wednesday Night team was heavily involved in spearheading the event.  A very special thanks to Jeanne Scungio, who personally raised many of the funds for the event from her own friends and family.  Thanks to her fundraising efforts, each family member was able to wear a brand-new dress or suit, along with shoes & accompanying accessories. A special thanks to volunteer Alice Flynn, as well, who got her employer, Tommy Hilfiger, to donate customized suits for the event.
The ball was a cross-team effort, as Thursday Night volunteers Clemencia Colon- Neyland and Chris Fields arrived early at the House that day, armed with Sassoon and Red Door Spa products, to do the hair and makeup of the families.
The New York Athletic Club and its Director of Catering, Lisa Hollman, deserve special recognition for hosting the event at a very minimal fraction of the cost to use its first-class facilities. Hollman also kindly volunteers to serve breakfast each Saturday morning at the House.
DJ Mario Robles of MFR Entertainment donated his musical services for the event, while Lunaria Productions provided a videographer to capture all of the fine moments on camera.
Thank you to the following volunteers and friends of the House for helping to make the Third Annual Autumn Leaves Ball a truly spectacular event: Alan Herman, Lesley Bavaro, Angela Warmington, and Edna Louie for donating clothing, Johnny Vican for donating the black town car service, Peter Grontas of the Flowers of the World for donating all of the flowers, and Michael Davis of Cloth Connection for donating all of the elegant table linens.
Megan Strenk
John Rohs
Stacey Reiner
Robert Lyons
Lori Villi
Mai Khalaf
Raymond Bagnuolo
Philip Paparella
Timothy Stroth
Jonathan Hendin
Earl Rix
Richard Randig
Steve Simon
Maribel Chacha
Kristin Koop
Joan Curry
Christine Taylor
Theresa Schoenfeld
Lauren Marino
Debra Bogosian
Kendall Carter
Alexandra Roth
Karen Van Vleet
Randel Falco
Vincent Carey
Shelby Ebert
Mark Rosenthal
Carol Shaheen
Brian Baisley
Shelly Talan
Molyssa Wall
Dana Rosenthal
Joshua Harris
Mallika Pereira
Warren Friss
Barbara Simila
Jeffrey Morrison
Amy Bjork
Laila Levitas
Jennifer DeGiusti
Alexandra Riba
Fatima Boujarwah
Gabriella Tepper
Tuesday Night on the Terrace
By Elaine Louis, Tuesday Night Team Leader
Tuesday Night Team volunteer Dana Randall and her husband Jim helped to coordinate a terrific night of food and fun for the Ronald McDonald House New York families on Tuesday, September 25th.  When Dana's son was a student at Saint David's Prep School, her husband and some other fathers at the school became friends. Years later, Dana’s son is now a catering manager for EJ's Luncheonette on the Upper East Side and Jim and the “Dad's Club” still get together to socialize.  Dana, who has been a volunteer at the House for over six months now, rallied all of them to throw an end-of-summer cookout on the terrace.  The “Dad’s Club” grilled and tons of delicious sides were donated from EJ’s.  There were even milkshakes, which many of the parents enjoyed as much as the kids! 
After the dinner, Dana served cookies, pie, and ice cream in the Play Room to energize the kids for a scavenger hunt.  Connor Gerber, an eleven-year-old from South Africa, was the first winner.  His Mom, Tania, wrote: "Connor participated in a scavenger hunt and he was so happy he won, he was like ‘Mom, I read the clues very carefully and I did it, Mom, I did it!’ He won very nice vouchers to Barnes & Noble, so when his leg is better and he has the energy, we will take a walk there."  All of the hunt participants received gift cards to Barnes & Noble, which were donated by the “Dad's Club."
Saint David's Boys Class of 2009 Dad's Club Donors: James Randall, John Walla, Chris King, Jim Dillon, Richard Durkin, Bijan Eghdami, Robert McMillan, Hirsh Family, Getzler Family. 
W. T. Sullivan

To submit an article for consideration, please e-mail Terri Eggers, Director of Volunteers, at

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