January 2019 | Issue XIV

As we ring in the new year, we reflect on not only the last year but the last 40 years. 40 years ago, Ronald McDonald House New York was founded. In the last four decades, the House has become an invaluable resource to families like the Ekanem family. It is because of our community of supporters like each of you that we are able to keep families of children battling pediatric cancer together and close to the care that they need.


1/26 - Round Table Volunteer Training Day

2/22 - Skate with the Greats

3/17 - United Airlines NYC Half Marathon

This is special day where all volunteers are invited to come to the House for a day filled with special lectures, interactive activities and trainings to heighten their skills and learn even more about our families. This year, we are offering CPR Training, an Overview of Pediatric Cancer, a Mindfulness Course, a class from our CEO discussing the social determinants of health, a presentation from Facebook, a Day in the Life simulation, an improv class and even a panel of parents from the House. For more information, please reach out to Mauri Honickman at mhonickman@rmh-newyork.org.

Bouncy Balls & Flying Fans!

Weird science is a staple at RMH-NY. The only activity to occur twice a week, due to overwhelming popularity and request, Weird Science is a chance for children (and adults alike) to test out their creative curiosity in the form of experiments. Many of the volunteers on the team have been with the group for over five years. It’s a labor of love, evident by the hugs and smiles each team member bestows upon one another when reuniting.

On Thursday December 18th, the children created bouncy balls using a mold and a polymer, sand-like substance. This activity is a favorite of resident Julia, and she requested it be brought back! There were many bright colors and glitter polymer choices to choose from. She created three colorful balls, selecting pinks and gold glitter options, shortly thereafter ditching the glitter in favor of the colors that bounced higher.

Another activity the children worked on were snap circuits, making ‘flying fans’ and speakers come to life through battery operated circuits they skillfully assembled. Resident Joseph even used two battery packs to power the fan, making it ‘fly’ so high that it nearly reached the ceiling!

“I have this at home,” Joseph smiled, as he showed us a few tricks of the trade.

His smile was contagious as he continued to make the fan ‘fly’ so high, many of the volunteers had to chase it in order to retrieve it, lest the fan get lost amongst the other toys in the playroom. As Joseph grinned at the spectacle, I think we all laughed a little too. It was nice to watch something fly so freely, unyielding to all, liberated from all daily routines.

Submitted by Coli Bacharach

Gingerbread Lady

On Sunday, December 16th, guests at the House were in for a sweet treat as the Ronald McDonald House hosted a gingerbread house-making party! Our kiddos turned their dreams into reality with sugar plum decorations and icing dripping from the roofs of their houses until their hearts were content. Parents acted as foreman, watching over and helping put together the structure of the house before the kids let their imaginations run wild.

It was a fun and sugary mess for all, but every single house came out looking like something out of the Nutcracker itself. RMH-NY welcomed back resident Ginger Bread Lady herself, Laura, and her mother and daughter to help pull together today’s activity. Believe it or not, they’ve been helping families build gingerbread houses here for that last 23 years! We already can’t wait to see what sugary surprise they have in store for next year.

Submitted by Kelly Murphy

Christmas Morning on Monday Night

On December 17th, I don’t think we could have jammed any more excitement into one evening if we tried. I think my personal favorite might have been the impromptu wheelchair races … Those kids had speed, and I am happy to report that we had no injuries, a few bumped wheels, but nothing major.

A special thank you to our friends at Global Brands Group for, not only, providing an amazing dinner, but for also bringing tons of fun give-aways for everyone: we had Mickey and Minnie PJ’s, tee shirts, bright/happy socks, buttons, and lots of other amazing trinkets -It felt like Christmas morning at Monday night dinner.

And then to make the evening so special, the Tuesday Night Volunteers out did themselves with their ‘Make your own Snow globe” activity. Families had their pictures taken and then the team magically placed the photo inside a snow globe. They were absolutely beautiful – and something amazing for each family to take with them to cherish.

Submitted By Fred Marione

Pre-Holiday Dinner & Crafts

Board Member, Cindy Gavin and her husband Brian along with family and friends hosted a pre-holiday dinner on Friday December 21st. The families enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by the Chef from Matchbox Catering. After dinner, Cindy and the group handed out gift cards to the families from The Sweet Shop an Upper East Side favorite candy and ice cream shop.

The families then joined the Friday Night Team who were in a creative mood. Steve Simon headed the team showing off his crafting skills. The team made Christmas Ornaments with the children. They handed out kits for hot chocolate cups and gingerbread ornaments. To no surprise, the kids needed little assistance and had fun making the ornaments with Steve, Lisa & Stephanie.

Submitted by Helena Russo


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