On November 14th, after an appetizing dinner with RBC, the kids all gathered in the Playroom ready to put their artistic abilities to the test. Given the Fall spirit, the Wednesday Night Volunteers hosted The Paint Place, where teachers came to offer tutorials on how to paint pumpkins utilizing various painting techniques and colors. With every single smock and paintbrush in use, the event turned out to be a full house filled with laughter and fun!
Submitted by Naz Cetin
Holidays With Lenox Advisors & Engine 44
On Thursday, December 13th, a group of volunteers from Lenox Advisors catered a delicious Italian dinner from Carmine's. Led by Ray Lopez, the financial group enjoys spending time at the House, especially during the holidays. Their relationship with RMH-NY began over five years ago, when it quickly became one of its partner's favorite organizations.
Dinner was followed with a holiday party hosted by Engine 44, who first became involved with the house 25 years ago. What once started as a toy drive evolved into one of the most anticipated holiday parties at the House. "Funny story - I remember one year we walked around with candy canes, asking the kids to guess how many were in the jar," said firefighter Eddie Kennedy, "sure enough the first kid we asked guessed correctly and I almost fell over!" Today, Eddie has since passed his duty of organizing the event to Anthony Perrone and Danny Halvey, whose wife is also a volunteer.
During the party, Engine 44 sang Christmas carols with the families until a special guest arrived! The kids all lined up to meet Santa and receive gifts from his fellow firefighter elves. "We try to get the guys involved as much as possible," explained Lieutenant Bobbie Jones, "it's not only great to see the kids smiling, but also the parents in the back of the room able to enjoy the moment, too."
Submitted by Lauren Hendel
Tissue Flowers & NYC Experience
Sanford Bernstein stopped by the House on Monday, December 3. They served a delicious Italian dinner to the families. Sanford Bernstein volunteers provides dinner at the House once a month. Following the meal, the children went downstairs for a variety of different crafts with the Monday Night Team. One of the popular options was making flowers out of tissue paper.
One of the children began talking about her experience in New York while making a tissue paper flower. She is from Nigeria and this has been her first time in New York. She talked about how much she loved the Statue of Liberty and how she had never seen anything quite like it. She thought it was cool and unique how it was on its own little island. As a New Yorker, I see the Statue of Liberty all the time. While I certainly think it is beautiful, I don’t necessarily view and admire it as much as those who are seeing it for the first time. However, hearing it described from someone else’s point of view really made me realize how easy it can be for us to take advantage of things other people may never get to experience. The Ronald McDonald House feels like such a small community that you often forget it houses people from all walks of life. It not only provides a home away from home, but brings people together who may have never met and allows them to experience things they normally might not have.
Submitted by Christie O’Brien
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
The Friday night team loves snow and put on a huge snow celebration in the playroom for the families on Friday, December 7th! Activities included face painting by silly clowns, indoor snowball fights, and a fun snow-themed photo booth. The kids loved getting their faces painted as they transformed into their favorite furry animals, superheroes, and mystical creatures. Some of the parents even joined in on the facepainting fun!
The night concluded with our very own snow-themed cake. Winter is just beginning, and we can’t wait until more snow-themed activities this winter!
Submitted by Kelly Chu
Happy Faces Galore!
On Sunday, December 2nd Children's Happy Faces Foundation hosted their annual holiday celebration, and what a celebration it was! The festivity was complete with a dance party, face paint, balloon animals and even presents from Santa.
David Lipson, founder of Children's Happy Faces Foundation, and his volunteers brought the dining room to life, transforming it from a place where people eat to a lively banquet hall filled with laughter and of course, happy faces. David has been volunteering at the house for over a decade and through his generosity, warm persona and commitment, has created an experience that is widely regarded as one of the most exciting parties of the year.
A DJ booth was set up at the front of the dining room and the kids were not shy about busting a move. Balloons and holiday lights adorned the room, creating a festive atmosphere brimming with happiness. A few superheroes even made a guest appearance! After eating, dancing and chatting, the families headed to the Macy’s room for a Jingle Bells sing-a-long and a visit from Santa.
Santa made dreams come true, as he already knew what each child wanted, and addressed each child by name. Each child had the opportunity to talk to Santa, many hugging him with grins from ear to ear, and then pick out a gift. Gift choices included everything from a doll stroller to a toy drone. The attention to detail the Children's Happy Faces Foundation put into their event was unparalleled and made it an immensely warm, memorable experience for both the children and their families.
Submitted by Coli Bacharach
A Spotlight on One of our Heroes
Ever since he was first introduced to the Ronald McDonald House 8-9 years ago, Anthony Migliore has been bringing teams of friends, family, and coworkers to cook dinners at various Ronald McDonald Houses in the NY area several times a year.
Anthony isn’t cooking these dinners as part of a larger company or volunteer organization – he rallies his peers through Facebook and word of mouth and organizes dinners on his own! Anthony says that anytime he posts a picture after cooking dinner at RMH-NY, he receives an abundance of replies from friends and family members asking to join the next dinner. Once he has a team of 6-10 people, he sets up a date with Mauri & Dani! His favorite meal to cook at RMH-NY is pasta and vegetables because it’s versatile and such a crowd pleaser. The kids love when the pasta is fun-shaped!
According to Anthony, volunteering at RMH-NY for one night every few months is so rewarding, and he loves that he can share his passion with his peers. We can’t wait to see him back in a few months!
ITG and Arts & Crafts
With the winter holidays in full swing, our cozy house is enjoying some quiet, relaxed nights. Today was no different with a dinner sponsored by our friends at ITG who come once a month to bring everyone together for a meal.
Friends and families gathered for laughter and comforting conversations during dinner time then moved downstairs to our playroom for fun and games. It was a free for all with kids playing video games, uno, connect four, and arts and crafts with our wonderful Monday Night Team.
The highlight of the night was the arts and crafts table where kids made colorful bracelets and necklaces for themselves and as gifts for moms, dads, and all their family members. We hope to see you in the playroom soon for some more fun activities!
Submitted By Kelly Murphy
PVH Holiday Dinner
What a great dinner and fun evening of Christmas Crafts we had Tuesday, December 11th thanks to our friends at PVH Corp.
After the kids (and the adults) were nice and full from dinner, the fun continued in the playroom. We had some special Holiday Crafts being made – they will make some very nice Christmas gifts and tree ornaments. And for the attendees that were not in the mood for crafts, the video game room was all a buzz with good guys catching bad guys on the screen!!!
Submitted by Fred Marione
Knights of Columbus Holiday Party
On Friday, December 14th, the Knights of Columbus Lexington Chapter #293 from Greenpoint Brooklyn hosted their second dinner and toy drive for the families at the House.
This visit was organized by Grand Knight Steve Cirone with the help of members and Steve’s Dad, Dominic.
In addition to toys, they brought along lovely hand crocheted blankets in a variety of shapes and colors for the families to choose from. After dinner, the children joined the Friday Night Volunteers in the Playroom for Holiday Crafting. Ruth Schlossberg led the kids in making holiday gift bags, picture frames and holiday door decorations.
It was fun night of crafting and holiday music with the Friday Night Team. At the end of the evening the children had very festive gift bags and gifts to take back to their rooms.
Submitted by Helena Russo