2019 Fall Winter Heartbeat Newsletter_Digital

rmhcstl

Fall/Winter 2019

St. Louis

HEARTBEAT

Laila Anderson

& Colton Parayko

SHOW THEIR LOVE FOR RMHC


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WHAT’S INSIDE

Letter from the President

Connor's Cause; Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Spotlights

2019 Special Events Recap

Community Fundraisers

Building Blocks

How to Help at the Holidays

2019 Home Away from Home Appeal

A Home Run for the House

Heartwarming Moments

New Faces

Meet the Flynn Family

Memorials; Memorial Bricks & Tree of Life

Tributes; Red Shoe Society

Meet the Whitworth Family

Caring Hearts Legacy Circle

The Butterfly Garden

Wish List; In Loving Memory

Heartbits

OUR MISSION:

To provide a home-away-from-home

for families of seriously ill children

2019 BOARD OF

DIRECTORS

DEB VOGT, CHAIRPERSON

JEFF BARONE, VICE CHAIRPERSON

BRIDGET HOY, TREASURER

KEITH SCHIELER, SECRETARY

KAREN BAER

STEVE BESHORE

DAVE BRANDT

DR. MARY MICHAELEEN

CRADOCK

GREG DIEKEMPER

SHAWN DRYDEN

JOAN ELHOFFER

STEVE FAHRIG

BEVERLY GARNER

CHRIS GIARLA

MARK HEFFERNAN

ANTHONY IRACE

ALICIA JETT

DR. JOSEPH KAHN

RYAN KURYLA

STEVE MALTER

JIM MOSBY

MICHELE

MUSCARELLA-HARMON

JILL OLLER

TIM REEVES

NOLAN RUIZ

DAVE TORNETTO

RMHC ST. LOUIS STAFF

DAN HARBAUGH, PRESIDENT

CHERI WUERTZ, VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCE

FRANK COGNATA, VICE PRESIDENT, DEVELOPMENT

JUDY SCHULER, VICE PRESIDENT, OPERATIONS

ALISON KASPAR, DIRECTOR, HUMAN RESOURCES

PAT NEWBY, DIRECTOR, ADMINISTRATION

RICH RODGERS, DIRECTOR, FACILITIES

VERONICA BIVER, SR. MANAGER, FAMILY SERVICES, PARK AVENUE

MICHELLE BURMANN, SR. MANAGER, FINANCE

KATIE NEPUTE, SR. MANAGER, COMMUNICATIONS

ABBY MAUER, EVENT MANAGER

KELSEY CRIPE, FAMILY SERVICES MANAGER, WEST PINE

COURTNEY FISCHER, MANAGER, FAMILY ROOM PROGRAM

JACOB MCGUIRE, FAMILY SERVICES MANAGER, WEST COUNTY

LANISHA THOMAS, DATA MANAGER

MCKENNA COOPER, VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR

MALLORI GREEN, COMMUNITY RELATIONS COORDINATOR

BARB JARVIS, FINANCE COORDINATOR

LAUREN ST. JOHN, ANNUAL GIVING COORDINATOR

COURTNEY BRADSHAW, FAMILY ROOM COORDINATOR

ALLYSSA BOTTINI, ASST. FAMILY SERVICES MANAGER, PARK AVENUE

CLARE BURKE, ASST. FAMILY SERVICES MANAGER, WEST PINE

KATIE NIMTZ, COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT

STEPHANIE PATTON, FAMILY ROOM ASSISTANT MANAGER

ANDREA PRUITT, ASST. FAMILY SERVICES MANAGER, WEST COUNTY

LARRY PRY, DATA ASSISTANT

NICKI ISLAND, RECEPTIONIST, PARK AVENUE

SHANNON BROADWAY, HOUSEKEEPER, PARK AVENUE

APRIL CUSAMANO, HOUSEKEEPER, WEST COUNTY

VICKI RUCKMAN, HOUSEKEEPER, WEST PINE

JOY TATE, HOUSEKEEPEER, WEST PINE


A Note from the PRESIDENT

Recently, I was invited to participate in a “speed

mentoring” program that was conducted by a local

organization for young professionals.

This type of event was new to me and was fun

to experience. I ended up spending six to seven

minutes with seven young professionals. One

question that all seven asked me was, “Do you like

your job, and if so, why?” Well, for me, that is the

easiest question in the world. I love my job. In fact, it

is hard for me to even refer to it as a “job”. It is a true

labor of love. I can’t wait to get to “work” and see

what new, cool or unbelievable things will happen

at the Ronald McDonald House. I get to see all the good that takes place in this world on a

daily basis... and folks, there is a lot of good – a whole lot.

For me, being in the Ronald McDonald House on a daily basis is literally the greatest

thing in the world. Volunteers arrive daily to help us with everything in all areas of the

House. Folks bring in dinner each night, and committee members and Board members

give so much of their time leading our organization and ensuring our events are always a

success. Many companies and places of business here in St. Louis donate items for the

House, sponsorships for our events, items for our auctions, items for our Family Rooms,

and even tickets to local shows and sporting events for our guest families.

Even opening the mail is fun.

The best part about all of this is, with our offices being located inside the House, we (the

staff) get to interact daily with the families who live here and who are constantly sharing their

gratitude for all the comforts of home that Ronald McDonald House has provided for them.

We are entering a very exciting and maybe even a challenging time as we embark upon

a large capital campaign to raise the funds needed to build our new Ronald McDonald

House that will accommodate more families. I am positive that, because of you, we will

meet this challenge.

If you don’t believe that the spirit of giving is alive and thriving, come spend a day with us.

Thanks so much for all you do to keep the “spirit” growing.

Always Grateful,

Dan Harbaugh

RMHC St. Louis President


Left: Connor Voigt; Right:

Whitney and Neil Voigt with

their daughter, Annie, in the

Ronald McDonald Family Room

at St. Louis Children's Hospital

PAYING IT FORWARD

Connor’s Cause provides the comforts of home to families inside the

Ronald McDonald Family Room.

Whitney and Neil Voigt’s son Connor was

born on April 28, 2015. During the first

few weeks of his life, Connor endured

multiple surgeries and procedures at Mercy

Hospital in St. Louis, where he stayed in the

neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for nearly a

month. During that time, Whitney and Neil found

comfort in the Ronald McDonald Family Room.

“Once he was comfortable and resting, Neil and

I were able to find a bit of an escape at the Family

Room in Mercy Hospital,” says Whitney. “We

typically made afternoon trips for a cup of coffee.”

Despite Connor’s complex medical issues,

the Voigt family was determined to live their

lives as normally as possible, so they went on

a family vacation to Florida about six weeks

after Connor’s NICU stay. They had a wonderful

week full of memories, but on the drive home,

Connor became ill and they had to rush him to

the ER. What ended up being a severe infection

kept them at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in

Nashville, Tennessee, for two weeks.

“Being away from home with a very sick child

was beyond scary and difficult to handle, but

we were immediately comforted with the Family

Room that was located right outside of the

PICU doors,” says Whitney. “We could not have

survived that week without that room – purely as

the comfort that we knew from home.”

After returning home, the Voigts had one

additional unexpected hospital stay at St. Louis

Children’s Hospital and, again, found comfort in

the Family Room.

“While the Family Room most certainly gave

us an escape – to simply grab a snack or walk

around – it also became our good luck spot,” says

3 HeartbeatFall/Winter 2019


Whitney. “When Connor would have surgery or

a procedure, we would leave the hospital room

and come to the Family Room to wait and pray.

It was our safe place.”

In 2016, Whitney and Neil established

Connor’s Cause in memory of their sweet

baby, whose powerful legacy helps other

little warriors through their fights with tragic

diagnoses. Connor’s Cause generously

supports families and local charitable

organizations by donating meals or purchasing

special needs equipment.

“There is no better program than RMHC to

directly impact those families that are dealing

with the unexpected and the unimaginable,

and we hope that it continues to be a safe

place for families during these difficult times,”

says Whitney.

Connor’s Cause supports Ronald McDonald

House Charities of St. Louis and the Family

Room program both financially and through

volunteerism. On several occasions, Whitney

and Neil have purchased and delivered hot

meals to the Family Rooms to “pay it forward” for

their time spent at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

“After eating out every day for a week (and

paying for it), to have a warm, delicious meal

that was not hospital food was simply amazing,”

Whitney recalls. “I will never forget feeling such

surprise and delight for something so simple.”

And we know that the families who rely on

our Family Rooms feel the same way about the

thoughtful, delicious donations that Connor’s

Cause provides. We are so grateful to this

wonderful family and generous organization for

their support. ■

VOLUNTEER

OPPORTUNITIES

Our volunteers make a difference in

the lives of families with seriously ill

children by donating their time and

talent. Monthly information sessions

are held for those interested in learning

more about volunteer opportunities.

Current opportunities are listed below.

For more information, please contact

McKenna Cooper, Volunteer Coordinator,

at mcooper@rmhcstl.com or visit

www.rmhcstl.com/volunteer.

RONALD MCDONALD FAMILY

ROOM VOLUNTEERS:

Volunteers are needed for evening and

weekend shifts at our St. Louis Children’s

Hospital Ronald McDonald Family Rooms.

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE

VOLUNTEERS:

Volunteers are needed for a variety of shifts

throughout the week at our Park Avenue and

West Pine Ronald McDonald Houses.

MAINTENANCE VOLUNTEERS:

Volunteers with varying skills are needed

on a weekly or bi-weekly basis at our Park

Avenue House to help keep it up and

running for the families we serve.

Joyce Thuston has

been a volunteer at our

Park Avenue House for

nearly 22 years.

HeartbeatFall/Winter 2019 4


THE NEXT

GENERATION

JOE AND LINDSEY FINGER

FIND TIME TO GIVE BACK.

Lindsey and Joe Finger lead busy lives. They

have two young children – James, 5, and

Claire, 2 – and both work full time. Without a

doubt, their day-to-day lives keep them on-thego.

However, the Fingers still manage to make

time for something else that is near and dear to

their hearts – giving back.

According to Joe, volunteering is something

that comes naturally because it’s what he

witnessed growing up. Joe’s father, Jim Finger,

has been donating his time and talents to Ronald

McDonald House Charities of St. Louis for over

two decades. He’s served in many leadership

roles over the years, including Board Chairperson

from 2001-2002. Joe's mother, Connie, is also a

longstanding RMHC volunteer. Now, Joe and his

own family are following in

his parents' footsteps.

Ten years ago, when

Joe and Lindsey began

volunteering for RMHC, they

would make the trip to the

West Pine House every other

week.

These days, Lindsey

volunteers at the West Pine

House with her sister-inlaw

Julie. Joe is a member

of the planning committee,

alongside his dad, for our

annual Kids & Clays Dinner

Auction and Tournament,

which raises more than

$300,000 for RMHC St. Louis

every year. He even serves as

the Raffle Corral co-chair for

the event, soliciting donations

of big-ticket items for the raffle portion of the

dinner auction.

Being parents, working and volunteering takes

a lot of time, but Lindsey and Joe take it even

one step farther by encouraging their peers to

get involved. They know that sometimes it just

takes one invitation to a meeting or event to bring

someone new into the Ronald McDonald House

Charities family.

“Just explaining to them how to get involved,

spreading it through word of mouth, and using

social media to express the message of service

and involvement helps so much to push friends

to come out and participate,” says Joe.

The Fingers also expressed that, above all,

what is most meaningful about their experience

with RMHC St. Louis is being able to help

seriously ill children and their families.

“Volunteering has had a big impact on us,” says

Lindsey. “It puts some type of normalcy into

these families’ lives, making you grateful for what

you can provide for them.”

Thank you, Lindsey and Joe, for setting an

incredible example of service and dedication for

their peers and young children. With support and

leadership like this, our future is looking bright! ■

5 HeartbeatFall/Winter 2019


A DYNAMIC

DUO:

LAURA AND ANNE MAKE

THE RONALD MCDONALD

FAMILY ROOM A WARM,

WELCOMING SPACE

INSIDE THE HOSPITAL.

Every Thursday, you can find Laura Ehret

and Anne Strong in the Ronald McDonald

Family Room located on the third floor of

St. Louis Children’s Hospital, greeting families of

pediatric patients. Together they have over two

decades of experience bringing the comforts of

home to those who need it most. Both women

have been passionate about giving back to the

community, specifically through the hospital, for

many years.

These St. Louis natives know what it takes to

keep a Ronald McDonald Family Room running

smoothly. From making coffee to restocking

snacks, helping a family with laundry or simply

listening, they are there with smiles, making the

room an inviting atmosphere for all who enter.

“[St. Louis] Children’s Hospital has always

held a special place in my heart,” says Laura,

who volunteered in the Recreational Therapy

Department, now known as Child Life Services,

before becoming an Assistant Director there in

the 1970s.

Now, 40 years later, she continues to make

a difference for seriously ill children and their

families through her volunteer work with RMHC.

Anne, a retired school teacher, became

involved in 2010 after learning more about

RMHC St. Louis from a friend. She and Laura

began sharing the 3-6 p.m. shift on Thursdays

when the Ronald McDonald Family Room

opened on the third floor in 2018.

“I love the people,” says Anne, noting that

she especially appreciates the opportunity to

meet international families, many of whom have

shared their life stories with her.

We couldn’t be more grateful to Laura and

Anne for sharing their time and warm hospitality

with the guests of the Ronald McDonald Family

Room. If you are considering volunteering on

nights or weekends in the Family Room, we

leave you with these words from Anne: “The

people have made my time here fulfilling. You’ll

enjoy it too!” ■

HeartbeatFall/Winter 2019 6


2019 SPECIAL

EVENTS RECAP

15TH ANNUAL TAB TOP

PANDEMONIUM

SATURDAY, MAY 4, 2019

On Saturday, May 4

supporters gathered at

the Park Avenue Ronald

McDonald House to

turn in their collections

of aluminum tab tops,

St. Louis

competing for the

largest collections and

most creative collection

containers. Everyone enjoyed a day of fun

including lunch, games, and incredible balloon

animals. We'd like to extend a special thank

you to our friends at Bunge for their continued

support through in-kind donations and dozens

of volunteers that keep this event running

smoothly every year.

34TH ANNUAL CUSHMAN

& WAKEFIELD/RMH GOLF

TOURNAMENT & DINNER

AUCTION ■ JUNE 2 & 3, 2019

In June, we hosted the 34th Annual Cushman

& Wakefield/Ronald McDonald House Golf

Tournament & Dinner Auction once again at

Meadowbrook Country Club. During this twoday

affair, guests enjoyed a dinner auction that

featured an exciting silent and live auction before

hitting the links on Monday

to try and take home the

1st place prize. Thanks to

the incredible generosity of

this community, this event

raised a record-breaking

amount and surpassed our

$1,000,000 goal!

7 HeartbeatFall/Winter 2019


THANKS FOR A

SUCCESSFUL YEAR

19TH ANNUAL KIDS & CLAYS

TOURNAMENT AND DINNER

AUCTION ■ AUGUST 18 & 19, 2019

On August 18

and 19, the

19th Annual

BENEFITING RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES

Kids & Clays

event, presented by ARCO

Construction, was held at a

new dinner auction venue, the

Sheraton Westport Chalet, and

Black Hawk Valley Hunt Club. On Sunday

evening, guests enjoyed dinner, raffles and

silent/live auctions. The following day, 200

participants headed out to Old Monroe,

Missouri, for an 84-target sporting clays

tournament, enjoying side game competitions

and a barbecue lunch courtesy of Syberg’s.

26TH ANNUAL SCRAMBLE FOR

CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2019

This fall marked the 26th Annual Scramble

for Charity Golf Tournament, presented by

McDonald’s, and was hosted once again by

The Country Club at The Legends. This fun and

affordable tournament featured games along

the course, snacks, drinks and raffle items from

the Ladies of McDonald’s,

as well as a delicious

lunch of McRibs and

more, thanks to our

St. Louis

friends at Martin Brower!

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COMMUNITY FUNDRAISERS

Thank you to all of the individuals, organizations and corporations that hosted

fundraisers on behalf of RMHC St. Louis. We appreciate your generosity!

1

Donny Fandango's 9th Annual 28-

Hour Radiothon on 105.7 The Point

In June, Donny Fandango broadcasted live for 28

hours straight to help raise funds through ondemand

listener requests and business plugs

on 105.7 The Point, raising a record-breaking

$54,000 for RMHC St. Louis. Thanks so much

to Donny and everyone who called in and

supported this awesome fundraiser!

3

BAM Contracting's Bowl-A-Palooza

BAM Contracting, a local general contractor

company, hosted their 2nd Annual Bowl-a-

Palooza event on August 10, 2019. Bowlers hit

the lanes and enjoyed delicious snacks, a raffle

and 50/50 drawing. The fun event raised more

than $12,000 for RMHC St. Louis! Supporters

also donated several boxes of Wish List items

to keep our Houses and Family Rooms running

as a home. Thank you BAM Contracting!

2

32 nd Annual IUOE Local 148 Reel Help for

Kids Charity Bass Fishing Tournament

The 32nd Annual IUOE Local 148 Reel Help for

Kids Charity Bass Fishing Tournament took place

in September at the Lake of the Ozarks. Hundreds

of participants braved the wet weather and

enjoyed competing for cash prizes, all for a great

cause. The event raised $34,000 for RMHC!

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Optimist Club of Washington, MO

The Optimist Club of Washington, Missouri,

collected ten boxes of Wish List items and

donated $8,300 to RMHC St. Louis in July!

Thank you for your generosity!

For more information about our Caring Partners

Program and how you can get involved, visit

www.rmhcstl.com/thirdpartyfundraisers.

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Building Blocks

BUILDING THE FOUNDATION FOR OUR SUCCESS

Our Building Blocks are those who sponsor RMHC special events with gifts of $1,000 or more,

or host third-party events that raise $1,000. By underwriting and hosting these fundraisers,

Building Blocks help fund our core programs while reducing expenses. This helps ensure that

our individual donors’ contributions directly provide comfort, care and a home-away-fromhome

for seriously ill children and their families. The list below features RMHC’s Building

Blocks from January 2019 through September 2019.

105.7 The Point

23rd Group, LLC

Above All Development/Home2 Suites

Forest Park

Adam's Auction and Real Estate

Services, Inc

Alpha Delta Pi - Eta Nu Chapter

Alpha Delta Pi - Delta Nu Chapter

AME Constructors

Ameren

ARCO National Construction Company, Inc.

Argent Capital Management, LLC

Arrow Box Company

AssuredPartners of Missouri

BAM Contracting LLC

Bank of America

Banterra Bank

BJC Healthcare

Brown Smith Wallace, LLC

BSI Constructors, Inc

Bull Moose Tube Company

Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co., Inc.

Carrollton Bank

Cass Commercial Bank

CBIZ MHM, LLC

CI Select

Citigroup

Clayton Financial Group

CMG, Inc.

Coldwell Banker Gundaker

Collins and Hermann, Inc.

Comfort Experts, Inc.

Contegra Construction Company, LLC

Select Marketing

CSG West

CSI Leasing

Cushman & Wakefield

Deeken Properties, LLC

Dillard's

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group

Drury Hotels

Enterprise Bank & Trust

Fletcher and Friends

Gardens of Grace

Gateway Warehouse & Transportation

German May PC

Golden State Foods

Gori, Julian & Associates

Haberberger Mechanical Contractors

HBM Holdings

Hemphill Financial Group, Inc.

Husch Blackwell LLP

icon Mechanical

ISC Contracting

J.F. Electric, Inc.

Johnny Londoff Chevrolet

Karpel Solutions

Kienstra Enterprises, Inc.

KPMG LLP

Lee & Clare Renz

Lewis Rice, LLC

Lion Petroleum, Inc.

Lodging Hospitality Management

LoneRiders

McCarthy Holdings, Inc.

McDonald's Co-op of Metro St. Louis, Inc.

Mechanical Solutions

Mercy Kids

Midland Optical

Midwest Equipment Company

Midwest Valve & Controls, Inc.

Moneta Charitable Foundation

Mueller Prost LC

Nexstep Financial Group, LLC

OE 148 Charitable Fund

Optimist Club of Washington

Packaging Concepts, Inc.

Paric Corporation

Parkside Financial Bank & Trust

Pine Street Construction

Precision Daylighting, Inc.

Premium Retail Services, Inc.

Protective Life Corporation

Rob Hamann Agency, Inc.

RubinBrown LLP

St. Louis - Kansas City Carpenters

Regional Council

The Ritz Carlton, St. Louis

The Village Bar

Teamster Horsemen Chapter 13

TJ Wies Contracting

Triad Bank

Trophy Properties and Auction

Vivian Company

Walgreens

World Wide Technology, Inc.

Zeller Technologies

HeartbeatFall/Winter 2019 10


HOW TO HELP AT

HOLIDAY WISH LIST

The McGift Shoppe

Our annual McGift Shoppe provides a place for RMHC guest

families to shop free-of-charge for loved ones during the

month of December, easing the pain of being away from

home for the holidays. The McGift Shoppe is operated by our

volunteers and depends on donations, which can be dropped

off at any of our three Houses. Because some children are

immune-suppressed, all items must be new and unwrapped.

To donate an item or for more information, please contact

Kelsey Cripe, Family Services Manager, at 314-880-8374 or

kcripe@rmhcstl.com.

CHILDREN & TEENS

Action figures and accessories

Popular, trendy kids’ gifts

Dolls (not Barbie)

Lego sets

Bath and body gift sets

Makeup kits

Costume jewelry and fashion watches

DVDs: recent hits or new releases

Headphones

Nintendo Switch video game systems

Nonviolent video games

Sporting equipment

Blues or Cardinals apparel

Gift cards: iTunes, Amazon, Apple, Best

Buy, Target or Wal-Mart

INFANTS & TODDLERS

Push, pull and musical toys

Fisher Price and Playskool toys

ADULTS

Perfume and aftershave sets

Costume jewelry and fashion watches

Bath and body gift sets

Small coolers (collapsible type)

Luggage (lightweight and easy to store)

Small crossbody purses

FAMILY

Gift certificates to Target or Wal-Mart

Gift cards for gasoline or groceries

Visit http://a.co/3wdLpRu to shop

for these items directly from our

Amazon Holiday Wish List, where

they can be purchased online

and mailed directly to the Ronald

McDonald House McGift Shoppe!

Holiday Shopping with AmazonSmile

Do you shop online at Amazon.com? If so, you could help support Ronald McDonald House Charities of

St. Louis at no cost to you. Simply go to smile.amazon.com and select “Ronald McDonald House Charities

of Metro St. Louis” as your charity of choice the next time you shop. You’ll find the exact same prices and

vast selection, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase price to RMHC St.

Louis. In fact, our organization has already received thousands of dollars thanks to shoppers like you!

11 HeartbeatFall/Winter 2019


THE HOLIDAYS

Holiday Cards &

Holiday Card Inserts

Let family, friends, coworkers and clients know you’re thinking of them

this holiday season by making a donation to RMHC St. Louis in their

name(s). Holiday tribute cards feature a snowglobe design, read “Happy

Holidays” and are signed and mailed by RMHC to a list provided by you.

Prefer to send your own cards? Our holiday card inserts are flat note

cards that acknowledge your tribute gift and can be placed inside

your own holiday cards. A donation of at least $5 per card or insert is

suggested. Inserts also ready “Happy Holidays” and feature the same

snowglobe design, pictured right.

Visit rmhcstl.com/holidays or contact Lauren St. John at 314-932-4146

or lstjohn@rmhcstl.com for more information or to purchase holiday

cards or holiday card inserts.

Southern Living

Christmas Cookbook

Southern Living’s

Christmas Cookbook,

available exclusively

at Dillard’s, is just

$12! Best of all, its

proceeds from St.

Louis-area Dillard’s

stores benefit

RMHC St. Louis. This

beautiful, full-color

cookbook includes

hundreds of delicious

recipes and ideas for

stylish place settings,

fresh centerpieces

and other seasonal

table decorations. For more information, visit

rmhcstl.com/holidays or contact your local Dillard’s

store. St. Louis-area Dillard’s locations include: St.

Louis Galleria, South County Center, Mid-Rivers Mall

and St. Clair Square.

Recycle Your

Old Holiday

Lights

Decorating for the holidays? Don’t

throw away your old or broken holiday

lights - donate them instead! Thanks

to Didion Orf Recycling, your old

lights can be turned into a monetary

donation to RMHC. You can recycle

holiday lights, extension cords, PC

towers, network gear, cell phones,

laptops, power adapters, chargers, or

office phones. For more information,

visit rmhcstl.com/recycle.

HeartbeatFall/Winter 2019 12


BY HER SIDE

EVERY STEP OF THE WAY

Three-year-old Zosia has cerebral palsy. In Spring 2019, her family traveled

from their hometown of Gdańsk, Poland so that she could undergo a lifechanging

spinal surgery at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. The goal of their

3,000-mile journey? That she would, one day, be able to walk on her own.

Although the Marcinkowski family was far from home, thanks to the Ronald

McDonald House, they were never alone. And during Zosia’s strenuous,

sometimes painful recovery, her parents and twin sister, Tosia, were always

by her side.

“Staying here makes a difficult time easier to endure,” says Adam, Zosia’s

father. “It really feels like home.”

RMHC staff and volunteers also made sure that the Marcinkowskis could

experience the best of St. Louis during their time here, from visiting our

world-famous zoo to catching a St. Louis Blues hockey playoff game - even

spending the afternoon with Blues defenseman, Colton Parayko!

“I love this place,” says Ola, Zosia’s mother. “We will never forget the good

that we found here. Thank you a million times.”

13 HeartbeatFall/Winter 2019


HOME AWAY FROM HOME

2019 Appeal

THE 2019 HOME AWAY

FROM HOME APPEAL, now in its

eighth year, provides the financial foundation

for the yearly operation of our three Ronald

McDonald Houses and Ronald McDonald

Family Rooms.

The actual cost of a family’s one-night

stay at the Ronald McDonald House is $102;

however, we ask families to contribute just a

small fraction of that amount. Due to mounting

medical bills and other uninsured living

expenses, nearly half cannot afford even this

small contribution - but no family is ever turned

away if they are unable to pay.

This year, our goal is $800,000 - and

we can't do it without your help! To make a

contribution to the 2019 Home Away from Home

Appeal, please use the donation envelope

attached to this newsletter. Or to make a gift

online, visit www.rmhcstl.com/donate.

Those who give $1,000 or more will

become members of our Cornerstone Society,

which celebrates our most generous donors.

WHAT CAN YOUR

DONATION DO?

$50 fills the

pantry at one of

our in-hospital

Ronald McDonald

Family Rooms for

one day.

MEET OUR

2019 CO-CHAIRS:

Colton Parayko, St.

Louis Blues #55, and

Laila Anderson, St. Louis

Children's Hospital

patient and the Blues'

good luck charm!

WHAT CAN YOUR

DONATION DO?

HOW CAN YOUR

DONATION MAKE A

$50 at fills the

pantry at one of of

our in-hospital

DIFFERENCE?

Ronald McDonald

Family Rooms for

one day.

WHAT CAN YOUR

DONATION DO?

$300 provides

fresh linens to

Ronald McDonald

House guest

$50 fills the

pantry at one of

our in-hospital

Ronald McDonald week.

Family Rooms for

one day.

families for one

$300 provides

fresh linens to

Ronald McDonald

House guest

families for one

week.

$300 provides

$100 fresh sponsors linens to to a

Ronald family's McDonald nightly

stay House at the guest Ronald

McDonald families for House.

one

week.

$100 sponsors a

family's nightly

stay at the Ronald

McDonald House.

$100 sponsors aa

family's nightly

stay at at the Ronald

McDonald House.

$550 covers the

cost of all Ronald

McDonald House

water usage for

two weeks.

$550 covers the

cost of of all Ronald

McDonald House

water usage for

two weeks.

No matter the size, your donation will

help us us provide comfort, care and aa

$550 home-away-from-home covers the to to 15,000+

cost children of all Ronald and their families this year.

McDonald House

water usage for

two weeks.

No matter the size, your donation will

help us provide comfort, care and a

home-away-from-home to 15,000+

children and their families this year.

No matter the size, your donation will

help us provide comfort, care and a

home-away-from-home to 15,000+

HeartbeatFall/Winter 2019 14


A HOME RUN FOR THE HOUSE

St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong donated $11,000 to RMHC St.

Louis in return for the Big Mac Land "M" he smashed with a home run hit.

St. Louis Cardinals' shortstop Paul DeJong hit

the "M" in Big Mac Land at Busch Stadium

with a home run on August 20, 2019.

Cardinals fans recieved free Big Macs as a result,

but two local charities, including RMHC St. Louis,

received so much more.

On September 17, Paul stopped by the Ronald

McDonald House on West Pine to present our

organization with a check for $11,000. He also

donated $11,000 to Cardinals Care, contributing

$22,000 in total in honor of it being his 22nd homer

of the seaon. In return, Paul got to take home the M.

"It's a privilege and an honor to be able to

contribute to the city I play for," says Paul, who

also took a tour of the Ronald McDonald House

during his visit and even spent some time with

our guest families.

We couldn't be more grateful to Paul for his

generosity, and we are honored to be part of

such a special moment in his career!

DID YOU KNOW? Now you can Round-Up for RMHC

at most St. Louis-area McDonald's restaurants!

Just visit your local McDonald’s* and round-up your bill to the nearest

dollar during checkout. Your extra change will be donated to RMHC,

even when you pay with a credit or debit card!

*Not available at all locations

15 HeartbeatFall/Winter 2019


HEARTWARMING MOMENTS

We were thrilled to share these special moments with our guest families!

Gone Fishin'

Eddie, who is staying at our West County Ronald McDonald

House, loves when friend and fellow RMHC guest Josh takes

him on a quick trip to the lake. And we love that he is getting

the Midwest experience before going home to Belize!

Thanks to The Belize Project, families like Eddie's are able to

travel to St. Louis for life-changing medical care.

Go Cards!

RMHC guests

Josh and

Mercedes took

their older sons

to their first

Cardinals baseball

game thanks

to a generous

ticket donor!

We love when

families have the

opportunity to

step away from the hospital and enjoy our city.

Thank You, John!

"Papa John" stayed

at our Park Avenue

House when his

twin grandchidlren

were born

prematurely and

treated in the NICU.

During his stay, John

enjoyed pitching in

around the House,

including power-washing the porch and

trimming the lawn. We appreciated his

helpfulness and smiling face!

Finally

Listed

Our friend

Hank is one

step closer to

a new kidney.

He's on the

transplant

list and is in

search of an

A+ or O+ match. Until then, we will be here

for Hank and his family, who currently call

our Park Avenue House "home."

A Fond Farewell

Jadiel and Kyla

both headed

home after a

summer of healing

at the West

County House

- Jadiel to St.

Vincent and Kyla

to Barbados. It

warmed our hearts

to see them walking around without

crutches before they said goodbye!

HeartbeatFall/Winter 2019 16


NEW FACES

Meet the newest staff members of RMHC St. Louis!

COURTNEY

BRADSHAW is our new

Family Room Program

Coordinator. From working

with patients and families

in a hospital setting at her

previous job, she knows this

will be an exciting experience

coordinating the Family Room volunteers, as well.

Courtney enjoys traveling with her husband, playing

with her dog Keira, and visiting her family in Iowa.

KELSEY CRIPE is very

excited to be a part of the

RMHC organization as the

Family Services Manager

at our West Pine location.

Kelsey recently moved to

St. Louis from Charleston,

Illinois, where she worked

in higher education within

residence life. Kelsey enjoys baking, working out

and spending time with family.

MALLORI GREEN is

thrilled to have joined the

RMHC St. Louis family as

the Community Relations

Coordinator. Mallori previously

worked as a marketing

assistant for the Fabulous

Fox Theatre and is happy to

transition into a role that will

allow her to work more directly with our community

partners. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging

out with friends and family, her dog, Pede, and

exploring the different St. Louis neighborhoods.

ANDREA PRUITT is very

excited to work alongside

great individuals at RMHC

as the Assistant Family

Services Manager of the

West County House.

She is currently pursuing

her degree in Software

Development at St. Louis

Community College and aims to graduate from

University of Missouri St. Louis with a Bachelor’s

in Computer Sciences. Andrea enjoys hanging

out with family, reading and playing her guitar.

RICH RODGERS is eager

to be part of RMHC to make

a positive difference in the

lives of guest families as

Facilities Director. Rich was

born and raised in Kirkwood

and brings over 15 years

of experience to our

organization. He owns two

puggles and loves to travel and spend time

with his family.

"Working hard for

SOMETHING

WE LOVE

is called passion.”

- SIMON SINEK

17 HeartbeatFall/Winter 2019


MEET THE FLYNN FAMILY

In 2005, when he was an infant, Will Flynn was

diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, a hereditary

disease that affects the lungs and digestive

system and the same disease his older sister,

Anna, had been fighting for nearly four years. Over

the next decade, the Flynn Family sought care in

medical centers across the country, including the

University of Iowa, the University of Michigan and

Colorado Children’s Hospital.

In 2016, 11-year-old Will was transferred back to

his home in Peoria, Illinois, after a culture test found

an infection called nontuberculous mycobacteria

(NTM) in his lungs. Will was treated over the course

of the next 18 months for NTM, but when he did not

show signs of improvement, his team of medical

experts determined a transplant would be the only

option to move forward.

In the spring of 2019, Will was accepted into the

St. Louis Children’s Hospital transplant program.

In April, Jim and Will traveled to St. Louis to stay

at Ronald McDonald House on West Pine, and by

May 17, Will was officially listed for his double-lung

transplant.

While waiting for the much-anticipated call, Jim

and Will found refuge in one of our RMHC longterm

apartments on West Pine Boulevard - truly

making it a space of their own.

“Before coming here we had a paint night where

each family member painted something for Will

to remind him of them,” says Jim, showing off the

scattered paintings propped on every free edge

of the entryway and living room space inside their

temporary home. Jim and Will also brought a pair

of chairs with them to sit out on the front porch area

and enjoy the outdoors together.

On the afternoon of Friday, June 7, after a month

of waiting, Jim received the call. The next day, Will

underwent the 11-hour life-saving surgery. This

was just the beginning of a new chapter before the

Flynn family could head back to Illinois. While Will

started his 90-day recovery, the apartment offered

a place for Jim and extended family to stay.

“Throughout the course of time, my daughters

and Will’s stepmom have been back and forth. All

of Will's grandparents and most of my nieces and

nephews have also been here one time or another,

as well as my siblings,” says Jim, recounting the list

of family members that made the trip numerous

times during their stay.

One visit that Jim and Will recall fondly is the

weekend before surgery. The whole family came for

a surprise stay. While Will went to the store with his

cousins, everyone else sneaked into the apartment.

“They were all hiding in the kitchen as Will walked

in,” says Jim. “We made a day of it and just enjoyed

being together.”

During his recovery, Will actively explored

everything St. Louis had to offer. The father and

son duo found themselves swimming, biking,

kayaking, swinging golf clubs and even running the

2019 I love Forest Park 5K in August – taking full

advantage of the fresh air.

In September, after 137 days in St. Louis, the Flynn

family packed up their paintings and headed home.

They were happy to be reunited with their dog,

friends and loving family.

“It is so important for people to know how much

of an impact it [Ronald McDonald House] has on

families,” says Jim as he recalls his journey with Will.

“No way could I ever do this alone.”

HeartbeatFall/Winter 2019 18


MEMORIALS

The following gifts were made in memory of someone special from March 1 to July 31, 2019.

Andrew Akin

Mr. and Mrs. Nathan

Butler

Ruthann Alberti

Ms. Michele Kratky

Abel Aleman

Mrs. Diane Beroiza

Mrs. Sara Brooks

Mr. Jim Keith

Ms. Shirley King

Ms. Teresa Kuchling

Ms. Stephanie Prenger

Paige G. Altmann

Mr. and Mrs. Stephen B.

Altmann

Opal R. Barnes

Ms. Deborah M. Pelch

Ruleen Barnes

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph A.

Pelch, Jr.

Andrew Barton

Ms. Dolores F. Vermont

Matthew K. Bazoian

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph L.

Brewbaker

Ms. Lynn Conard

Patricia Belcher

Mr. and Mrs. William

Canepa, Jr.

Mary H. Bender

Ms. Carmen Oslager

Jack Bernsen

Ms. June Downs

Mr. and Mrs. Lee J.

Schuler

Ms. Nancy A. Spehr

John Bernsen

Mr. Rich Katke

Elaine Betts

Anonymous

Viola Bitter

Ms. Phyllis Schaeffer

Janice Brander Kinnison

Ms. Nancy A. Duffy

Alex Brown

Mr. and Mrs. Dawsey

Brown

Doris Brown

Kelly and Dan Harbaugh

Roman Bushmeyer

Mr. Colin Houchins

Sandy Cardinale

Mr. and Mrs. Robert

Blankemeyer

Suzanne Cardinale

Mr. and Mrs. Robert

Blankemeyer

Ed Carley

Mrs. Joyce Carley

Roberta Carpenter

Mr. and Mrs. Jason Hanks

Cindy Johnson

Ms. Doris Johnson

Dr. J. Cohen

Mr. and Mrs. Henry

Diamant

Larry Crittenden

Mr. and Mrs. Alan M.

Meyer

Christopher Davis

Ms. Patricia Burton

Mary Diliberto

Mr. and Ms. Craig

Diliberto

Rita Doerner

Mrs. Rosemary A. Kilgore

Andrew J. Durkin

Mr. and Mrs. Andy Pullen

Jeanne Effinger

Mr. and Mrs. John E.

Buckner, Jr.

Chase Elmendorf

Mr. and Mrs. Rob

Loewenstein

Mrs. Megan Wandersee

Mrs. Ellen Broadway

Mr. and Mrs. Bill

Elmendorf

Mr. and Mrs. Daniel A.

Plackemeier

Joe Fahrig

Kelly and Dan Harbaugh

James Kevin Foley

Mr. and Mrs. James P.

Foley

Rylan Foster

Mrs. Donna Deschepper

Ward Freitag

Mr. and Mrs. Gary R.

Hartwig

Judy Galli

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J.

Dierker

Beverly Gallman

Ms. Joan M. Althaus

Maurice Geisler

Ms. Ruth M. Houlihan

Joseph Genne

Mr. and Mrs. Stephen

Ferman

William C. Goeddel

Mrs. Peggy A. Goeddel

Grace Goessmann

Ms. Martha Harbaugh

Maurice Goffstein

Ms. Kimberly M. Kutis

Ms. Sherry F. Schmidt

Ernestine Gouin

Ms. Dorothy Gouin

Buzz Grant

Mr. and Mrs. James P.

Foley

Bart Greifzu

Ms. Carol Anderson

Mrs. Anna Mae Bare

Ms. Cassandra Bare

Mr. Brett Greifzu

Greifzu cont’d

Mrs. Georgianna Judy

Mrs. Judith Markman

Ms. April Rister

Robert Greenan

Tom and Sue Armstrong

Gavin Hale

Anonymous

Edward Hallam

Ms. Kristie Scherrer

Tripp Hallstead

Ms. Angela Simms

Mike Harper

Mr. and Mrs. Ronald S.

Burkhardt

Art Hein

Mr. and Mrs. Robert

Blankemeyer

Frances Herrell

Ms. Carol A. Schanz

Ginny Herrick

Mr. and Mrs. Gary R.

Hartwig

Mr. and Mrs. Donald P.

Nies

Murrel L. Hines

Ms. Ella D. Hines

Kurt S. Hoener

Ms. Jacqueline M. Hoener

Logan W. Hudson

Ms. Rosemarie Hudson

David Hynes

Mr. and Mrs. Gary R.

Hartwig

Ann Ingoldsby

Mr. and Ms. Craig

Diliberto

Eleanor Irace

Mr. Anthony W. Irace

Paige James

Mrs. Mary Jo Sgro

Gerald Jenner

Mr. and Mrs. Ronald S.

Burkhardt

Patrick Kennedy

Mr. and Mrs. Robert D.

Brooks

Virginia K. Kerrick

Mrs. Pamela T. Gomes

Rose Klotzer

Ms. Sally Needle

Chris Klugesherz

Ms. Marijo Arthur

Mrs. Debbie Barnhart

Mrs. Christine Bergen

Mr. Stephen Bernstein

Ms. Sally O. Bokal

Mrs. Susan Bruemmer

Mrs. Faith Caster

Mrs. Kathryn Greer

Mr. Jimmie R. Hilterbrand

Ms. Joleen Klausman

Mrs. Nancy H. Pace

Mrs. Susan G. Reiss

Klugesherz cont’d

Mr. and Mrs. George M.

Schoen, Jr.

Mrs. Geraldine Schoen

Mr. John M. Schoen

Mr. and Mrs. Walter V.

Starck III

Roberta Koch

Mrs. Teresa Barnhardt

Wanda Kuba

Ms. Melanie Petsch

Washington Lodge

No. 30 CSA

Kelly Kutsche

Mr. Jeffrey Kutsche

Mr. Mark Richmond

Mr. Ronald Rieseing

Mr. Werner Sabo

Mr. Michael Grossmann

Kelly and Dan Harbaugh

Mr. Patrick Jessee

Mr. Richard Siegler

Joseph Lenox

Ms. Mary Drakesmith

Jane Lewis

Mr. and Mrs. Al Lewis

John M. Lincoln

Ms. Mary Ginocchio

Mr. David Markovich

Mrs. Joyce Skitt

Mr. and Mrs. Bernie

Spaunhorst

Mrs. Gina Koch

Aiden Little

Mr. Joshua Rodriguez

Mr. and Mrs. Edward

Coker

Mr. and Mrs. Dennis

Sierawski

Ms. Louise White

Traci Little

Mr. and Mrs. Jerry L.

Brown

Sheldon Marcus

Mr. Scott Sandler

Betty L. Martin

Ameren MO

David and Susan

Blickhan

Greg and Lessly Sharpe

Megan Nelson

Ms. Mary M. Nelson

Carl McCormick

Mr. and Mrs. Dean T. Perry

Dot McGinnis

Ms. Margaret F. Normile

Lena Meeker

Mrs. Kimberly Bushmeyer

Mr. and Mrs. Hoffmann

Mrs. Lisa Kempf

Mrs. Joan Koechig

Mr. Thomas Luedloff

Mrs. Cynthia Mosbacher

Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mudd

Meeker cont’d

Ms. Mildred Neff

Joe Mele

Mr. and Mrs. Stephen

Ferman

Mary Ann Mertens

Mr. Roland J. Schoenhoff

Mike Mitler

Ms. Glenda Easterday

Alfred T. Moellenhoff

Ms. Patricia Dickherber

Mrs. Mary Fischer

Mrs. Kathleen Franklin

Mr. Norbert Huether

Ms. Jennifer Jackson

Mrs. Betty Kling

Mr. and Mrs. Ronald E.

Knoerzer

Mr. Terry Lewis

Ms. Tammy McFarland

Cheryl A. Moellenhoff

Ms. Carla Northcutt

Mrs. Sarah Politowski

Hefner

Mr. and Mrs. Michael

Preiss

Ms. Nicole Rose

Mr. and Mrs. John Shipley

Ms. Gina Wentz

Mrs. Mary D. Williams

Ms. Darlene Woods

Marie B. Moore

Mr. and Mrs. Robert E.

Austin

Ms. Neda Bansbach

Ms. Dorothy Brookes

Mr. and Mrs. Robert D.

Brooks

Ms. Janet Deranja

Mrs. and Mr. Kimberly A.

Duprey

Kelly and Dan Harbaugh

Mr. Donald Jablonski

Ms. Angeline Jamjamian

Mr. and Mrs. Ron Johnson

Mrs. Marie V. Markowski

Ms. Meredith A. May

Mrs. Lillian Ozimec

Mrs. Alice Paladin

Mr. and Mrs. Robert J.

Scherrer

Mrs. Leigh A. Schuh

Mrs. Mary L. Smith

Mr. Anthony F. Sokolich

Ms. Kathryn A. Sokolich

Ms. Joyce E. Thuston

Mr. and Mrs. Richard S.

Timmerman

Don Morros

Mr. and Mrs. Charles N.

Brandt

Linda Sue Murchison

Ms. Betsy Eckols

19 HeartbeatFall/Winter 2019


MEMORIALS CONTINUED

Carol Newbold

Ms. Irma Holmes

Janet Newborn

Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth J.

Thornsberry, Sr.

Gail NoBlot

Ms. Joyce E. Thuston

Clarence & Mary Nonn

Ms. Mary M. Nonn

Bobbie Oliver

Ms. Ann Shaw

Roberta Oliver

Mrs. Peggy Brant

Ms. Barbara D. Burford

Ms. Lora G. Knight

Carl A. Ostmann

Mr. and Mrs. Mark J.

Leonhard

Eileen O’Toole

Ms. Michele Kratky

Joan T. Packer

Mr. Richard Sharp

Blake Penner

Ms. Paula Campbell

Edmond Pfaff

Mr. and Mrs. Charles W.

Cummings

Francis H. Ponsler

Maxene and Cheri Batten

Sharon R. Przybylski

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph A.

Przybylski

Edward Przygoda

Mr. and Mrs. John C. Hill

Wanda L. Reitz

Mrs. Suzann Antoine

Ms. Beverly Jones

Joyce Riede

Mr. Larry Parres

Tierney L. Riley

American Academy of

Procedural Coders

Mrs. Lisa Bowman

Mr. and Mrs. John Fugate

Mrs. Kathy Hull

Ms. Jane S. Kane

Ms. Marla A. Koester

Ms. Anne Koleson

Pamela Martin

Ms. Mary McMackins

Mrs. Kathleen Parks

Ms. Mary J. Riley

Mr. Ronald Sattler

Martha Story

The Center For Advanced

Orthopedics, LLC

Mr. Clyde H. Wehmeier

Mr. Eric Wehmeier

Mr. John M. Wehmeier

Ms. Norene K. Wright

Merrill Rippinger

Ms. Nancy A. Duffy

Helen Rohlman

Mrs. Judith Barnes

Mrs. Sandra Borgschulte

Family of and Mrs. Dan

Ceriotti

Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Greene

Kelly and Dan Harbaugh

Mrs. Kate Mercurio

Mr. and Mrs. Rich F.

Rafuse

Ms. Colleen Raley

Mr. David L. Tornetto

Town & Country

Pharmacies, Inc.

Louie Roques

Ms. Terri McDonald

Ms. Jessica Wildebrandt

Joseph Rosette

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas F.

Armstrong

Tom Rotermund

Mr. and Mrs. Patrick F.

Garland

Benjamin Rovey

Mr. and Mrs. Wayne

Rovey

Elizabeth Roy

Mr. Gregory Hronick

George Ruzicka

Mrs. Renee Barry

Carpenters Retirees

Club 21

Jonathan Sackberger

Mr. and Mrs. Jerry A.

Sackberger

Rosemary Saffo

Mrs. Janice Offermann

Mrs. Linda J. Polka

Marilee Sams

Mr. and Mrs. Donald P.

Nies

James L. Sanders

Mr. Thomas Bryon

Paul Sands

Ms. Mary Collier

Rowan Sasse

Mr. Norman Kirchhofer

Mr. John Petzing

Opal Schneider

Mr. and Mrs. Al Lewis

Betty Schonhoff

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph A.

Pelch, Jr.

Elva Schubert

Mr. and Mrs. John E.

Buckner, Jr.

Martina Schutte

Mr. David L. Tornetto

Hilda Sellers

Mr. and Mrs. John J. Vogt

Maureen Sheets

Mr. and Mrs. Edward Shay

Ella Nora and Tiffany

Souers

Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence

Souers

Stewart “Stew” Sramek

Mrs. Carol Cleve

Mr. and Ms. Ray Cleve

Kelly and Dan Harbaugh

Mr. and Mrs. Rich F.

Rafuse

Mr. and Mrs. Timothy M.

Rohlman

Mr. David L. Tornetto

Sammy Stausing

Mr. David L. Tornetto

Dorothy Steinberg

Ms. Elaine Nieberg

Aubrey Stephens

Ms. Donna M. Rivera

Valier P. Stewart

Mrs. Pamela T. Gomes

Mr. and Mrs. Vincent

Misuraca

Tara L. Stoffel

Steeleville Eagles

Betty C. Stoppa

Mr. Jeffrey Dobner, Jr.

Hank Tarloff

Ms. Sherry F. Schmidt

Ken Tharp

Kelly and Dan Harbaugh

Joseph Tucker

Ms. Joyce E. Thuston

Carlos Vielledent

Mr. David L. Tornetto

Connor R. Voigt

Connor’s Cause

Frank Ward

Mr. and Mrs. Ervin D.

Weinmeister

Lucy Weissert

Mrs. Carolyn Wottowa

Herman Wende

Ms. Nancy A. Duffy

Audrey Wenkel

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew

Boron

Pat Whalen

Mrs. Mary E. Pixley

Jewell M. Wilson

Ms. Neva Bissette

Raymond B. Wilson

Mr. George Solovic

Dave Winkler

Mr. and Mrs. James

Glavin

Gabrielle Wintjen

Mr. and Mrs. George

Wintjen

Robert Wintzinger

Mr. David L. Tornetto

Thomas “Tom” E. Worley

Mrs. Alisa Artioli

Mr. Ernest Beutenmiller

Chris Wottowa

Mrs. Carolyn Wottowa

Jerry Yost

Mr. and Mrs. Wilson W. Berry

MEMORIAL & TRIBUTE BRICKS

The following bricks were installed from March through

September 2019 in memory or honor of someone special.

In Loving Memory of

Ariana Lindsay

In Loving Memory of

Aubrey Stephens

In Loving Memory of

Barrett Bone

In Loving Memory of

Cooper Ball

In Loving Memory of

Daniel Zhakut

In Loving Memory of

Isaiah Dunn

In Loving Memory of

Izabella Embree

In Loving Memory of

Jayla Horn

In Loving Memory of

Kiersten Trantham

In Loving Memory of

Logan Taylor

In Loving Memory of

Rowan Sasse

In Loving Memory of

Tariyah L. Malone

In Loving Memory of

Valorie Stone

In Loving Memory of

William Pruitt

In Loving Memory of

Yuliza Fernanda Chaires

In Loving Memory of

Martha Hundelt

TREE OF LIFE

The following leaves on our Tree

of Life were recently installed in

memory of someone special.

In Honor of Marty Davis and

60 Years as a McDonald’s

Family Member

In Honor of Brandon Scott

In Loving Memory of

Bart Greifzu

HeartbeatFall/Winter 2018 20


TRIBUTES

The following gifts were made in honor of someone special from March 1 to July 31, 2019.

The Ablan Family

Mrs. Pamela Townsend

Mark Amen

Ms. Carol A. Lieb

Mr. and Mrs. Bob Angle

Mr. and Mrs. Richard

Shields

Richard R. Arnoldy

Ms. Nancy A. Spehr

Jeffrey and Diane

Barone

Mr. Brian I. Pultman

Jake and Jack Barton

Mr. and Mrs. Ben Barton

Sherran Battas

Ms. Paula Weidner

Ronald A. Becker

Mr. and Mrs. Allan

Feinberg

Daniel Beutler

Ms. Ruth Anderson

Mr. and Mrs. Michael

Grady

Mr. Roy McLaurin

Tracy Brosch

Dr. Nancy Singer

Jo Della Camera

Mr. and Mrs. Steve Della

Camera

Ayaan Choudhary

Mr. Bhavana Choudhary

Jackie Concannon

Mr. Edward M.

Concannon

Pat E. Coppinger

Mr. Dan Lesin

Ms. Gail Youngman

Dr. Jeff Dawson

Mrs. Joan Wright

Deidre Decious

Mr. and Mrs. Steve

Kuhlmann

Mike DeCola

Mr. and Mrs. James G.

Castellano

Dr. Richard C. Pennell

Arlene Diekemper

Mr. and Mrs. Greg R.

Diekemper

Dianna DiMartino

Mr. and Mrs. Hiram C.

Martin III

Shea Dresner

Mr. David Dresner

Jacob Eller

Ms. Susan G. Klukis

Bahram Fartashpour

Mrs. Rebecca Rantanen

Judy and Bob Finck

Mr. and Mrs. Larry Burke

Mary A. Fox

Rabbi Randall Fleisher

Brenda Govro

Ms. Kristi Labitska

Robert and Penny Hale

Maxene and Cheri

Batten

Dan Harbaugh

Mr. Brian I. Pultman

Ann Haubrich

Mr. and Mrs. Shawn Kelly

Greg and Joan Hempen

Ms. Maureen Scheve

Euman Henson

Ameren Corporation

Charitable Trust

Violet Holtmeier

Ms. Jamie Holtmeier

Brighley Hunt

Ms. Elaine Hoover

Nolan T. Kissing

Mr. Tommy Kissing

Julia Knowles

Mrs. Ashley Echterhoff

Mrs. Lauren Heyman

Zoey Kobylarz

Mrs. Tanya Kobylarz

Howard and Joy Kurz

Mrs. Susan Almgren

Marion Lipetz

Mr. and Mrs. Michael

Sundet

Justin Litteken

Anonymous

LoneRiders

Mr. and Mrs. Alan J.

Weststeyn

Nancy A. Maniaci

Mr. James A. Maniaci, Jr.

and Philippe L.

Moebius

Reed Maxwell

Mrs. Stephanie Braun

Dean McGee

Mrs. Marlyn Donaldson

Mrs. Stephanie Sinclair

Mr. Robert Villareal

Cheryl McKay

Mr. and Mrs. Gary

Scrivner

Isaac Mercer

Mr. William Rombach

Jacob T. Moak

Mr. and Mrs. Paul W.

Moak

Lucas Moak

Mr. and Mrs. Paul W. Moak

Tim Nimtz

Ms. Katie M. Nimtz

Lisa Perkins

Mrs. Rita Duke

Andrew & Alyssa Radtke

Mr. and Mrs. William A.

Radtke

Dalia & Elie Regev

Mrs. Denise Greenberg

Mr. and Mrs. Richard

Roesch

Mrs. Geraldine Leeker

Christine Rogers

Mrs. Mary E. Pixley

Manal Safi

Mr. and Mrs. Fawzi Safi

Bill Schulz

Mr. and Mrs. Stephen

Ferman

Lori St. John

Lauren St. John and

Jared Storment

Bentley Stage

Mrs. Christine Linneman

Mrs. Angie Mason

Declan Stevens

Ms. Diane Stevens

Chuck and Suzanne

Stokes

Mr. and Mrs. Dennis

Whelan

Tanya Storment

Lauren St. John and

Jared Storment

Jean Sundet

Mr. and Mrs. Michael

Sundet

Jack Till

Ms. Joanne Ferguson

Victoria Tornetto

Mr. David L. Tornetto

Sebastian Van Horn

Mr. and Mrs. Steve Baker

Elizabeth Waldhoff

Mrs. Sharon Waldhoff

Claire D. Wallace

Drs. Kelli P. and Lincoln R.

Wallace

Eileen M. Weber

Ms. Kay F. Siegrist

Velma Weidner

Ms. Paula Weidner

Shirley Weiss

Mr. and Mrs. Howard

Tischler

Frannie and Hannah

Wise

Mr. and Mrs. Milton C.

Lewis

Shanna Witges

Mrs. Rita Duke

Woodard Cleaning

& Restoration

Mr. Joseph Klobe

Patti Wright

Ms. Paula Weidner

CALLING ALL YOUNG PROFESSIONALS!

Are you a young professional looking to get involved with

Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis and meet likeminded

individuals? Then the Red Shoe Society of St. Louis is for

you! Learn more by visiting www.rmhcstl.com/redshoesociety.

Activities include:

• Preparing meals for Ronald McDonald House families

• Planning and executing special events

• Professional development activities

• Service projects at the Ronald McDonald House

ST. LOUIS

21 HeartbeatFall/Winter 2019


MEET THE

WHITWORTH

FAMILY

Baby Caesyn's family calls the

Ronald McDonald House "home"

during his stay in the NICU at

SSM Health Cardinal Glennon

Children's Hospital.

On July 12, 2019, Caesyn Whitworth was

born 10 weeks early in Springfield,

Missouri. Because of his early arrival, he

was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit

(NICU) of the hospital, where doctors and nurses

planned to monitor his progress until he was

strong enough to go home.

However, over the next month, little Caesyn

was diagnosed with a serious intestinal disease

called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and was

transferred by helicopter to SSM Health Cardinal

Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis.

Once he was admitted, Caesyn’s parents,

Monica and Cameron, found out their son

also had meningitis, an inflammation of the

membrane surrounding his brain and spinal

cord. Along with this diagnosis came many

complications.

“It’s hard being a preemie,” Monica explains,

about her baby boy. “One minute we are doing

amazing and in a blink of an eye, we are going

through another battle.”

As so many of our RMHC families know, it’s

hard being the parent of a preemie, too. The

Whitworths were four hours from home and

pouring every ounce of energy into helping their

baby boy fight for his life.

Thankfully, Monica and Cameron, as well as

their oldest son, Laetyn, found comfort at our

Ronald McDonald House on Park Avenue, just

a short walk away from the hospital. In addition

to finding a home-away-from-home, they also

discovered an entire community of supporters

to lean on.

“They treat you

like you’re family,

and they’re there

to help,” says

Monica of the staff,

volunteers and

other guest families

at RMHC.

Thankfully,

Caesyn overcame

the small case of

NEC and continues

to receive specialized treatment in the NICU at

Cardinal Glennon. We have no doubt that having

family close by is helping him every day.

And for that, the Whitworth family is grateful.

“We just want to say thank you for everything,”

says Monica. ■

HeartbeatFall/Winter 2019 22


CARING

HEARTS

LEGACY

CIRCLE

RMHC St. Louis volunteer Brenda Haalboom leaves a lasting legacy.

Fifteen years ago, Brenda Haalboom answered

a call for volunteers needed at the Ronald

McDonald House Golf Tournament. Little

did she know, that day would be the first of many

spent volunteering for The House That Love Built.

As the organization has grown over the years,

Brenda has taken on numerous volunteer roles.

From assisting at special events to working at

the West Pine and West County Houses, her

responsibilities have increased tremendously from

that first day on the golf course. Most recently,

Brenda has assisted with the revitalization of our

Meals from the Heart Program, where community

groups prepare delicious meals for guest families.

She helped create and implement new processes

and procedures to make sure this popular program

would be sustainable as we continue to expand.

“Providing meals for the families is one thing

we can do to make sure they can focus on what

matters most – their sick child,” says Brenda.

More than a decade after her first volunteer

shift, Brenda took her passion for the mission one

step farther. She recently disclosed that Ronald

McDonald House Charities of St. Louis is part of her

estate plan. With this legacy gift, she is not only

helping our families today, but also in the future.

To honor this generous pledge, Brenda became

a member of the Caring Hearts Legacy Circle,

which recognizes supporters who have chosen to

help families of seriously ill children beyond their

own lifetime with a legacy gift. Brenda’s name is

displayed on our Caring Hearts Legacy Circle wall

– a one-of-a-kind, hand-blown art glass installation

inside the foyer of our Park Avenue House.

Building a bright future for RMHC is something

Brenda is extremely passionate about.

“It is very important to support the legacy of an

organization who does so much for families during

an unimaginably difficult time in their lives,” she says.

“I wanted to do my part to be sure these services

can continue being offered for as long as possible.”

By making a lifetime gift, Brenda is helping us

do just that. What started as a day volunteering

on the links has transformed into a lasting legacy

that will provide families of seriously ill children

with comfort, care and a home-away-from-home

for years to come. ■

If you would like to discuss options for including charitable

giving in your estate plans, or if you wish to disclose that you

have included RMHC St. Louis in your will or trust, please

contact Frank Cognata, Vice President of Development at

314-932-4148 or by email at fcognata@rmhcstl.com.

Did You Know? If you are 70 ½...

Did you know that with the new tax law, you could still receive a tax advantage by transfering

a contribution from your IRA to RMHC St. Louis? By doing this, you will avoid capital gains tax

on the money you are required by law to distribute.

23 HeartbeatFall/Winter 2019


THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN

In honor of his family’s past stay at a Ronald McDonald House,

Nicholas Purschke designed and built an outdoor oasis for families to enjoy.

When St. Louis native Nicholas Purschke

had to choose his Eagle Scout Service

Project, it was clear how he wanted

to give back. He decided to help provide the

comforts of home to guest families by creating

a beautiful butterfly garden at his local Ronald

McDonald House.

“I chose to do my project for the RMHC

because it was like a second home to me,” says

Nicholas.

Nicholas was born with a rare genetic

neurological disease called adrenoleukodystrophy

(ALD). Throughout his young life, Nicholas has

traveled frequently to seek treatment at The Johns

Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, until he

needed a bone marrow transplant, which took

place in Minnesota.

In 2016, the Purschke family called the

Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis their

home-away-from-home for three months during

Nicholas’s recovery. Since that time, they make an

annual trip for follow-up appointments to monitor

his progress, always making time during their visits

to see the Ronald McDonald House.

“We know firsthand how much of a homeaway-from-home

this is for families dealing with

sick children. The Ronald McDonald House was a

lifesaver for ours,” says Nicholas’s mother, Julie.

This August, Nicholas led Boy Scout Troop

#630 in the designing and building of the new

butterfly garden, located right off the front steps of

the Park Avenue Ronald McDonald House.

Julie sums up

the experience well:

“Nicholas knew he

wanted to give back in a

special way to this special

place.”

And for that, we

couldn’t be more grateful.

HeartbeatFall/Winter 2019 24


OUR WISH LIST

We rely on donations of these household items to provide all the comforts of

home inside our three Ronald McDonald Houses and four Ronald McDonald Family

Rooms. To donate items, please call 314-773-1100 or email info@rmhcstl.com.

Kitchen Items:

Sweet/salty individually

wrapped snacks (cookies,

soups, mac ‘n’ cheese,

breakfast bars, hot chocolate,

trail mix, dried fruit, peanut

butter or cheese sandwich

crackers & candy bars)

Dishwasher detergent

Gallon-sized Ziploc bags

Aluminum foil

Large Tupperware containers

Paper plates

Plastic forks and spoons

Nonstick frying pans

Laundry Facility Supplies:

High-efficiency laundry

detergent

Softener sheets

Cleaning Supplies:

Disinfectant (Lysol) spray

Multipurpose cleaner

Floor cleaner

Hand soap

SOS pads and sponges

Swiffer hand duster sheets

Pledge and Windex

Toilet bowl cleaner

Miscellaneous:

Travel-sized shampoo,

conditioner, deodorant,

shaving cream and

toothpaste

Disposable razors

Feminine products

60-watt lightbulbs

iPhones (version 4s or newer)

Nintendo Switch video

games (nonviolent)

IN LOVING MEMORY

Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis extends its

deepest sympathy to the families of these very special children:

Daniel Zhakut

Jayla Grace Horn

Izabella Embree

Tariyah Malone

Kiersten Trantham

Rowan Sasse

Barrett Bone

William Pruitt

Valorie Stone

Cooper Ball

Yuliza Fernanda Chaires

Yaretzy Chaires

Miracle Kennedy

Miles Paris

Kinslee Dial

Carson Travis

Malachi Lee

Jenson Hartle

Drake Guffey

Ethan Craig


HEARTBITS

Over 30 members

of the Ameren

Management

Team visited all

three of our Ronald

McDonald Houses in

September to lend

a hand with outdoor

projects. Thank you,

Ameren!

Our RMHC families

are amazing! Jamie

Worthen and her

family collected

over $300 worth of

Wish List items and

a very heavy tub full

of tabs from their

community to "give

back" to the House!

The Elmendorf

Family collected

thousands of Wish

List items and tab

tops in memory of

their son, Chase.

Chase’s little

brothers Brody and

Wesley were a big

help. Thank you!

Families using the

Ronald McDonald

Family Rooms at

St. Louis Children’s

Hospital loved

getting crafty with

paper flowers and

creating cards for

Mother’s Day!

A team from HBM

Holdings prepared

a fun fiesta-themed

dinner at our West

County House. Our

guest families had

a great evening

playing games and

even taking a swing

at a cactus piñata!

Little girl, big heart!

Lena raised money

to purchase snacks

for the Ronald

McDonald Family

Room by selling her

artwork outside her

local Great Clips.

Thank you, Lena!

Consultants from

Thirty-One cooked

dinner at over 160

Ronald McDonald

Houses across the

U.S. and Canada

in July. We are

so grateful they

stopped by all three

of our locations!

After staying at the

Ronald McDonald

House in Kansas

City, the Greene

Family paid it

forward by hosting

an evening of food,

crafts, face-painting

and laughs at our

West County House.

HeartbeatFall/Winter 2019 26


St. Louis

3450 Park Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63104

NON-PROFIT

ORGANIZATION

U.S. POSTAGE PAID

JEFFERSON CITY, MO

PERMIT NO. 210

If your name and/or address

are incorrect, please let us

know by contacting Lanisha

Thomas at 314-932-4133 or

lthomas@rmhcstl.com.

Do you prefer to receive the Heartbeat

newsletter electronically? Let us know

via email at info@rmhcstl.com. Thank you!

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES ® OF ST. LOUIS

West Pine Ronald McDonald House

4381 West Pine Blvd.

St. Louis, MO 63108

314-531-6601

Park Avenue Ronald McDonald House

3450 Park Ave.

St. Louis, MO 63104

314-773-1100

West County Ronald McDonald House

300 Ronald McDonald House Ln.

St. Louis, MO 63141

314-485-0300

VISIT US ONLINE AT WWW.RMHCSTL.COM, AND FIND US ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

facebook.com/rmhcstl twitter.com/rmhcstl instagram.com/rmhcstl

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