February 2012
Issue II
The Ronald Report

How you are helping to keep families with cancer together.

Wacky Hat Night Takes Over Ronald McDonald House
By Megs DiDario, Volunteer Staff Writer
On January 30th, hats in the form of birthday cakes, pizzas, crabs, parrots and more filled the Ronald McDonald House dining room, as guests and families participated in the third annual Wacky Hat Night. The event was coordinated by volunteer Shelly Talan and the Monday night team and generously sponsored by the Heller Family Foundation.
In addition to sporting wacky hats of all shapes and sizes, the event participants were wowed by the hat making skills of BalloonaDutz, who created customized hats made out of balloons. There was no challenge she could not meet, from requests for Hello Kitty to Spiderman and alien balloon hats.
Also on hand was Helen Mihalatos from NYC Customs, who generously volunteered to do face painting, which added further color and fun to the event. NYC Customs, located in Long Island City, provides custom silk-screening and airbrush services.
Guests at the event got to enjoy dinner provided by Neuman’s Catering, based in New York City, along with a yummy Baskin Robbins ice cream bar. Additionally, a Sony Snap machine was available to capture photos of the guests with their wacky hats.
Upcoming Events
Team Ronald Kick-off Volunteer Mixer
New York City Half-Marathon
Hope Awards
TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour
Open Arms Event
Save the Date
Please join us for our Team Ronald Kick-off Volunteer Mixer on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 6:00PM. Remember, if you purchase a ticket for the Open Arms event at the mixer, you will be entered into a raffle for a 55” Samsung LED 7900 Smart TV (floor model from Samsung Expo). The raffle-drawing will take place at the end of the evening. RSVP to Jamie Serkin at JSerkin@rmh-newyork.org by Friday, March 9th.
Shelly Talan

Sherrie Maricle
Rockin’ the House: A Beloved Wednesday Night Musical Tradition
By Megs DiDario, Volunteer Staff Writer
On Wednesday evenings, the Ronald McDonald House is rocking with symphonic pop melodies performed by many of the kids, in conjunction with The New York Pops. Through this program, all kids and Ronald McDonald House families are invited to participate in a musical jamming session and try their hand at learning to play the drums, guitar and/or bass.
The New York Pops is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States, and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music. The music lessons are led by Sherrie Maricle, PhD, Director of Education and a Drummer with the New York Pops, and are also facilitated by various other members of the Pops orchestra.
Sounds of the bucket drums and tambourines can be heard drifting throughout the hallways when Sherrie and her crew are at the house.
“The beauty of this program is that you don’t have to know anything about music to participate. We teach music in a fun way,” says Sherrie Maricle.
The program, which is now in its fifth year, was brought to the house by Nancy Nichols, a member of the New York Pops Board. The program has expanded from a few lessons on the bucket drums to jamming sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays. Monday night, “The Ronald McDonald Choir” night, opens the floor up to the guests of the house to sing and play the piano.
In addition to musical lessons twice a week, the New York Pops also invites the children to perform at their annual gala at Carnegie Hall, which this year will take place on April 30th. At this year’s event, the kids will be performing their hit song “I will Always Be There” with pop sensation Darlene Love. Maricle and the group also help sponsor five scholarships for the children of Ronald McDonald House to attend their Summer Music Festival, a two week summer camp program up in Oneonta, New York.
Jef Campion
Bowling Night at Chelsea Piers
By Megs DiDario, Volunteer Staff Writer
The families of Ronald McDonald House put their bowling skills to the test in a fun-filled trip to 300 New York, located at Chelsea Piers, on February 2nd. Competition was certainly in the air as close to forty kids, family members and volunteers engaged in over two hours of bowling fun.
In addition to the welcome signs and generous food spread, 300 New York also provided the kids with complimentary credits to their arcade games. The kids tested their hands at basketball, skee-ball, car racing, and many other games.
This was the seventh time that volunteer Chris Fields, who has been with Ronald McDonald House for 10 years, has organized this event, which has grown to be one of the most anticipated events of the year. “This event always has a great turnout because it is participatory for all of the families and offers two hours of a lot of fun!”
Thursday Night Team Leader, Jef Campion, and fellow volunteer, John Savarese, were also instrumental in making the night a success. Savarese wowed the families with his balloon-making and card tricks, and many of the kids walked away with balloon souvenirs from the night.
A special thank you to 300 New York and the Thursday night team for putting together such a memorable trip for everyone.
Donna Potorti
Pamela Strazicic
Alix Lerman
Bernie Gutierrez
Richard Tegtmeier
Ellen McCormick
Peter Jun
Michael Doetsch
Joseph Modica
Clemencia Neyland
Nicole Leyden
Diane Shoemaker
Andrew Nawn
Sherie Alexis
Anthony Bivona
Megan Gezen
Letter From Terri Eggers, Director of Volunteers
I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you for all your efforts in supporting the House.  You, the volunteers, play a vital role in the House, and truly are the glue that keeps the House together.  Your incredible efforts and positive attitudes create a wonderful home-away-from-home atmosphere for the children and their families as they undergo treatment.  I am always amazed at the way the children’s faces light up when they see you enter the dining room.
Through my over 25 years of being a volunteer and working with volunteers, I have gained a great appreciation for what can be done when we work together for the betterment of the organization.  My experience over the past two years in working in the Volunteer Department, and especially the last three months in serving as the Director of Volunteers, has been so rewarding.
During this time, I have tried to meet with all of the Teams and am looking forward to meeting many of you in the future as you participate in the House events.  Please know that I am always interested in ways that you believe the House can better meet the needs of the children we serve.  My door, phone and email are always available to you.  If we have not met, please feel welcome to stop by and introduce yourself.  Your new ideas, skills, and enthusiasm are key factors in perpetuating the positive environment at the House.
In my new position, I look forward to working with you, evaluating the current environment, listening to you for your new ideas, and determining what changes should be made. The support I have received from you has been nothing short of incredible.  I want to thank you for your efforts and look forward to an exciting future.
Terri Eggers

To submit an article for consideration, please e-mail Jamie Serkin at

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