JUNE 2012
Issue VI
The Ronald Report

How you are helping to keep families with cancer together.
My Night at "Open Arms"
After walking up the staircase leading to the architectural beauty that is Guastavino’s, I was first greeted by dazzling human statues in bright red. Only stopping to pose for a few photos with these boa-ed ladies, I continued to make my way up the path to the massive glass doors, marveling at the ice sculpture of outstretched arms. Stepping inside, I was greeted by friendly volunteers and made my way to will call to pick up my ticket and my “Open Arms” bracelet. I began to make my way through the crowd with my two guests to meet up with members of my team.
Then it was time to bee-line to the bar to grab some cocktails and check out the food spread. The event was catered by Tony’s, which I had been looking forward to all day (I love when they come to the House).  We quickly found a table to scarf down our meatballs, ravioli, shrimp, eggplant, and mouth-watering beef. As we munched on our cheese squares, our attention was called to the front of the room.  One of the families living at the House reminded us all why we were there that evening.
As the mood of the room shifted back into party-mode, we heard the DJ begin playing music upstairs. Having thoroughly stuffed ourselves, my friends and I decided to make our way over to the silent auction area before heading to the dance floor.  I stopped to examine some of the jewelry and perused through the silent auction packet before I made the decision to register. I had my eye on some Yankees tickets and a trip to Italy! After registering, I grabbed my friends and joined the party on the 2nd floor, pausing only to purchase raffle tickets.
Upstairs was spacious and sleek, decorated to look more like a club. After an hour or so more of mingling and drinks, the dance floor became too inviting to resist, and we joined the throng of party-goers showing off their moves. Feet throbbing, I used the arrival of the dessert buffet as an excuse to take a break. After piling my plate with cookies and fruit, I headed over to a table with my friends and some new friends we acquired throughout the night.
The night carried on and the dance floor never died. As the party’s official end came to pass, volunteers and guests were disappointed to have to move downstairs. Having been outbid on all of my auction items, I was vindicated when I saw the giant raffle prize board on my way out- I won a prize! After saying my goodbyes, I headed out onto 59th Street, hopped into a cab, and headed home.
This was most definitely the best Team Ronald event to date, and I am so proud that I am a volunteer and that the proceeds of this event go to our programs at the House. Thank you to everyone who made this wonderful evening happen.  I will definitely be back next year.
Upcoming Events
Darlene Love Benefit Concert
Family Fun Dog Walk
Texas Hold 'Em Tournament
Block Party
Kids Fun Run
Volunteer Recognition DInner
Share A Night
It's All About Love

Join us for one evening only for a very special appearance by Darlene Love. The concert, benefiting the families of Ronald McDonald House New York, will be held on Thursday, July 19, 2012 in the Ballroom of Bohemian National Hall. There will be a 7:00PM Champagne Toast and an 8:00PM concert. To purchase tickets, please click here.  For further information,  call Nelida C. Barreto at 212-639-0800 or e-mail at nbarreto@rmh-newyork.org.

1st Annual Family Fun Dog Walk

Join us for the 1st Annual Family Fun Dog Walk on August 18, 2012 at Riverside Park from 9:00AM-11:00AM!  This charity event is a 2K walk open to the public supporting families staying at Ronald McDonald House New York during their battle with cancer and creating Angel on a Leash Therapy Dog programs in healthcare facilities.

Walkers may register online and create their own online donation page. Registration will also be accepted at the location for an entrance donation. Click here to register now or contact Cherilyn Frei at cfrei@rmh-newyork.org for more information.

Santa and a House Guest
Spotlight on Volunteer Christine Taylor's Weird Science
By Megs DiDario, Volunteer Staff Writer
It was just a typical Tuesday afternoon on May 1st when a group of kids living at Ronald McDonald House New York built and raced sailboats constructed out of foam and then tested the speed of their creations in open-water races.
As part of the Weird Science program at the House, airborne bottle rockets and roaming motorized jitterbugs have become commonplace occurrences in the playroom.
"The great thing about the projects and experiments we run is that it is not just about science, but creativity is involved as well,” says Christine Taylor.
This is quite evident as Taylor displays an array of past projects, including the ever-popular egg crash cars, which the kids have painted so meticulously to look like real race cars.
The program, which she leads every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon from  3-6PM, brings a lot of life and occasionally a little bit of disorder to the Ronald McDonald House.  Taylor has been able to secure the key building supplies and tools that the kids use to create such wacky concoctions as homemade soda (twenty flavors in all!).
After retiring about ten years ago from teaching, Taylor began volunteering in the playroom at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. Through the hospital, she learned about the Ronald McDonald House and decided four years ago to put her background as a third-grade elementary school teacher and drama coach to good use when she developed the Weird Science program.
Weird Science has recently expanded to include a movie-making component, which now takes place almost every Thursday. Taylor writes the scripts and with the help of the kids, volunteers, and two local actors, is able to direct and produce such short films as “A Nightmare in Lego Land.”
Taylor relies on several dedicated volunteers to help her brainstorm and execute wacky projects and experiments each week.  A special thanks to Sandi Kalish, Kendall Carter, Theresa Schoenfeld, and Jill Dessau for all of their help, from mixing new flavors of soda to cleaning up volcanic explosions.
Smile for the Camera!
By Megs DiDario, Volunteer Staff Writer
It was “lights, camera, action!” for the families of Ronald McDonald House New York on May 14th, as the Monday night team organized a photo shoot with professional photographer Arthur Cohen of Arthur Cohen Photography. Cohen is a well-known photographer of models and celebrities alike.
Headed up by volunteer Tommy DiDario, the Monday night team transformed the Living Room of the House into a professional photography studio, with flashing bulbs and smiling families abound.
Cohen and DiDario shopped for props and costumes for the occasion in advance at Manhattan-based costume shop Abracadabra, who generously donated three large boxes of costumes.
As multiple families participated in the shoot, there was certainly an array of characters represented. While some of the kids chose to dress up in scary costumes, others chose to go silly in their wardrobe selection. Whether in a Harry Potter or Snow White costume, the kids definitely got into the characters that they were playing.
The parents showed off their directorial abilities, as they instructed the kids from behind the camera. Many chose to get in front of the camera, as well, to capture family moments.
A special thanks to all of the volunteers of the Monday night team for their work at the House: Co-leaders Karen Van Vleet and Michael Deutsch, Joan Coppotelli, Tommy DiDario, Bernie Gutierrez, Matt Litman, Ian Lundahl, Phil Paparella and Shelly Talan.
Milton Berlinski
Rita Kronovet
Deborah Leitner
Chelle Rivera
Frank Volino
Emily Leaffer
William Dauphin
Leslie Barrett
Beverly Paulis
Carlo Montali
Danielle Civitillo
Dennis Schmidt
Michael Abrams
Stephanie Koutsares
Michael Conti
Ryan Renteria
Meghan Merritt
Lesly Bavaro
Jens Gabrillargues
Avery Katz
Shelley Appell
Thank You From Terri Eggers, Director of Volunteers
Dear Volunteers,
“What an incredible event!” “This was one of the best events I have attended.” These are just two of many similar comments that I heard as people were leaving the Open Arms Event on Wednesday night, June 13th.
The only way to describe Open Arms, the largest volunteer-organized fundraising event of the year, is that it was a great success. Guastavino’s did their usual outstanding job in hosting us. What a fantastic venue! The food and open bar, supplied by Tony’s Di Napoli and Bruce Dimpflmaier, was beyond compare. And of course, there was great music and dancing all night long.
The success of an event like this cannot be attained without the dedication of many.   Volunteers and staff members of Ronald McDonald House New York worked tirelessly to ensure that the evening ran smoothly. The online auction, registration, raffles, gift donations and overall organization and execution of the event  was incredible. 
I would like to thank the committee for their hard work and for their contagious enthusiasm and selfless dedication: Bruce Dimpflmaier, Clemencia Colon-Neyland, Jef Campion, Jim Molloy, Helena Russo, Michael Conti.
We all should take great pride in the success of this event.  With that said, let’s not forget that the planning for next year starts in August!
W. T. Sullivan

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

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