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Hot Dish: From Our House To Yours


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Ronald McDonald House Charities, Upper Midwest

Spring | Summer


Three Little Babies Bring Big Meaning to Life Esmé, Henrick and Scarlet Erickson prove that miracles do happen

W New year, new leaders at RMHC-UM


hen Esmé, Henrick and Scarlet were born to Ann and Brady Erickson, they had already beaten insurmountable odds. After numerous infertility treatments and two previously unsuccessful in-vitro attempts, Ann and Brady were given a 15% chance for one embryo to implant and a less than .05% chance of all three implanting. “When we learned we were pregnant with triplets, we knew there was a special plan for these little lives,” Ann said. After several unsuccessful attempts to delay it, which included weeks on bed-rest and 11 days of hospitalization to attempt to stop contractions, Ann went into active labor at just over 24 weeks. “For 11 days, I would have a contraction

New dad to triplets


House dog, Jerry, brings a sense of home

In seeing them, I experienced the profound love of a parent. It’s amazing how life takes on a whole new meaning in those moments.”

every five minutes and feel pure panic. The babies were so alive and safe inside me, but I knew my body was trying to push them out to a world they weren’t likely to survive. I spent 11 days fighting my own body to try to save our children.” The babies arrived 16 weeks early on February 1 with weights ranging from 1 pound, 6 ounces to 1 pound, 12 ounces (babies of this size are classified as micro preemies). “The babies were born perfectly formed, just really, really small,” Ann said. “In seeing them, I experienced the profound love of a parent. It’s amazing how life takes on a whole new meaning in those moments.”

The House inside the Hospital allows local families to be close to their children, which as noted by the Ericksons, can be especially valuable during a Minnesota snowstorm. “When we stay here we get to spend every moment with the babies.” During the first 24 hours of fragile life for the triplets, the medical team at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis worked to determine all the details of the babies’ care. Esmé had a bleed on one side of her brain, but was the most stable of the three. Scarlet responded to her mother’s voice first and yet needed the most intensive support, with bleeds on both sides of her brain. Henrick was the largest of the three and needed a more supportive ventilator, which is common for male preemies. When the triplets were two days old, Henrick took an unsettling turn. He was on medicine for nearly every major organ in his body (for some organs he was on two). He needed multiple blood transfusions, which are extremely difficult for such continued on page 3

2 | Ronald McDonald House Charities, Upper Midwest

From the President & CEO

W New President and CEO John Stanoch has a background as a former judge, Chief Deputy Attorney General and Minnesota President of Qwest Communications.

e are continuously inspired by our many steadfast supporters who have contributed to the ongoing success of Ronald McDonald House Charities, Upper Midwest. 2011 was a transformational year – one in which our commitment to opening doors to health care to families in need only deepened. It was a year in which we added our fourth “core” program, the Ronald McDonald Family Room – inside Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, St. Paul. This program extends our mission to families in the pediatric disability and trauma

1. Continue to excel at our mission of providing services and programming for families of children with serious illnesses.

communities. We’re honored to be partnered with this esteemed facility in the heart of St. Paul.

3. Spread the word in the community about the recent expansion of services and programming provided by RMHC-UM.

Our programs provide supportive and compassionate services to children and families when they need it most.”

Contact us office

818 Fulton St SE Minneapolis Minnesota, 55414 612.331.5752


Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm

John’s goals for the future

With each year, we’ve seen an increase in the need for housing and support as families travel to the Twin Cities for some of the most comprehensive and progressive treatments against pediatric cancer available worldwide. At the RMH-Oak Street, the average length of stay for a family who came to receive a bone marrow transplant was 131 nights, the average length of stay for all other families was 29 nights. These are the longest average lengths of stay of any Ronald McDonald House in the world, as our programs exist and thrive in the midst of an unparalleled medical community.

2. Continue to increase access to dental care to underserved children through our Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program.

4. Grow the financial and volunteer support necessary to enrich our mission and service to our community.

Our programs provide supportive and compassionate services to children and families when they need it most. I am honored to be a part of the team of employees, volunteers, donors and supporters of this amazing organization who are making a real difference in our community. Sincerely,

John Stanoch President & CEO

Top: Gretchen Ambrosier, Vice President of Programs and John Stanoch, President & CEO. Bottom: John, along with other staff members, accepts a check from Liberty Mutual on behalf of Glenn Caruso, University of St. Thomas head football coach. See page 11 for story. | 3 a little baby to endure. Doctors determined he had a brain bleed on both sides, as well as a heart condition common to preemies. Every day seemed to present new challenges, but Ann and Brady endured, taking on each new day as it came. After two weeks, the family was able to hold Esmé and even change diapers and help the nurses with cares – vital checks and tube changes. Before the babies were two pounds, they endured three heart surgeries and one brain surgery among them. “Obviously, when operating on babies this fragile, we didn’t want to be more than a few steps away,” Ann said. When Ann and Brady learned of the Ronald McDonald House, they were amazed such a place existed within the hospital. “The Ronald McDonald House provided us with a gift. To have a place to stay nearby made us feel so much more at ease,” Ann said.

Professional photographs of the family were taken by Jim Bovin, volunteer photographer. Ann remarked she can already note the similarities between son, Henrick and dad, Brady.

In the beginning, the babies received oral care with milk on a Q-tip. Esmé (above) liked to suck every drop of it. The girls continued to grow stronger, but Henrick experienced challenges. “This rollercoaster ride would be scary enough with one baby…it seems like no matter what, there is always at least one of them in a scary place. In the blink of an eye things can look dramatically better or worse.” A typical day for the Erickson’s is packed full of time with the babies and includes: Mornings: pumping for breast milk; getting dressed and packed up from the Ronald McDonald House; a quick breakfast; holding the babies, infant massage and stretching. Afternoons: a quick lunch; cares for the babies, massage and stretching; pumping and holding the babies. Evenings: pumping; a fast dinner and check to see if there is a Ronald McDonald House room open for the evening, then time with the babies.

By the end of March, the babies were weighing in at over three pounds. In mid-April, they moved from the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care unit) to the ICC (Infant Care Center). “It has been a flurry of high frequency ventilators, lung x-rays, brain scans and feeding tubes, but we have three fighters who are continuing to take small steps in the right direction,” Ann said. “The girls are taking on the role of ‘I can do this myself ’ and are strong-willed like mom. Henrick seems to be as easy going as dad. It is such a joy to see their personalities already forming,” Brady said. “A new parent’s reaction is to take on the needs of the child first,” Ann said. “There is no way I would have been able to meet my own needs had the Ronald McDonald House not been there to help. When you spend four months at a hospital, it’s so nice to have a place that feels like home. You never expect to be in a situation like this, therefore you can’t prepare for the heart wrenching challenges coming at you. Luckily, there is a place to help take care of the logistics so you can keep your perspective and focus on the little miracles in your life.”

Hot Dish editor Sarah Nelson contributers Eric Johnson Ruth Kewitsch Donna Moores Carynn Roehrick Meredith St. Pierre John Stanoch photographers Jim Bovin Mike Krivit

4 | Ronald McDonald House Charities, Upper Midwest

Core Program Spotlights: Ronald McDonald House® - Chicago Avenue You be there for them; we’ll be there for you.


Located outside the Ronald McDonald House – Chicago Avenue, the Forever in the Stars tribute wall recognizes individuals, families and organizations who have supported our mission by making a philanthropic gift to honor a loved one. When tribute gifts for an individual cumulatively reach $1,000, the person’s name is added to Forever in the Stars.

We are a proud member of Community Health Charities of Minnesota, an alliance of leading nonprofit health research and service organizations whose mission is to improve lives affected by chronic illness by investing in health research, services and education.

he Ronald McDonald House – Chicago Avenue serves families with children receiving treatment in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis. It is adjacent to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and is our first Ronald McDonald House located inside a hospital, as well as the first program of its kind in the state of Minnesota. Since opening in November 2010, this program has served over 2,000 families. When this program was implemented, extending service to our local community was a priority. As a result, there is no mileage restriction determining eligibility

We believe when children are ill, any distance from their side is too far.”

of families – all families with a child in an ICU are welcome. 75% of families supported by this program are local. We are proud to be supporting our community through this program, as well as families from across the region and around the world. For families in need of overnight lodging (referrals are through a hospital social worker), the House offers 15 private rooms (including two suites), each with its own bathroom. Evening meals are prepared by volunteers through our Cooks for Kids program, and a fully stocked pantry for making breakfast, lunch and snacks is available.

When a child is critically ill, parents can rest and recharge without having to be more than a few steps away.

Our family was able to get out of the hospital room, yet never be more than a short walk from Mason’s side. We can’t imagine going through this without the Ronald McDonald House.” The House Inside the Hospital is a bright and welcoming space for families going through an incredibly challenging time. | 5

Helping children and families heal faster, cope better and stay well Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®

Lunch & Learn All About Us We would love to show you inside the House and share with you what we do.

Fighting dental disease through community outreach


hildren in the United States miss approximately 50 million hours of school each year due to dental-related illnesses. Ronald McDonald House Charities, Upper Midwest is restoring and ensuring healthy smiles in children and increasing their likelihood of success in school by helping fight dental disease, the number one chronic childhood illness.

The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile (RMCM) is a mobile dental clinic on wheels serving children in the 14-county Twin Cities metro at over 20 community locations. Children who would not otherwise have access to dental care are receiving dental services including:

• Exams

• Extractions

• Fillings

• Fluoride treatments

• Routine cleanings

• Sealants

• X-rays

• In an effort to improve the well-being of all

children, even before birth, the RMCM also serves expectant mothers who have limited access to dental care.

• This program has served over 3,000 children

and expectant mothers since October 2009 and the RMCM has provided over $1 million in dental services.

• In 2011 alone, the Ronald McDonald Care

Mobile provided $430,000 in dental services during 1,451 appointments.

Three-year-old Dante visited the RMCM at one of our community site partner locations, The Family Partnership. During Dante’s visit, he received an exam, a cleaning and a fluoride treatment, all under the experienced hands of a compassionate dentist, hygienist and dental assistant. He loved being able to watch a favorite DVD. Before leaving, he was given a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, a coupon for a treat at McDonald’s, and most of all, a positive attitude about regular check-ups.


erese Haggerty Lueck, the unified therapy director of The Family Partnership says, “The very best part is the pleasant experience. The impact of this program is astounding. It’s more than awareness; it’s about access. Families are

In many cases the absence of dental care can lead to severe health implications down the road, as well as multiple days of missed school.”

coming from immensely difficult situations. Part of what the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile is doing is helping to bridge the gap between health and child development.” It can be easy to overlook the impact of regular visits to the dentist, until you see the excited faces of kids like Dante as they leave their first dental appointment. Without this program, Dante might not have the opportunity to receive regular dental care. In many cases the absence of dental care can lead to severe health implications down the road, as well as days of missed school.

We meet the last Wednesday and Thursday of every month, from 12 noon to 1pm at one of our locations for lunch and learn tours. A light lunch, brief intro, a short video and a tour will be on the schedule. Upcoming dates: June 27, 28 July 25, 26 August 29, 30 September 26, 27 For more information contact: Ruth Kewitsch 612.238.8440

Dental Care Counts Less than 20% of Medicaid-covered children receive any preventive dental services in a year. Uninsured, lowincome children have twice as many cavities as their insured peers, with dental disease more likely to go untreated. Uninsured children receive dental care less than half as often as insured children.

6 | Ronald McDonald House Charities, Upper Midwest

Make a Difference Today Estate gifts are an essential cornerstone of support to our programs.


he generosity of our donors and volunteers has sustained and transformed the lives of families coping with the critical illness of a child. Estate gifts have provided an essential cornerstone of the financial support necessary to support over 4,000 families a year. With each estate gift we receive, we are thankful for the trust and foresight of the donors who listed us in their wills.

In Loving Memory To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die. - Thomas Campbell Sophia Aderupatan

Charlotte McManimon

Chase Besette

Madeline Martin

Eiore Beyene

LaZondra McDaniel

Ellianah Bolduc

Katherine Mejia-Ruiz

Tyler Burdick

Nicholas Moore

Kevitt Butler

Eastman Nadeau

Cayden Caicedo

Nico Negron

E.J. Carfi

Isaac Nordeen

Quiana “Quiny” Chei

Emaleigh Olson

Trayvin DeBolt

Laurynn Ombongi

Derek Donley

Rowan Peterson

Chloe Fruth

Marissa Poznanski

Sam Gillott

Jacey Quach

Allison Gobeli

Caleb Roach

Sam Grorud

Katie Rose

Winston Gustafson

Star Sangster (O’Connor)

Asher Hadden Tredd Hanninen Cayden Hanson Nick Hanson Kyra Helmer Halen Hirsch Mariana Jackson Tyler James Jacob Karg Bella Kingbird Mason Kolb Mali Larrow

With summer upon us, we see flowers opening up all around, blooming from seeds and trees often planted years ago. And so it is with a planned gift or named endowment fund They are a perfect way to insure established to benefit the children and families served our core programs will continue by us. An endowment fund to serve families when they most allows donors to allocate need the support.” gifts, leaving the principal intact. The annual earnings can be earmarked to fund specific programs and services close to the donor’s heart. The funds offer donors the opportunity to make a gift in perpetuity in their name or in another’s name to honor or memorialize a loved one.

The income generated from endowment funds impacts lives in tremendous ways. There are tax benefits associated with establishing and contributing to an endowment fund. They are a perfect way to insure our core programs will continue to serve families when they most need the support. We have a goal of increasing the total endowment fund to $5,000,000 and invite you to help us. Whether given now or as part of your estate planning, your contribution will become part of the legacy. For more information, please contact Donna Moores | 612.767.2784 |

Founder Larry Brown passes away at 92


awrence “Larry” Brown, one of the original founders of the Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis, passed away on March 14 at the age of 92.

Quinn Seymour Declan Spessard Christopher Thomas Andrew Thompson Isaac Thompson Joel Ward Natlie Weiss Samuel Wilkening Grace Wing Maurice Youla Ava Zeug

Larry, pictured above, at the opening of the first Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis in 1979.

When Larry’s daughter, Laurie, was treated for leukemia at the University of Minnesota hospitals in the early 1960s, he witnessed firsthand how crucial it was for parents to be close to their hospitalized children.

Having recognized how challenging this was for families who were from outside the Twin Cities area, he joined forces with other founders, Drs. Krivit and Nesbit and McDonald’s owner/operators, to open the first Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis in 1979. Larry once said, “We are put in this world to take care of ourselves. And then, help others if we can.” | 7

Volunteers Are at the Heart of What We Do Help us help families feel at home


olunteers play a key role in supporting our core programs. Without the support of volunteers, we would not be able to support 4,000 families each year. With the grand opening of our newest program, the Ronald McDonald Family Room inside Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, there is even more demand for volunteers, and it’s a great time to get involved.

Featured volunteer activities:

The Ryan Family serves Cooks for Kids dinners regularly at the RMH – Chicago Ave. Jerry is a dog who has a big job, and it’s one he takes very seriously. As the resident cheer-giver at the Ronald McDonald House – Oak Street, his daily tasks are to play, cuddle and listen to troubles and heartaches.

Cooks for Kids at the Ronald McDonald Family Room Cooks for Kids (CFK), our volunteer meal program, takes place at all three of our locations, but is especially in need of volunteer meal providers at the Ronald McDonald Family Room in St. Paul. Cooks for Kids groups purchase and prepare food, set up a buffet service in our community kitchen and clean up after the meal. This is a great opportunity for groups to provide families a home-cooked meal. Meals can be prepared in our community kitchen or may be prepared ahead of time. Options include dinner at 5:30 pm, Monday through Sunday or brunch at 11:30 am on Saturday/Sunday. CFK Groups serve an average of 50 guests. This location serves fewer families, so it’s a great opportunity for smaller groups of volunteers to get acquainted with our newest program. Many companies, churches, organizations and families serve several times a year.

Housewarmer Mary Anderson whips up her very popular deviled eggs.

Weekend Housewarmers

Housewarmers help with the smooth operation of the RMH – Oak Street, RMH – Chicago Avenue and the Ronald McDonald Family Room. Tasks may include light cleaning, sorting, baking, seasonal projects and other maintenance activities. If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, please contact Carynn Roehrick | | 612.767.2788.

Left to right: RMH-Oak St. weekend housewarmers, Matthew Haedicke, Andrew Hughes and Alyssa Hulke greet Jerry before they begin their shift at the House.

He brings a sense of home to children and families. Jerry joined our staff in 2006 and provides a completely unique aspect to the Ronald McDonald House. Jerry helps make the House feel like a home.

8 | Ronald McDonald House Charities, Upper Midwest

Saturday, November 10 Marriott City Center, Minneapolis

Fam Glam‌a truly spectacular night to support FAMilies in GLAM style!

Above: 50/50 raffle volunteers at a Minnesota Wild game. Below: University of St. Thomas students at Arch March 2012.

The evening opens with a silent auction, featuring a variety of great items, including a wall of wine and items created by RMHC-UM families.

Community Fundraisers Raise funds and awareness


ommunity fundraisers are an integral part of raising funds and awareness for Ronald McDonald House Charities, Upper Midwest. In 2011, events brought in over $175,000 of support.

The event continues with a three course dinner and program featuring the presentation of the Don Shelby Service Award for outstanding commitment to RMHCUM. The program also highlights the story of a family and their first-hand experience with our mission.

What event can you plan to benefit the families we serve and inform your community about our mission? Events can range from lemonade stands

The event concludes with dancing and celebrating the work we do for families. This year, we aim to surpass the $267,000 in proceeds from last year’s very successful gala event.

to motorcycle rides, all making a difference for the families we serve. We are happy to provide ideas for community fundraisers, as well as logos and other materials to help raise awareness of your event on our behalf. RMHC-UM requires approval for all community fundraisers held in our name. Partnering with us ensures you will have the RMHC-UM community fundraiser seal of approval for your event. For more information, contact Meredith St. Pierre | | 612.767.2783.

Above photos: Fam Glam is a festive night of dining and dancing for families and supporters.

Sponsorships and individual event tickets are available. Contact us about tickets for our 2012 gala at 612.331.5752. | 9

Left: The 2011 Golf Classic raised $ 112,000 (net). Proceeds directly support families though our core programs and services. The 2012 Golf Classic will be Monday, June 18.

Monday, June 18 Midland Hills Country Club, Roseville, MN Visit to learn more and register. Note: The afternoon is sold out, but morning tee times are available.

Right and Bottom: Brew Love, our annual beer tasting event, raises funds for the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, our dental clinic on wheels that delivers quality dental care directly to under-served children and expectant mothers in the 14-county Twin Cities metro area. Brew Love participants sample a variety of regional craft brews and enjoy food pairings.

Thursday, August 2 Metropolitan Club, Target Field Sponsors: ESPN1500, Minnesota Monthly, FOX Sports North Previous vendors: Cold Spring Brewery Crispin Cider Finnegan’s Grain Belt Granite City Brewery Lift Bridge Beer Schell’s Brewing Summit Brewing 25 for beer tastings and $50 with food pairings. Visit to learn more and register.


All event photos by Mike Krivit

10 | Ronald McDonald House Charities, Upper Midwest

In-Kind Donors


e would like to thank all of our in-kind donors who provide so many of the things that make a House a home. Below is a sampling of the individuals and companies who have helped with our in-kind donation needs.

Pop tabs Since 1987, our Pop Tab program, which earns money by recycling the valuable aluminum, has raised nearly $1 million for our organization. To get started, simply pop off tabs from your cans— pop, soup, pet food, tennis balls and collect them in a container. Drop off your pop tab collection at the Ronald McDonald House – Oak Street any weekday during office hours (9am to 5pm). Or, drop them at your favorite McDonald’s restaurant! Special pop tab collection houses are available to schools and organizations. For more information, contact Carynn | 612.767.2788 |

Donate used video games You can also donate used video games at our Ronald McDonald House Oak Street office (see page 2 for hours and address). We recycle the games and Ronald McDonald House Charities, Upper Midwest receives 100 percent of the proceeds, which help support our services to families.

Mary K. Anderson Bradley and Diane Baumiller Michael and Misty Como Earl Dunham Dede Franzen Rick Fulton Luke Hoffman and Dani Drexler Joe Lafave

In-Kind Giving Makes a Huge Difference

Susan Marquardt Becky Nelson Nicole Snoke

Support us as we support families

Edward and Perk Stanko

t takes a lot to keep a household running, and we rely upon donors to help us keep our pantries well-stocked for the families staying with us. We are especially in need of the following items:

3M Company


• Laundry detergent • High-efficiency laundry detergent • Trash bags with drawstrings • Paper plates and cups • Plastic silverware • Paper towels

Cal’s Allstar Angel Foundation Dental Health Products Inc. M&I Bank / BMO Haris Midwest Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Nisswa Lions Optum Pioneer Elementary RBC Wealth Management

• Trial size toiletries (toothpaste, floss,

RSM McGladrey

• Pantry items (single-serving snacks, granola

Steele Fitness

mouthwash, shampoo, conditioner)

bars, fruit snacks, cake and cookie mix, cereal, canned soup, pasta)

• Queen-size white sheet sets • Bath towels • Food–dry goods and fresh produce • New small toys/stuffed animals for prizes A comprehensive list is available at

Securian Financial Group Waste Management Westwood Elementary | 11 Left: In December 2011, the Ordway auctioned off a 150-square-foot Cinderella’s castle playhouse during its Ordway Circle of Stars gala. The winning bid went to a consortium of donors, who then generously gifted the playhouse to us. It now lives in the Ronald McDonald House – Oak Street and is a favorite spot for the kids. It stands 16-feet tall and 11-feet wide and boasts four towers complete with turrets, a play fireplace, 24 windows and a royal balcony. Other features include a spiral staircase, a chandelier, a castle clock, a Dutch door on the main entrance and benches to sit on. Bottom: University of St. Thomas football coach, Glenn Caruso, became the youngest head coach to win the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year last year at age 36. This year, he became the only coach to win it two years in a row. Liberty Mutual made a $50,000 charitable donation on his behalf and Glenn designated $ 10,000 to Ronald McDonald House Charities, Upper Midwest. When Glenn and his son, Cade, visited the Ronald McDonald House – Oak Street to present the check, they dropped in to say “Hi” to the kids at the Southwest Airlines K-12 School inside the House during their tour.

Board of Directors Chair Dave Overman Chair Elect Thomas Lynch Past Chair Dan Statsick Vice Chair Gregory Larson Treasurer Thomas Hogan Secretary Debbie Roberts William Bluhm Deb Cathcart James Duval Karin Gessner Jill Hamburger Peter Hasselquist David Johnson Michael Krauss Kim Mageau Andrea Novak Rick Pins John Rolando Jeffrey Smith David St. Peter John Stanoch Kathryn Wardrop Robert Zdon

Support the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile速

Keeping families on course

Celebrate FAMilies in GLAM style!


Classic Golf Tournament

Sample local beers

Monday, June 18, 2012 Midland Hills Country Club 2001 Fulham Street Roseville, MN 55113

Thursday, August 2, 2012 Metropolitan Club | Target Field 1 Twins Way Minneapolis, MN 55403

Saturday, November 10, 2012 Marriott City Center 30 S 7th Street Minneapolis, MN 55402

More info inside!

We support families. 818 Fulton St SE Minneapolis, MN 55414


Ronald McDonald House Charities, Upper Midwest Spring 2012 Newsletter  

Ronald McDonald House Charities, Upper Midwest Spring 2012 Newsletter