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21st Annual Cup O’Cheer Homes Tour Friday, November 18

Ronald McDonald House® supporters gathered Friday, November 18 to make the 21st annual Cup O’Cheer Homes Tour a huge success! Homeowners, Holiday Market merchants, Simply Delicious Catering and hundreds of volunteers worked enthusiastically to ensure our guests had a wonderful time. A special thank you to the many volunteers who generously spent their time serving delicious treats, greeting guests, working in homes and at the Holiday Market, driving shuttles, and more. This event would not be possible without the thousands of hours you all commit to the event.

We’re already looking forward to our 22nd Annual Cup O’Cheer Homes Tour next year, so mark your calendars now for the event to be held on Friday, November 17, 2017! Be sure to purchase your tickets early to ensure you receive a teacup and saucer. If you’d like to receive an email notification when tickets go on sale, please contact Kim Booth at

We are also grateful to the following sponsors for providing generous contributions that will support our Ronald McDonald Houses and the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®:

Heart of the House Staff House Near Cox South

From The Happy Anniversary 1 Year

Kim Clift, House at Mercy Kids Mikel Dashtipour, House near Cox South Kim Fergus, House near Cox South Madelyn Price, House near Cox South

Johnny Anderson Haley Barnett Maggie Bradley Nadean Burnett Ashton Canfield Dave Canfield Philip Canfield Nancy Carlson Megan Carrell Susan Carter Alexis Christopher Nancy Clark Brittney Cowan Caroline D’Andrea Mikel Dashtipour Kathy Dennis Lynelle Dock Blake Dowdy Judy Duncan Sue Eppler Kim Fergus Becky Gillham Sharon Gillham Shawn Gott Fabian Goyes Maria Goyes Amy Grubaugh

Amber Guilliams Lauren Hamm Darren Harrelson Laura Harrelson Mackenzie Harrelson Cindy Harris Liz Hayes Bella Hill Cliff HIll Karen Hill Gracie Holt Kathy Jenkins Clayton Keller Kennedy Keller Savannah Keller Randi Kerr Trot Kinser True Kinser Betty Kniep Julia Kovacs Victoria Kubitschek Becky Lang Amber Lopez Kayla Love Shawn Lowery Riley Luallin Adrienne McCoy

House At Mercy Kids Carolina Andrade Tyler Austin Stephanie Boscatto Catelynn Classick Courtney Classick Kim Clift Lizzie Collum Jennie Crabbe Brooke Davis Audrey Dlabach Sandy Emberton Rachel Farmer

Becky Farris Patti Garretson Gabriel Green Adam Greeno Terry Greer Ann Griesemer Leslie Hatch Brenda Havens Kaley Hawkinson Carri Hummer Jessi Hummer Jenni Jacka

Sandra McNeive Eileen Meinsen Larry Meinsen Kelsie Mitchell Sandy Morris Grant Musick Nolan Musick Jordan Myers Ana Ortiz Karla Peck LeRoy Peck Hayley Poppell Madelyn Price Kay Prost Kennedy Randles Lexi Rawlings Lorinda Rehagen Deja Richardson Cliff Ricketts Jan Ricketts Kendyl Rodman Joe Roushdi George Schlick Joan Schroeder Anne Schubert Debbie Slocum Randy Slocum

T.J. Slocum Alyssa Smith Dearicka Smith Mary Smith Grace Stagner Kim Stagner Brianna Steiert Brandon Taylor Karen Taylor Kelsey Taylor Kristina Taylor Rich Taylor Linda Tenneson Kyle Thompson Lauren Tiedeman Ava Uzzell Sondra Uzzell Tristen Uzzell Abigail Weitzel Lucy Weitzel Joanna Weitzel Scott Weitzel Travis Weitzel Sara Westbrooks Cathe Whittington Meghan Zengel

Lillian Jacka Josie Kennedy Courtney Krueger Katelin Krusz Jordan Looney Micca Looney Ashlee Luko Beth Mecca Jianna Mills Kiera Mills Krista Mills Kersten Mitchell

Rebekah Mitts Alyssa Mondeaux Abby Monsees Miranda Nelson Alyson O’Connor Karrington Prohaska Monica Quinn Abby Shifflet Vanessa Strathmann Debbie Williams Gabby Wilson Rebecca Won

Welcome, New Volunteers To Houses Caroline D’Andrea, Kelsie Mitchell, Kersten Mitchell and Gabby Wilson

Heart Beats is published monthly for volunteers of Ronald McDonald House Charities® of the Ozarks and The Tooth Truck, Inc. Editor: Staci Jensen The following trademarks used herein are owned by McDonald’s Corporation and its affiliates: McDonald’s, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Ronald McDonald House Charities logo, Ronald McDonald House, Ronald McDonald House logo, Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, RMHC. The Tooth Truck name and logo are owned by The Tooth Truck, Inc.


RMHC Staff President & CEO Bonnie Keller House Program Director Staci Jensen Tooth Truck Program Director Mindy Muñoz Project Manager Amber Price Assistant to the President Debbie Kinser Development Assistant Kim Booth Administrative Assistant Debbi Gafner

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE NEAR COX SOUTH House Manager Megan Schussler Associate House Manager Alicia Doran Assistant House Managers Karis Agnew Jacinda Canfield Cassie Franklin Crosby Keller Sara Wikoff Sara Wilken

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE AT MERCY KIDS House Manager Susan Green Associate House Manager Ely Wright Assistant House Managers Amy Crawford Bailey Ghan Josie Greeno Hannah Major Melanie Ward


Family Dinner Cerner Si3

December Birthdays

When did you start providing meals at the Ronald McDonald House? February 2015

December 1 Garrett Craigmiles True Kinser

How did you get involved with the Family Dinner Program? In 2015, we launched a group called the Community Outreach Committee. Our goal was to set aside time every month, quarter and year for different outreach projects in the Springfield area. Ronald McDonald House is located right behind our building (literally knocking at our back door)! We couldn’t wait to get involved! What is your favorite thing about participating in the Family Dinner Program? Each month, different teams and associates gather together to serve. It’s an opportunity for our associates to collaborate outside of work and interact with a lot of other team

members that they don’t see every day, while providing a much-needed service to families going through a hard time. What would you say to anyone considering volunteering for the Family Dinner Program? Volunteering with RMH is a blast! We meet so many interesting people and you have the opportunity to hear their stories. The staff is always friendly and makes preparing, serving, and clean up SO easy there’s no reason not to do it!

Sign up now to adopt a meal in 2017 at one (or both) of the Ronald McDonald Houses! We would love your group to be part of this wonderful program and help us provide a meal for families every night of the year. For a complete list of open dates, check out our calendar online at You can schedule a meal at the House near Cox South by contacting Alicia Doran at 417-875-3501 or the House at Mercy Kids by contacting Ely Wright at 417-820-0534. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

December 6 Stephanie Boscatto Sandy Emberton December 7 Adrienne McCoy Cliff Ricketts

December 12 Alyson O’Connor December 13 Alex Krause December 18 Melinda Thurman December 19 Tristen Uzzell

November Dinner Groups

December 20 Catelynn Classick Courtney Classick

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE NEAR COX SOUTH Knights Templar Kohl’s Associates in Action Lakeland Behavioral Health System Mercy Culinary Missouri State University Student Dietetic Association Northside Christian Church Oak Grove Assembly of God Ozark Dialysis Salchow Family Second Baptist Church Southside Church of Christ

December 5 Connie McCarter

December 9 Larry Meinsen Grace Stagner

2017 Family Dinner Dates

Alpha Delta Pi at Missouri State Battlefield United Methodist Church Cerner Si3 Church of JCLDS Edith and Betty Evergreen Baptist Church Glassman Family Glendale Christian Church Hillcrest Presbyterian Church Julie Pappenfort Just Friends Knights of Columbus - Ozark

December 2 Rachel Farmer

SRC Community Relations The Girlfriends The Good Family Union Hill Church of Christ United Healthcare Vicki Parsons Wagner Church Willard FCCLA Open January Dinner Dates: January 3, 11, 18, 19, 20, 22, 25, 26, 27, 29 & 31

December 21 Joanna Weitzel December 23 Callie Nuse December 25 Mary Smith December 31 Joe Roushdi

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE AT MERCY KIDS Arvest Bank Ash Grove UMPC Courageous Church Drury Volunteer Corps East Sunshine Church of Christ Fair Grove NHS FedEx Julie Gray and Friends Marshfield NHS Mercy 4A Nurses Mercy College of Nursing

Mercy Corporate Health and Wellness Mercy Imaging Mercy Marion Center Mercy Respiratory Care Missouri University Med Students MSU Child Life Student Association Mychelle and Jen OTC Nursing Students Rod Wilfong and Family Second Baptist Church Springfield Catholic

The Wilson Family Turning Point Church Union Hill Church of Christ Wellington Hills Friends Wise Family & Friends Open January Dinner Dates: January 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, 17, 26, 28, 29 & 31


Wish List HAPPY WHEELS WISH LIST Small bottles of lotion Mini hand sanitizers Activity books (crossword puzzles, Sudoku, word finder) Small packs of crayons for the activity books Travel manicure sets Chapstick Individual packs of Kleenex Individually packaged snacks (Goldfish, granola bars, Teddy Grahams, gum, mints, Lifesavers, etc.) 12-ounce water bottles

HOUSE AT MERCY KIDS HE Laundry detergent Swiffer liquid Coffee filters Coffee & tea Magic Erasers Labels for food Drink mixes Hygiene products Gallon-size Ziploc bags Laundry baskets Aluminum foil

HOUSE NEAR COX SOUTH 8-gallon trash bags Individually wrapped breakfast items White queen deep pocket sheets (fitted and flat) White standard-size pillowcases White bath & hand towels White wash cloths Detergent Stamps 8 1/2 x 11 Paper K-cups Large Tupperware containers


Around the Houses Holiday Cheer As we approach the holiday season, we want to wish our entire RMHC family the happiest of holidays and New Year filled with joy! We are also reminded of all the generosity we have received from donors, volunteers, and Family Dinner Groups this past year. The Springfield area and surrounding communities have made it possible for us to provide two warm and inviting homes for nearly 700 families this year! We want to ensure that every family member who finds themselves away from home this holiday season still experiences as much normalcy and cheer as possible. One way we make that happen is by bringing some holiday cheer to the Houses! Thanks to the decorating skills of Jane Paul, Dillard’s, and our awesome volunteers, the Houses are now beautifully decorated for the holidays and feel quite festive and merry! Additionally, we hope to provide every family member with gifts that they can open on Christmas morning. The “elves” will be busy wrapping presents starting as early as December 14th, so if you would like to donate presents this year, check out our Top 10 Holiday Wish List below. Donations are accepted at either of the two Springfield Ronald McDonald Houses and are open from 9am to 9pm seven days a week.

Top 10 Holiday Wish List 1. Gift Cards 2. Electronics (headphones, mp3 players, digital cameras, handheld gaming systems, etc.) 3. Newborn baby items (bibs, bottles, pacifiers, teething toys, etc.) 4. Picture frames 5. Pampering items (lotions, foot scrubs, manicure sets, nail polish, etc) 6. DVD movies – PG13 or younger 7. Board Games – for all ages 8. Cold weather accessories (scarves, gloves, earmuffs, etc.) 9. Books (reading and activity) 10. Journals and coloring books To find out more about ways you can provide support to our families this holiday season, contact the Ronald McDonald House Program Director, Staci Jensen, at 417.875.3521 or


Volunteer Spotlight Alyson O’Connor

Alyson started volunteering at the House this past fall and is a junior at Missouri State University studying finance. In her short time with the organization, Alyson has proven to be an exceptional volunteer and hard worker! We really enjoy having her at the Mercy House on Mondays and Tuesdays! How did you hear about the Ronald McDonald House? When I was in high school, a friend of my brother was diagnosed with cancer. His family was able to stay at multiple Ronald McDonald Houses while he received treatment. How long have you been volunteering with the Ronald McDonald House? I began volunteering regularly around August 2016. What is your favorite part about volunteering? My favorite part about volunteering is visiting all the families. I love seeing how the Ronald McDonald House positively impacts their lives. It is great being able to help them while they are going through such tough times.

What are your hobbies while not volunteering for the Ronald McDonald House? One of my favorite hobbies is traveling. I also really enjoy spending time with my family and friends. What would you like to share with others thinking about being an RMH volunteer? Volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House is a great experience. You constantly get to interact with all the families who have been impacted through the program. Also, every time you volunteer there are different tasks to be done, and it is always helpful to RMHC! What else would you like to share about yourself? I am originally from Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Mission Moment Christina and David Minehardt found a “home away from home” at the House near Cox South after the birth of their daughter Davee. In this Mission Moment, we invite you to learn more about their journey and how you made their time a little easier. “On November 14, 2015, our daughter was born six weeks premature—in the front seat of my husband’s truck— 30 miles away from the hospital. Davee Minehardt was born weighing 4 lbs 11 oz. She spent her first 21 days in the NICU at Cox South Hospital. At first, she was breathing on her own and didn’t seem to have any severe issues, so we expected her to come home with us after a few days, but she took a turn for the worse around the third day. Davee wasn’t able to eat on her own and started having other medical issues. At the time, we were living over 30 miles away in Marshfield, and for the first couple of nights, we were renting motel rooms so we could be close to her, which was getting pretty costly. A member of the staff at Cox South told us about the Ronald McDonald House, and my husband and I were eager to get a room right away. When we arrived at the House, it was pretty late at night and we were exhausted. We were greeted by a friendly staff member who provided a tour of the House, offered us something to eat and showed us to our room. Our stay at the House was a blessing! We were able to be close to the hospital, take care of our laundry, enjoy warm showers, have the privacy of our own room and bring our personal belongings, too. Members of the community made sure we had dinner each evening, and everyone was willing to help. It was so nice to meet other families that were going through the same thing we were. I was truly amazed by the hospitality and the people that took the time to help us.

Ronald McDonald Houses of the Ozarks HOUSE NEAR COX SOUTH STATS October 2016 Families Served........42 Nights................... 222 Families from Missouri.................. 30 Families from Other States.............12 Year-To-Date Families Served...... 314 Program-to-Date Families Served... 9,570

HOUSE AT MERCY KIDS STATS October 2016 Families Served........44 Nights................... 300 Families from Missouri..................40 Families from Other States...............4 Year-To-Date Families Served...... 365 Program-to-Date Families Served... 1,782

Thank you, Ronald McDonald House staff, volunteers and supporters! That was a very stressful time in our lives and you guys went above and beyond to help make us comfortable—we really appreciate it! I also want to say thanks to all who donated gifts for our new baby and to the ladies who took the time to make the knitted hats for her”. ~ The Minehardt Family


Heart of the Truck

Megan Blake Samantha Bornaman Neelima Chelliboia Catelynn Classick Garrett Craigmiles Matt Freihofer Sophie Harrington Linda Heslin Ben Hughes Crosby Keller Alex Krause Connie McCarter Stephanie Miller-Greer Caleb Murray Terre Redmon Ashlee Robinson Micayla Shrimpton Bryson Starkey Adam Stotts Melinda Thurman

Tooth Truck Wish List Action figures Matchbox cars Hair accessories (clips, headbands) Jewelry (necklaces, bracelets) Chapstick Handheld games DVDs for older children Outdoor toys (bubbles, sidewalk chalk, Frisbees, sports balls) Walmart gift cards


Tooth Talk Making Brushing Routine By: Tamara Maddox The Healthy Smiles Academy strives to impact the lives of every participant by empowering them to maintain a cavity-free smile as they grow. One important focus of the program is connecting with students in Special Education to establish a solid brushing routine. We recently worked with Ms. Allie’s Special Education class at Willard Orchard Hills Elementary and were thrilled to see incredible growth with brushing among her students. For some children, sensory issues make brushing their teeth a real challenge and can pose a major problem when it comes to their bedtime routine. Ms. Allie shares, “Students with special needs really struggle with brushing their teeth and a lot of parents decide to take it out of their daily hygiene routine due to this struggle. With continuous practice at school, it can have a positive impact on students!”

supplies necessary to implement daily tooth brushing all school year. The Healthy Smiles Academy utilizes a special brushing model, named DecayAway Dragon, who has a strong, instant connection with many of our brushing participants. Ms. Allie shared a story of one particular student from her class. “One of my students was very hesitant to brush his teeth the first day. He got upset and did not like the idea Ms. Allie brushes her teeth alongside student of brushing his teeth at Wyatt; he is no longer reluctant to brush his teeth! school. After a couple of days and attempts, demonstrate what the Healthy he slowly began brushing his Smiles Academy is all about. teeth. After five or six days It is so rewarding to be a part of brushing his teeth with of such a positive impact on a DecayAway Dragon, he now young child’s oral health and really enjoys brushing his teeth self-esteem. at school!” Moments like this

On the first day of the program, each child gets a set of supplies for their classroom along with a bag of dental goodies to take home. Ms. Allie shares how helpful these items are to her students: “I am very pleased with the fact that all of my students receive their own toothbrush, plenty of toothpaste, timers, and boxes to put their brushes and timers inside!” The Healthy Smiles Academy Ely eagerly sets his brushing timer in front of Ely practices brushing DecayAway Dragon’s will ensure her classroom DecayAway Dragon before he brushes his teeth. teeth before brushing his own. DecayAway is a has all the oversight and wonderful tool to help students gain confidence.

Welcome, Ben Hughes The Tooth Truck would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest volunteer, Ben Hughes! Ben is a Springfield local and works as a private banking advisor at Arvest Bank. He graduated from Glendale High School with our very own Dr. Sarah. Ben is excited to dedicate some of his time to the kiddos of the Tooth Truck because he loves to make others laugh, and he hopes to bring joy to the patients he meets during his volunteer shift. We couldn’t be happier to welcome him aboard!

Ronald McDonald Care Mobile of the Ozarks October 2016 Children Treated............190


Dental Appointments Provided.......................353

Holiday shopping gotcha down? Why not try giving experiences instead of material items? Here are 20 different “experience” gifts that could lead to dozens of unforgettable memories. 1. Movie tickets 2. Classes for a new hobby - horseback riding, sewing, Sandy Morris, House volunteer, provides painting, etc. helpful tips for everyday needs. Enjoy 3. Geocaching - It’s like a treasure hunt! this month’s Volunteer Tip! 4. Bowling or skating rink passes 5. Gift card/passes to local trampoline park 6. Indoor rock climbing gym membership 7. Pottery painting 8. Museum/science center membership 9. Orchestra/theater tickets 10. Concert tickets 11. Tent and camping trip 12. Amusement park tickets 13. Sporting event tickets/passes 14. Nerf guns - For family Nerf wars, of course. 15. Craft Buckets - Craft supplies to create hours of fun 16. Audible membership - Audible is a website to download audio books -- educational or recreational books for the whole family! 17. Puzzles - Find a fun puzzle to work together on. 18. Board Game - Can anyone say game night? 19. Volunteer! The gift that keeps on giving. 20. Gift to Charity - Offer your children a monetary gift to give to the charity of their choice.


Program-to-Date Dental Appointments............ 48,960 Program-to-Date Value of Treatments...........$12,379,145

Children Who Received Treatment: Boys & Girls Town, Bingham Elementary, Bowerman Elementary, Delaware Elementary, Jeffries Elementary and Portland Elementary

STAFF President & CEO Bonnie Keller Program Director Mindy Muñoz General Dentist Dr. Sarah Cimino Community Dentists Dr. Raymond Burton Dr. Aaron Dannegger Dr. Brett Durbin Dr. Blake Keaster Dr. Misty Shelton Healthy Smiles Academy Program Manager Tamara Maddox

Cranberry Applesauce 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water 14oz. can jellied cranberry sauce 4-5 Red Delicious crisp apples

Year-to-Date Dental Appointments.............2,727

1 teaspoon ginger 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/3 teaspoon lemon juice

Office Manager Emma Davis Enjoy wonderful recipes provided by Mrs. Vivian Carissimo, also known as Mrs. C.

Peel and cut apples into small cubes. Cook water and sugar on high until sugar is dissolved. Add jellied cranberry sauce, ginger, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Mash together. Add the peeled and cubed apples to the mixture and stir. Simmer on low until apples are soft then mash. Should cook for 1-1.5 hours. Refrigerate or freeze when finished. Cranberry applesauce is generally preferred as a cold side with your holiday meal!

Dental Assistants Megan Lambert Chelsea Murray Part-Time Dental Assistants Kristi Terry


Heart Beats

949 E. Primrose Street Springfield, Missouri 65807-5257


Adopt a Room and Heart the Houses Our third Heart the Houses effort kicked off in September with a digital campaign on social media followed by a special mailing created by ADsmith Marketing & Advertising, printed by McCann Printing and assembled by Ronald McDonald House volunteers (and our friends at McCann Printing). Heart the Houses encourages the community to Adopt a Room at one (or both) of our Ronald McDonald Houses for a month, quarter or year.

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To learn about local families touched by the Ronald McDonald Houses, you may view all of the family videos and see our mailing at With two Ronald McDonald Houses in Springfield, RMHC of the Ozarks has provided a “home away from home” for over 11,300 families of seriously ill and injured children as they experience one of life’s greatest challenges. Heart the Houses contributors are providing our families with a safe haven, a place where sorrow and fear can be expressed without censure, and a retreat from the daunting feelings of a worst-case scenario.



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We encourage friends of Ronald McDonald House Charities to consider Adopting a Room during this giving season. If you would like additional Heart the Houses packets to share with family and friends, please let us know!

Heart Beats Newsletter, December 2016  

A monthly newsletter for volunteers of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks and The Tooth Truck, Inc.

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