Blog

The 7th Annual Build a House for the House

On Thursday, December 8, local organizations, businesses, and friends gathered together for the 7th Annual gingerbread house decorating competition. Hunter and Michaels from WIND FM emceed the event, while guests ate, drank, checked out the goodies for sale brought by Dillard’s and the Gaineville Garden Club. Special thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, UF Health, all of our other generous sponsors, and our local celebrity judges – Hunter and Michaels from WIND FM, Yeni Monroy from Dream Day Cakes, and Keith Watson from Keith Watson Productions.

University of Florida Campaign for Charity

For the last 11 years, UF employees have given almost $1 million annually to charities serving the Gainesville area through the University of Florida Campaign for Charities (UFCC). The campaign will run between September and October, and Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida is excited to once again be participating as a partner agency. Thank you to the University of Florida staff and faculty members for supporting our community and our House!

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Sawyer: Deputy for the Day

On Tuesday, June 28, 2016, one of our past guests was named honorary deputy for the day! Sawyer stayed at our House while receiving cancer treatment at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. He has always loved law enforcement, and when Union County Sheriff’s Office learned of Sawyer’s story, they decided to make his dreams come true. Sawyer got to meet correctional officers, law enforcement officers, SWAT members, members of Special Response Units, and members of some K-9 units. We are so grateful to have been included in Sawyer’s big day!

A huge thank you to News4Jax for writing an article about Sawyer’s day! You can read the article here.

International Sushi Day

A huge thank you to Dragonfly Sushi for helping us celebrate International Sushi Day! We loved getting to enjoy delicious sushi while making a difference for our families!

The 7th Annual Taste of Gainesville

Delicious food, dazzling auction items, and world-class chefs filled the Hilton on Sunday, June 5, 2016 for the 7th annual Taste of Gainesville. It was an honor being one of this year’s beneficiaries and getting to be a part of this amazing event alongside so many other great nonprofits. We were especially grateful to have the Taste of Gainesville judges cook brunch for our families the morning before the event.

A huge thank you to the Gainesville Sun for writing an article about the amazing Taste of Gainesville judges and their experience cooking for our families! You can read the article here.

CPCU Society Pre-Tournament Dinner

On Thursday, April 28, the CPCU Society held their annual Pre-Tournament Dinner benefitting our House! Guests enjoyed access to the butterfly garden as well as the museum’s other exhibits before hearing the Boykin family’s story of their personal experience staying at our House. We also got to hear a wonderful presentation about Corporate Culture from Tracy Bachmann and Kevin Coulson of Waymaker. Thank you to the CPCU Society and all the guests for a delightful evening.

3rd Annual Sporting Clays Tournament

  • Friday, January 29, 2016
  • Bradford Sportsmen’s Farm
  • 11394 SW 106th Avenue, Graham, FL, 32042
Grab your shotgun and join us for a day full of fun, prizes, and shooting clays! Featured activities include both a silent and live auction as well as lunch catered by Griffin Catering. Each participant will receive a continental breakfast courtesy of McDonald’s, a shooter gift, and a fun-filled day of clay shooting-all for a good cause! Thank you to all our amazing sponsors of this event.

The Gingerbread House Event

  • Friday, December 4, 2015
  • Hilton University of Florida Conference Center Gainesville
  • 11:30am-3:30pm
Our 6th annual Gingerbread House Event was on Friday December 4th from 11:30am-3:30pm at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center. This fun afternoon was full of holiday cheer, delicious food, and friendly competition. Individuals were provided with a single gingerbread house and one hour to turn it into their very own work of art.

The Red Shoe Affair

  • Saturday, August 29, 2015
  • Hilton University of Florida Conference Center Gainesville
  • 6-10pm
The Red Shoe Affair is the premiere annual fundraising event for Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida. Each year, business and community members along with our “family” and friends come together for a meaningful night to help families and their children in a time of need. The evening features a dazzling live and silent auction, delicious meal, and dancing. The highlight of the evening is a guest family telling their story of how Ronald McDonald House Charities played a key role in their lives, leading to hope and recovery. By attending our Red Shoe Affair, our sponsors invested in the assurance that our House is filled with more than help; it is filled with hope.

Ronald McDonald House & Family Room Birthday Bash

Thursday, July 9, 2015 Our House hosted a birthday celebration with our special guests Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses and Santa. The event was held at our House and included a cook-out, face painting activities, and gifts for the children. A special thank you to Mike and Liza from Martin-Brower for providing all the food and smoking the delicious chicken and ribs. DeConna Ice Cream provided refreshing ice cream cups for dessert. It was quite an exciting day!

Work of Heart Award

Jan LeDuc On Wednesday, July 8, 2015 individuals were nominated for a Work of Heart Award for their contribution to our community. We are so honored to have Jan LeDuc as a steadfast volunteer at Ronald McDonald House! We are thrilled you are the recipient of the E.T. York Work of Heart Senior Volunteer Award. Thank you for your passion and dedication to our House.

International Sushi Day

Dragonfly Restaurant partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida to celebrate International Sushi Day on Thursday, June 18, 2015. Guests created their own rolls and the proceeds were donated to our House. It was a spectacular night! Special thanks to the entire Dragonfly team for their support and generosity.

Visiting Chefs Article

On Friday January 9, 2015 the Gainesville Sun visited our House and spotlighted our Visiting Chef program. Our Visiting Chefs make our House a home by providing home-cooked meals for our families to enjoy. If you or your group is interested in helping with this fantastic program contact our Visiting Chef Coordinator, Judy Bates, at (352) 219-6504. Read article here.

2nd Annual Sporting Clays Tournament

The 2nd annual Sporting Clays Tournament benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida was sponsored by the Kids and Clays Foundation and held at the Bradford Sportmen’s Farm on Friday March 13, 2015. 172 shooters participated in this fun-filled day that also included a silent auction, prize drawings, breakfast, and lunch. With help and support, we were able to raise over $21,000.00! Thank you to everyone involved for making this such a successful event. We can’t wait to see you again next year! Photos courtesy of Allison Barker Photography.

North Central Florida CPCU Society’s Annual Golf Charity Event

On Thursday April 9, 2015, Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida hosted the Pre- tournament reception for the North Central Florida CPCU Society’s annual golf charity event benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida at the Santa Fe Fine Arts Hall. CPCU Society is a community of credentialed property and casualty insurance professionals who promote excellence through ethical behavior and continuing education. 2014 marked the tenth consecutive year the North Central Florida Chapter was recognized with the CPCU Society Circle of Excellence, a program honoring exceptional performance and member engagement. Members of the CPCU Society’s North Central Florida Chapter are involved in a number of educational, charitable, and volunteer events through the year, including the annual golf charity event which has raised over $100,000.00 in the last 6 years. Thank you to the North Central Florida CPCU Society for your support. Photography courtesy of Erica Carter.

eNewsletter

Welcome to the first Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida e-newsletter.  Communication is so important-we want you to know what is happening at the House and in the Family Room at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.  I invite you to take a tour of the Roald McDonald House or just stop by to visit with us.  We are making wonderful things happen for all the families who visit with us.  Please subscribe to our newsletter to learn about opportunities to volunteer and invest in our programs.  Healing happens when families are together.  It is an honor to be with you and help families who have seriously ill children have a home away from home.

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Volunteers are 100% Stars!

Our 3,000+ volunteers, the hearts and soul of our organization, are 100% Stars! We honor them every day, but once a year, we celebrate in style. The 2015 Ronald McDonald House Charities® of North Central Florida Volunteer Appreciation Brunch was held at the Best Western Gateway Grand on January 24th. This year alone, our volunteers provided over 11,235 hours of service to our House and the families we assist. Experts have determined the national value of one hour of volunteer service in 2013 to be $22.55. They have collectively saved our organization over $366,551! Over 170 volunteer groups cooked, cleaned, pulled weeds and generally kept our House feeling like a home. Words cannot express our deep felt gratitude! Event photos courtesy of Allison Barker Photography.