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AROUND TOWN: Ronald McDonald House volunteers treated to special evening

May 11, 2017 Updated: May 11, 2017 at 2:47 pm
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A Ronald McDonald moment with the featured Thomas family, Emma and her parents Carol and Brian, who shared their story at the volunteer appreciation event. 042417 Photo by Linda Navarro

Ronald McDonald stomped his big 29EEE shoes in appreciation and even did a David Blaine magic trick in honor of the three-page list of people who logged almost 13,500 hours of volunteer time last year for Rocky Mountain House Charities of Southern Colorado.

For the RMHC 30th anniversary, Executive Director Beth Alessio and her staff and board treated an enthusiastic group of volunteers and sponsors to an evening out, dinner and silly photo booth pictures at Pinery at the Hill, a first-time visit for many to the scenic event center.

RMHC, a self-sustaining nonprofit, has the Ronald McDonald House for families with hospitalized critically ill children, three Ronald McDonald Family Rooms in the hospitals and a Care Mobile. In addition, there are Welcome Bags of necessities for the families of hospitalized children. Bundles of Joy provides most-needed items for families finally able to take their premature or ill newborns home from the hospital. The Open Hearts Prayer Team answers prayer requests from families.

The programs and those volunteers served 2,299 children and their families last year.

Volunteers honored have served from one to more than 25 years and include long-timers Marge Colgan, 29 years; Duane Klug, 26; Debbie Lacey, 23; Joan Godbey, 19; Judee Guilmette, 18; Dick Mammenga, 18; Maria Pipal, 15; Marlene Kelley, 11; and Kaki Crystal, 11.

The top Silver Award President's Volunteer Service Awards (250-499 hours in 2016) went to Carolyn Ball, Linda Jones and Eydie Mellin.

Two of the many corporate supporters were singled out: Allen Shipley, president of Carpet Care Craftsman, for 30 years maintaining carpets in the Ronald McDonald House, and Geno and Ruth Gibson, Double G Carpet Care Specialist.

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