Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 203 Edmonton Event Day

Day 203 (night 8 as a mallrat!) was an event day. My routine is becoming very routine, go to window, see if any of the gang is at breakfast, and then head on down. So far I see Steph, Jane (in the cast), Anna and Marilyn.

After I finished breaky, it was Don, Billy, and Jordan's turn. That is one well used table!

One of my responsibilities today, I was entrusted with the 25th anniversary Rick Hansen medal. I figured the moose here was a worth difference maker, he has rode shotgun with me on two relays, riding on the dash of the media motorhome on the Olympic Torch relay, and now on the Rick Hansen relay in whatever vehicle I happen to be driving.

I had a bit of time before the event, the hotel gym was directly across from my room, how convenient!
I was fortunate enough today to be part of the relay team that went to the Ronald McDonald house in Edmonton.

We will be cooking dinner tonight for the families staying at the home. The last Ronald McDonald house I volunteered at was in Halifax.

Ronald McDonald House® Northern Alberta provides a home away from home and support for sick children and their families. Since opening in 1985, the purpose of the House has remained the same: keeping families together while the child is being treated for illness in a compassionate and comfortable, home-like atmosphere.

After completion of the expansion, the House will accommodate up to 30 families, each with their own suite and private bath, while sharing kitchen facilities and common areas. Families pay a nominal fee per night, which is only a portion of the cost to operate. Although occupancy is not based on financial need, the nightly fee is purposely kept at this rate to make it an affordable option for all families wanting to be close to their ill family member.

The House has seen over 25,000 people since it opened in 1985. It is a non-profit organization owned and operated by the Society of Children's Oncology Family Services of Northern Alberta. It is one of 12 Houses across Canada and one of over 270 around the world. 

There was a lot of pantry, fridge, and freezer space, the familes can bring in their own food, or if needed, there are lots of extras and donations to go around.

Our endurance athlete Herve, and Jane, who is from the head office and is here visiting the relay, getting into the spirit.
This facility is huge, this is one of the playrooms.

There is a fitness area for the family members to use.

We were given a tour of one of the room the families stay in, similar to a hotel. This facility can house up to 30 families at a time, and is 42,000 square feet.

very hotel like.
ah, the magic room.

lots of stuffies to play with.

When a child arrives at the House or reaches a special milestone, they are given a key to The Magic Room to escape the daily thoughts of hospitals, doctors, and treatments. Although we like to keep what's inside The Magic Room a secret, we will say that each child leaves the room with a big smile and a brand new toy.

People and businesses can make a donation and have their names added to one of the house on the donation wall
What's for dessert, Kayla? yea, cupcakes!

the team gets to work, on the menu tonight, tacos! Marilyn, Kayla, Jane, Barn and Herve, do the slicin' and dicin'

Margaret, our endurance athlete from day 202, sheds a tear while chopping up the onions.

Marilyn getting the taco shell ready to warm up.
Eric and yours truly were in charge of the meat!

Of course the night would not be complete without a visit from our relay Ronald! The kids were thrilled!

Kayla and Barn
The food is prepared, time to eat!

After spending all day at the hospital, the families of the children receiving treatment appreciate not having to worry about making dinner.

This Ronald McDonald, who attends a lot of the relay events, really knows how to connect with the children and their families.

When we left, I saw this old school house across the street. Thanks to the staff and to the families of Ronald McDonald house for letting us into their world for a short amount of time.
Back at the hotel I saw the paper had a couple of stories abouth the Rick Hansen and the 25th anniversary relay.

yes he does!

Back at the hotel, Ross and I had a beer with Travis, who is going to university in Edmonton. Travis was one of a very special group of young first nations people that we worked with on the Olympic Torch relay. Their job was basically the keepers of the flame. They looked after the laterns that held the olympic flame, and they were responsible for the lighting of the torches. Great to see him again!

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