by Lexi Riemer
Trick-or-treat! Although it’s the end of October, in the Development Office it feels like Halloween, Christmas and Hannukah arrived at the same time this year. In addition to all the preparation that goes into our signature holiday event, Lights of Love, for the last few months the development staff has been hard at work on our Angels Sing partnership.
Angels Sing is a holiday movie for the whole family, starring Harry Connick Jr., Connie Britton, and a number of Austin musicians. Beginning on November 1, 2013, Angels Sing will premiere across the country with private event screenings benefiting local Ronald McDonald Houses. Here in Austin, we have been coordinating the screenings for chapters from California to Pennsylvania and working on two events that will benefit our chapter directly. In addition to a benefit screening, this week we also had a wonderful dinner party celebrating the movie hosted by Turk Pipkin and Eloise Dejoria at the beautiful home of Cord and Anne Shiflet.
All of this holiday excitement has been a lot of fun, but it has also reminded me that illnesses don’t take holidays off. Tonight, when most families are out trick-or-treating in their neighborhoods, there will be 20 families staying in Ronald McDonald House so that their children can receive medical treatment at nearby hospitals. When my family and I go on vacation at the end of December, families will still be fighting cancer and watching their babies grow stronger and bigger in the NICU.
Ronald McDonald House Charities not only provides families who have to spend the holidays in the hospital instead of around the Christmas tree (or on a beach like mine) a place to stay, we are also able to provide families with comfort and as much holiday cheer as possible given their circumstances.
And we couldn’t do that without the thoughtful and generous support of groups like St. Francis School, who donated and decorated more than 20 pumpkins for the House this Halloween. And then there’s our current House guest, Elvis, who will perform at the House tonight in honor of the holiday.
So thank you to all of our supporters who give families with critically ill and injured children a warm, inviting place to stay together over the holidays. Happy Halloween, Season’s Greetings, and Happy New Year to you all!