Albany Devils executive staff joined fellow employees of the Times Union Center on Wednesday, Aug 30 as the Employee Relations Committee were a meal partner for the Ronald McDonald House. Staff members took their list to the grocery store and stacked up on all ingredients for the macaroni and cheese dinner that others then cooked up later in the day at the house.
The Ronald McDonald House acts as a “home away from home” for families with children currently in hospitals. Since its opening in 1982, the 16-bedroom house in Albany has welcomed over 15,000 families, breaking down to roughly 500 families a year. All services of the house, including a shuttle to and from the hospital to go along with the room and board they receive, are at no cost to the family.
“The real magic of the house is how the community comes together to support them. These families not our neighbors per say, but it is our neighbors who come out to support them through our dinner programs, volunteering time, and service groups that keeps our doors open,” explained Jeff Yule, Executive Director of the Ronald McDonald House in Albany.
With a dozen regular meal partners that do a dinner each month and approximately one hundred others filling in the rest of the dates, the house has had a dinner cooked for them every night for the last three years. Currently, the dinner program is full and the Ronald McDonald House is expanding to allow groups to come in to cook brunches on weekends; as well as breakfast and lunch on weekdays.
The Albany Devils join the Employee Relations Committee of the Times Union Center for its second cooking for the dinner program. Group Sales at the TUC, Maggie Zmuda, explained that the committee acts as a way to bring together employees of all businesses housed in the arena to combine efforts in extending helping hands to those in the Capital Region.
Also on the agenda for the committee is a staff bake sale, with all proceeds going towards Maggie and Erin Ragazza, as they hope to repel off the Crowne Plaza Hotel with the Special Olympics “Over the Edge” event being held in September. Erin Ragazza is the Director of Marketing of the Times Union Center.
Fans looking to support the Ronald McDonald House, or interested in becoming a meal partner, are encouraged to visit their website, rmhcofalbany.org.
Albany Devils employees lent a helping hand include Jenna Feldman (Community Relations Coordinator) and Kristen Gore (Operations Manager). Times Union Center employees included Ryan Mance (Box Office Manager), Erin McCartan (Group Sales Intern), Peggy Rowe (Secretary of Executive Cleaning) and Maggie Zmuda.