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FAMILY SPOTLIGHT
THE PITRE FAMILY
Andre and Angi Pitre were so excited for Angi’s first ultrasound; however, the ultrasound showed more than they expected. Angi was not just having twins; she was having conjoined twins. On Mother’s Day 2018, Angi went to UF Health Shands Hospital to have her twin girls. Two days later, Jesi and Remi were born. The two baby girls were born conjoined at the abdomen.
Thanks to the extremely talented doctors at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, Jesi and Remi were successfully separated just two months after they were born. Remi was discharged from the hospital in October and Jesi would be discharged in December. Their grandmother, Kathy, said, “Even through all of this, we are so blessed.”

During this long and difficult process, the Pitre family stayed at the Ronald McDonald House for roughly five months in order to be close to Jesi and Remi. Our House saved the Pitre family from worrying about another expense, and said, “We don’t know what we would have done without the Ronald McDonald House.”
Kathy explained, “As soon as we got to the House, we felt so blessed. The staff was awesome and felt like family. They were so caring and truly interested. They are remarkable with what they do and what they offer.” 

The Pitre family always looked forward to the home-cooked meals at the House, especially the chocolate chip cookies made by those who participated in Sweets and Treats program. Kathy said, “The meals were amazing! We truly appreciate all of those who volunteered their time to make the meals for the families staying at the House.”

 The Pitre family still has a long journey ahead of them, and will be returning to Gainesville for an additional surgery when the girls are two years old. Their faith and the smiles of two beautiful twin girls are keeping the family strong. Throughout the Pitre family journey, the Ronald McDonald House will be here for them and ready to welcome them with open arms.
Wish List
Every small comfort makes our House more nurturing for our families.
We are currently in need of:
 
House:
Toothepaste and Toothbrushes
K-cups
Freezer Gallon Bags & Sandwich Bags
Tupperware
Clorox Wipes
“D” and “AA” Batteries
Men’s Razors & Deodorant
Women’s Razors & Deodorant

The Family Room:
Microwavable Meals (individual servings)
Filled Crackers (individual servings)
Chips & Pretzels (individual servings)

 
In addition, you can help us anytime online through our new Target online registry.

For more information about our wish list, please contact Sherry Houston at shouston@rmhcncf.org or (352) 374-4404 ext. 230.

See our Target Registry >
See our Wish List >
6th Annual Sporting Clays Tournament
Thank you to all those who supported our 6th Annual Sporting Clays Tournament. The funds raised will directly benefit the families served by the Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida. We are thrilled to announce the event raised approximately $40,000. We are so grateful for the support of our sponsors, participants, event committee and volunteers!

Save the date for our 7th Annual Sporting Clays Tournament next year on February 14, 2020. We hope to see you all again next year!

 
Happy Hearts at the House
The Gainesville community warmed the hearts of the families staying at the House this Valentine’s Day. Studio 32 Orthodontics was kind enough to drop off “bags of love” to our House for the families to enjoy. Our own volunteer, Emily, and her grandmother came to the House to make Valentine’s Day goodie bags, which they graciously do for each holiday. In addition, the women of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority at the University of Florida dropped off handwritten Valentine’s Day cards for the families. Christina Thompson, Alpha Delta Pi’s Philanthropy Chair, said, 
“Valentine’s Day is a special holiday igniting the feelings of love and kindness. As a chapter, Alpha Delta Pi was celebrating each other with a special “Galentine’s Day” event, so at the event the 200+ chapter women wrote cards to the families at the Ronald McDonald House. It is always a nice feeling when you get a kind letter, and we wanted to spread the love with the families at RMH.”

To end the week, Gracie the Clydesdale came to the House and visited with families. Gracie is the first Clydesdale to be registered as a therapy animal. Gracie and her owner, Kim, have been making therapy visits to schools, libraries and assisted living facilities for over two years. Kim brought Gracie to the House because she wanted the families to be able to meet Gracie, and have a unique experience with her. Kim said, “I think the families absolutely loved it! Everyone was smiling and seemed to be having a great time. Gracie was loving the attention just as much too! I’m glad that we’re able to provide these visits because I’m sure the families have stress in their lives, and if we’re able to decrease that stress for just an hour then that’s a huge accomplishment to me.”
Business Before Hours at the House
Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce strives to be a hub of talent, innovation and opportunity by facilitating economic opportunity, business, and community progress. One of the ways the Chamber fulfills its mission is through business development. The Chamber provides a wide variety of opportunities for businesses throughout the Gainesville community to increase exposure and success. The Ronald McDonald House was fortunate enough to take advantage of one these opportunities by hosting Business Before Hours. Business Before Hours is a relaxed environment for making effective connections within the community followed by a structured portion to share information about the local businesses represented. The Ronald McDonald House was excited to host a successful event and welcome over 50 attendees. We were able to build lasting business and personal relationships while spreading awareness about our mission of keeping families close.
 
Renovations at the House
The Ronald McDonald House has received a tremendous gift which will greatly impact our families. Thanks to Quality Plumbing and Quality DesignWorks and their employees our utility room, laundry room and bathroom have been completely renovated. In addition, they also installed tankless water heaters and new washers and dryers. The renovations will provide a fresh environment and amenities for families staying in our House. These beautiful renovations would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of Quality Plumbing and Quality DesignWorks!
Welcome, Karma!
The Ronald McDonald House would like to extend the warmest of welcomes to our new Director of Volunteer Services, Karma Kelts!

Karma joins the Ronald McDonald House after volunteering for Sweets and Treats as well as an evening front desk volunteer.  With more than 15 years of experience in recruiting and managing retail field teams, Karma is delighted to join the Ronald McDonald House Charities family. Karma has a BA in Sociology from Florida Atlantic University, and also holds a SHRM-CP certification.  She has a house divided: a “Nole” daughter, Morgan, graduating from Florida State University in spring 2019, and a “Gator” daughter, Madison, who began at the University of Florida in the summer of 2018.  In her free time, Karma loves to go shopping with her girls.  She is always trying out new recipes and finding fresh new ways to disguise vegetables.

Karma lives by Winston Churchill’s quote: “You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give.”

Come by to meet Karma, or email her at kkelts@rmhcncf.org.

 
Thank you for supporting our house!
At RMH, we believe that when a child is hospitalized, the love and support of family is as powerful as the strongest medicine prescribed. It is because of friends like you that we can keep families close to each other and the care they need, when they need it most.

To support our House and keep families close, visit our website. We greatly appreciate your contribution to our Home.
With gratitude,

Sherry Houston
Executive Director
Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida






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Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida · 1600 SW 14th Street · Gainesville, Florida 32608 · USA