Ronald McDonald House

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Scheduled dates

COVID restrictions prevented our club from preparing dinners from March to June 2020 but we resumed our service in July. The second wave of COVID resulted in resumed restrictions thereby preventing groups, including the Oakridge Optimist Club, from preparing meals from December 15, 2020 to August 4, 2021. We were sidelined once again in December 2020 but returned to serve dinner in February 2022.

Dinners are served at 5:30 to 6:00 pm. Teams attend for preparation at around 4:00 or 4:30pm, depending upon menu requirements. COVID safety precautions remain in place with a maximum of six volunteers in the kitchen, service from the buffet table and screening of volunteers for any COVID symptoms. Volunteers must show personal identification, proof of double vaccination, sign into the house, answer COVID questions and have a temperature check.

Dinner Schedule

2022 - Team 1 October 21, Team 2 November 15, Team 3 December 20

Past dates

July 21, 2022

The Team #1 crew of Optimists Dave Butt, Mike Blencowe, Michael Hoy, Stephen Strutt and Bill Adams prepared and served dinner on Thursday, July 21 at Ronald McDonald House. We cooked roast beef, with gravy, potatoes and carrots. We also served a tossed salad and a vegan pasta. The meal cost was $187.42. The House was about 3/4's full and we had a lot of house guests through for dinner. Leftovers were packaged for latecomers.

May 17, 2022

Fourty plus families in the house enjoyed the meal of BBQ chicken drums, roasted seasoned potato wedges and caesar salad prepared by Optimists Ruth Harland, Mike Miletich, Gary Shawyer, Brian Gibson and Kevin Levesque. The leftovers were packaged by house staff for later enjoyment.

April 19, 2022

Team #1 served roast beef with gravy, roasted potatoes, carrots and 2 salads. We also served a vegan pasta which was so popular we had to make a second batch.

There were about 40 guests in the house and we served meals to about 15 or 20 in the dining room. The leftovers were boxed up for late comers and next day lunches.

Team leader Dave Butt, Optimists Stephen Giustizia, Michael Hoy and Bill Adams. We were advised that cooking groups are now allowed to have six volunteers in the kitchen.

March 15, 2022

Team 3 cooked a St. Patty’s Day themed dinner for the 55 or so people staying at the house on Tuesday, March 15th. We cooked up a Sheppard’s Pie with beef along with salad and cupcakes for dessert. There was just enough left over for a repeat for Wednesday’s lunch. Our team leaders were away but we persevered with Optimists Rick Gillespie, Pat Flannery, Jude Teskie, Barry Uttley and Aron Lubczanski who will be inducted at our next club meeting. It was the first time for Barry and Aron but I have the feeling it won’t be the last. The total cost of the meal was $163.97. One more thing – no one told me there would be hair nets!

February 15, 2022

We had a very successful dinner at RMH last night.The Optimist Club of London, Oakridge Acres were the first group back to the house following COVID lockdowns. It was good to get back into action for the club. Thank you to Optimists Gary Shawyer, Eric Riley, Norm Smith, Doug Cameron and Kevin Levesque, who prepared and served seasoned chicken breasts, vegetable medley (Potatoes, Carrots, Celery and Onion), caesar salad, with pound cake and butter tarts for dessert.

October 19, 2021

Team #1 returned to the RMH Kitchen after a year's absence due to Covid restrictions. Our crew included our team leader Dave Butt, Randy Brewe, Michael Hoy, Jim Smythe and Bill Adams. We served roast beef and welcomed the new Bosch ovens in the kitchen. We also prepared potatoes, carrots, tossed salad and a vegan pasta. For dessert we served pumpkin and apple pies. There were about 20 families staying in the House. We didn't see a big turnout for dinner but we boxed up dinners for late comers and provided plenty of roast beef for sandwiches.

October 20, 2020

Our RMH Team #1 dinner crew of Optimists (left to right in linked photo) Bill Adams, Jim Smythe, Stephen Strutt, Zak Rahim and Michael Hoy prepared and served roast beef, potatoes and green beans. A very good gravy for our roast beef & potatoes was prepared by Optimist Zak! Our meal also featured 2 mixed salads and dinner rolls and for dessert we provided watermelon slices and carrot cake. We packed leftovers for late diners. There were about 35-40 guests in the house. Our grocery cost for the dinner was $161. Thanks to our crew for an excellent job!

September 15, 2020

Team #3 cooked the RMH dinner this evening. We served baked chicken breasts, half with sweet chilli Thai sauce and half with bbq sauce. Both went well. We also served small baked potatoes, glazed baby carrots and broccoli with cheese sauce. Brownies and butter tarts were offered for dessert. We cooked for 30 people at a cost of $163.49. Team members included Optimists Doug Mackay, Megan Telfer, Rick Gillespie, Jane Antoniak and Bruce Fyfe. There were only 9 families in the house due to Covid-19.

July 21, 2020

Team #1 was back in the kitchen at Ronald McDonald House tonight with a crew of Optimists Randy Brewe, Frank DeCicco, Stephen Giustizia, Zak Rahim (his first RMH dinner with the club) and Bill Adams. Our back to the kitchen menu was BBQ'd chicken, roasted potatoes, carrots, salad and apple crumble pie. The meal cost $225.97. The cafeteria serving station has not been set up yet so we prepared dinner plates or take out boxes that were distributed to the house guests by Ron and Angela from RMH. Leftovers were packaged in take out boxes for those arriving later. We debuted the new club face masks thanks to Kevin Levesque (and Malea). They were great! The COVID procedures at the front door went smoothly. Temperature check, form to fill and then into the kitchen.

January 21, 2020

On January 21, Team #1 cooked a roast beef dinner along with potatoes and carrots. We also served a mixed salad and prepared a vegan pasta. Food cost was $198.32. There was a flu outbreak at the hospital that day so RMH staff decided just before dinner that it would be best for our team to serve the meal. They were concerned about the possibility the flu bug could be spread by having the house guests handling the serving utensils. We scrambled to set up our food trays on one of the kitchen islands and served the food to the guests who lined up with their plates. They didn't seem to mind this and it gave our team an opportunity to interact with them. We received a lot of great feedback for our work. The crew included Optimists Dave Butt, Randy Brewe, Mike Blencowe, Michael Hoy, Stephen Strutt, Al Magrath and yours truly, Bill Adams.

November 19, 2019

Optimists Patrick Flannery, Eric Riley, Mike Miletich, Gary Shawyer, Kevin Leveque and Gary Dennerley volunteered their time to prepare and serve maple pork chops, chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy and mixed vegetables. Mini cinnamon buns were available for dessert. The house was over capacity and the food went fast. Meal cost came in at $147.93. Thanks to all for the work and the fun.

October 15, 2019

Team #1 prepared a Roast Beef dinner with gravy, potatoes, carrots, dinner rolls and tossed salad. We also made a vegan pasta dish.

There were leftover Roast beef, gravy, potatoes and pasta for latecomers and for the next day. Meal cost: $168 Dinner crew included: Optimists Dave Butt, Mike Blencowe, Stephen Strutt, Bruce Pope, Al Magrath, Brent Ashby, Jim Smythe and Bill Adams.

July 16, 2019

Team #1 served a roast beef dinner with gravy, potatoes and carrots along with a tossed salad. A vegan pasta dish was also prepared. Team leader Dave Butt, President Mike and Randy Brewe got the roasts, potatoes and carrots in the ovens in the morning. Stephen Giustizia, Michael Hoy and Bill Adams joined Dave in the afternoon and completed the meal preparations. The dinner hour wasn't too busy even though the house is full. There were plenty of leftovers in the fridge for late arrivals and for the next day.

April 16, 2019

Team one prepared and served a roast beef dinner to families staying at Ronald McDonald House. Leader Dave Butt and Stephen Strutt did the morning prep work getting the roasts in the ovens along with potatoes, carrots and onions. Optimists President Mike Blencowe, Al Magrath and Bill Adams were met by the aroma of roast beef from the kitchen when they arrived in the afternoon. Dave returned to prepare the gravy. We had a big crowd for dinner which also included a tossed salad and a vegetarian pasta. There was a good selection of desserts on hand and lots of leftovers for those arriving later. Our meal cost was $285.

March 19, 2019

Team 3 Optimist volunteers Kevin Heslop, Doug Mackay, Gary Dennerley, Megan Telfer and Archie Wright served up hard and soft shelled beef tacos with cheese, lettuce, onions, salsa and sour cream with sides of rice and salad and some bars for dessert. We had a big crowd of over 100 adults and kids on hand. The total cost was #387.18.

February 19, 2019

The team of Optimists Doug Mackay, Kevin Levesque, Brian Gibson, Norm Smith and Gary Shawyer prepared dinner for house residents. They prepared oven baked BBQ chicken breast, roasted new potatoes, baby carrots and broccoli with cheese sauce. Sweet bite pastries were served for dessert. There were many positive comments by appreciative dinner guests. The total const of the meal was $195.25.

January 15, 2019

Group 1 was assigned to prepare dinner at Ronald McDonald House on Tuesday, January 15th. Volunteers were Optimists Stephen Strutt, Stephen Giustizia, Al Magrath, Matt Brown, Rick Gillespie and President Mike Blencowe. The group made beef and veggie chilli with lots for leftovers for lunch tomorrow, tossed salad and cookies. The total cost of the meal was $344.21. Pictured below are Optimists Mike, Al and Matt holding up the counter while in the other photo you can see Optimists Stephens washing dishes.

June 19, 2018

Four members of the club cooked dinner for the residents at Ronald McDonald House. The menu consisted of barbeque chicken, baby carrots in brown sugar sauce, small potatoes, salad, and dessert. The total bill was $277.68. The volunteers were Jay Minielly, Ron Fisher, Doug Mackay, and Kevin Heslop.

September 18, 2018

A team of Optimists volunteered to cook oven roasted chicken breast with mixed veggies, Caesar salad and deserts for a group of 70 people staying at the house. See the image. From left are Optimists Kevin Levesque, Brian Gibson, Dave Butt, Megan Telfer and Tim Farmillo.