Around the end of December 2015, I found out about the Prepare-A-Meal program that the Ronald McDonald House has. My wife and I organized our dinner that we prepared for our local Ronald McDonald House of Charleston. This program provides a much needed service to families who are supporting their sick children and often don’t have the time, funds, or energy to prepare a healthy, home-cooked meal. The Ronald McDonald House of Charleston is a 27-bedroom home where families stay while their children undergo extensive medical treatment. Here, parents and children lead a life as normal as possible during their traumatic times without the financial burden of costly hotel and travel expenses. This was the first time we have done an event supporting the community where we weren’t clad in armor. At least in this area. It was a fun and rewarding to be able to put this together.

We came up with a simple, but delicious meal for everyone to enjoy. The Prepare-A-Meal program offers groups to come in and volunteer either breakfast / lunch or dinner. We signed up for dinner. When doing so, you have to plan to cook food for 60 people (max). This is the amount of guests staying there if the RMH was at capacity. On this evening, the house only had 1 vacant room which put them around a capacity of 55+ guests.

Our meal took around 2 hours. We prepared a menu of (3) Baked Ziti’s w/ ground beef & tomato sauce, (1) vegetarian Baked Ziti, toasted buttered Italian bread, Spring Mix & Romaine salad with cherry tomatoes and cucumbers and brought in gallons of sweet tea and lemonade to wash it all down. The house had a state-of-the-art kitchen setup with all of the utensils, cookware and commercial ovens and stove tops. We only had to bring the ingredients to cook. When dinner was served at 6pm, we only saw 10-15 guests come down. Not everyone eats at the same time because some are back and forth between the hospital(s) but the RMH rest assured that within 1-2 hours of the food being served, it would all be eaten. Some will come down and eat int he lounge area and some make to-go boxes with the food and take it to their room or back to the hospital(s) with them. The guests were so appreciative of the free meal and thanked us while they fixed their plates. You could see how much they enjoyed the hot meal after a long and stressful day dealing with their time at the hospital. Although we did not suit up, a few of us displayed helmets , trading cards and Chris Gould gave out some great vinyl decals for anyone to have.
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Troopers that Attended:
1. Rusty Myers (TK-65900)
2. Chris Gould (TB-11110)
3. JP Morgan (TI-91886)
4. Jason Boyd (TD-5945)

Crossover Attendee from the Rebel Legion:
1. Ellen Myers (wife of Rusty Myers and member of Blue Ridge Base – Rebel Legion)

Leading up to the event, we were able to raise $150 to purchase the food needed and 100% of the funds were used to buy everything we cooked.

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