Group cooks and raises money for Ronald McDonald House

By ROBERT LINNEHAN

A local dinner club decided to expand from their bi-monthly culinary get togethers and help a worthwhile foundation with their gastronomical talents.

The Kings Grant Dinner Club took their culinary enthusiasm out of the kitchen and poured their energy into a 50/50 raffle, raising more than $800 for the South Jersey Ronald McDonald House.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding and supporting programming that directly improves the health and well being of children, according to the organization’s mission statement. Ronald McDonald Houses actually provide housing for families who must travel to receive medical attention for their seriously ill children.

In most situations the families are able to stay at the homes free-of-charge or at a very minimal cost. The first Ronald McDonald House was created and constructed in 1974.

“All of the Kings Grant Dinner Club members are mothers and dads, or grandmothers and grandfathers, and found that directing our passion for cooking towards a charity whose goal is to keep families together during a child’s health crisis was not only gratifying, put a perfect match for out organization,” said Sharon McKenney, dinner club chairperson.

The money raised through the raffle was donated to stock the Ronald McDonald House pantry with food and kitchen essentials in Camden.

On March 9, members then prepared an evening’s dinner for the families of seriously ill and traumatically injured children who are being treated at nearby hospitals. Home made baked chicken, macaroni and cheese, salad and grilled vegetables to feed 40 was served. To wrap up the evening the families were treated to a “make your own ice cream sundae” bar complete with toppings.

McKenney and Bina Leahy — who organized the raffle and volunteer program — said that members found the experience so rewarding that it will become an annual part of the Kings Grant Dinner Club.