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The Heart Behind the Swing: Why We Support Ronald McDonald House Charities for 2024

When you think of a charity golf tournament, you might envision a serene day on the green, laughter mingling with the sound of clubs hitting golf balls, and community leaders networking under the sun. Yet, at the heart of the Atrysten Charity Golf Tournament, there’s a story of gratitude and community support that goes beyond just a day of sport. This year, we are proud to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) BC Yukon, a cause that is close to our hearts.

It was during an unexpected early labor at just over 32 weeks that Kim Lanz, first experienced the warmth and critical support of RMHC. With their newborn twins in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), Kim and Kirk, found themselves in a whirlwind of worry with logistical challenges. “We were living every parent’s fear, watching our babies fight to grow stronger every day,” Kim recalls. The suggestion from a nurse to stay at the Ronald McDonald House next to the Surrey Hospital became their lifeline.

The Ronald McDonald House isn’t just a facility; it’s a haven. For Kim, having a room there meant she could be steps away from her babies at any moment, which was crucial during such a vulnerable time. “It’s right beside the NICU. I could just walk around the corner to be with our babies or return to a space that felt like home to get some rest,” Kim explains. This proximity was invaluable—not just for practical reasons like feeding time or responding to sudden needs but also for the emotional comfort of being close to her children.

Kirk points out another beautiful aspect of their stay—community. “Ronald McDonald House provided a sanctuary where we met other parents enduring similar trials. We shared stories over coffee, supported each other, and in a way, these people became our extended family during our stay,” he shares. The House also catered to their other children, providing spaces for them to play and live as normally as possible under the circumstances.

Beyond just providing a room, the House equipped them with everything a suddenly hospital-bound family might forget—meals, toiletries, and even laundry facilities. Volunteers frequently stepped in to offer homemade meals or just a listening ear. “You find yourself in a situation where even basic needs can be overwhelming. RMHC takes that burden away,” Kim adds.

So, why focus our golf tournament’s efforts on Ronald McDonald House Charities? For Kim and Kirk, the answer is simple: they experienced firsthand the difference it makes during a family’s critical moments. “It’s not about charity in the traditional sense; it’s about empowering families to stay strong for their children,” Kirk states. They want to ensure that more families have access to these same comforts and support networks during medical crises.

Every swing at our tournament isn’t just a game—it’s a strike for hope, a drive for community support, and a putt for families facing unimaginable challenges. “We’re not just raising funds; we’re helping lift spirits and ease stress on caregivers , one family at a time,” says Kim.

This year, as you line up your shot at the Atrysten Charity Golf Tournament, remember that your participation extends far beyond the fairways of the golf course. You’re part of a community that stands together, supports each other, and believes in making a real difference. Join us in celebrating and supporting the incredible work of RMHC, because every family deserves to have their loved ones close in times of need. Let’s make this tournament a hole-in-one for families across British Columbia!

WHAT STOPS FAMILIES FROM BEING TOGETHER?

When the unthinkable happens and a family is uprooted for their child’s critical medical treatment, there are many barriers they must overcome to stay together. Hotel stays are expensive, siblings need to be cared for, and staying in the hospital long term is unsustainable. That’s where the House comes in—providing accommodation, comfort, compassion, and a sense of community to these families in need. But caring for so many families is expensive and isn’t possible without the generosity of people just like you.

 

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