Threads of Gold for Ronald McDonald House

By Kathleen Swift

For the past year, “Because of You” has become Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Four States expression of choice in celebration of the people who have supported its mission and its programs for the past 20 years. Its intent is for each person to reflect on their giving role and the part each person has played in the lives of families of seriously ill children through their gifts to Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Four States. 

Through their giving, each person is now woven into the theme of this year’s Gift of Light Gift of Love. Threads of Gold is symbolic of the families, the donors, the staff and volunteers and the medical community. 

For the past 17 years, the lighting of the Christmas tree is symbolic of the work of the Ronald McDonald House Charities in our community through its two programs, the Ronald McDonald House and the Ronald McDonald Family Room.

This year’s program will feature Solomon Studio dancers encircling the 20-foot tree performing to Lindsey Stirling’s Hallelujah. The thread that binds Solomon Studios to RMHC is their 12-year-old daughter, who is among the 22 dancers. Mark and Charity Solomon of Neosho, Missouri, came to the Ronald McDonald House in January 2006 following the birth of their little girl, Journey. The Solomons, their son Jonah and grandparents Michael and Nancy Chestnut stayed at the House for 10 nights.

Returning for the second year is the Missouri Southern State University Chorale under the direction of Dr. David Sharlow.

Amanda Mitchell, who chairs this year’s event, has created an elegant tree dressed in white, cream and gold. A life-size Santa will be beautiful standing next to white deer. A sleigh will be filled to the brim with beautifully wrapped presents. Large white ostrich plumes will fashion the tree’s crown. 

“I want people looking at the display to feel a sense of peacefulness and calm,” said Mitchell. “It is these Threads of Gold that connect and bind all of us.”     

The public is invited to this year’s tree-lighting ceremony Thursday, November 8, at 7 pm at the Macy’s Women and Men’s Courtyard at Northpark Mall, Joplin. The Gift of Life Gift of Love tree is the largest fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House Charities.  You can support the work through a sponsorship of the tree.  Sponsorship opportunities are available at various levels. To become a part of Threads of Gold, call 417.624.2273, or email RMH@joplin.org.