The House Always Wins

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Photography by Sarah Oden Photography

   A night out in Vegas where the house always wins? The Ronald McDonald House that is! Test your luck at the historic Junior League of Little Rock Building… Speakeasy… and support the families at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas. CEO Janell Mason emphasizes the unique services offered, “Since opening in 1981, we continue to be the only organization providing a comprehensive, supportive community exclusively serving families of pediatric patients with any diagnosis.”

   A Night in Vegas Chairmen Jamie and Cale Block are cultivating continued support for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas. Cale shares, “The house is truly a home away from home for families going through a stressful time. It’s wonderful to see how much RMHCA can help families with the care and comfort aspects of everyday life whether that’s food, a comfortable place to stay, games and toys for their kids, haircuts or a few minutes of fun with Mac. It’s not just a place to stay—it’s truly a home.” 

   width=These Arkansas natives were initially introduced to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas by Susan and Dean Davenport at Chocolate Fantasy Ball. Cale remembers, “The following year, RMHCA received the Barber Law Firm’s Century Fund Grant. Through the grant application and award process, we met the wonderful people at the organization.” Cale, an attorney, serves on the Barber Law Firm PLLC’s management committee; Jamie is a professional counselor, with more than 10 years of experience working with children and families. Since 2019, the couple has volunteered for numerous events including the Golf Scramble, Chocolate Fantasy Ball, and now, A Night in Vegas; Cale serves on the RMHCA Board of Directors. Special Events Manager Alex Hudson reveals, “I believe what has impressed us most about them is their outreach within the community. They have assembled a diverse committee that has opened so many doors and has brought so many new faces and ideas into the organization. At the end of the day, that is what is so important in our work.”

   Proceeds from the event support families at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas or the Ronald McDonald Family Room. Director of Communication Candice Hickman elaborates, “Many families are forced to travel far from home for medical treatment that can last a day, a month or even longer. We provide a comfortable place for families to stay for an extended amount of time with all services being free. This is an incredible stress relief on families who can stay near their critically ill child without the expense of gas, meals at restaurants and an extended hotel stay.” Jamie adds, “I have learned through work with children and families that during these times of significant stress, such as a child’s serious illness, protective factors mitigate stress and increase resilience in children and their families. Protective factors, like caring supportive relationships for the child and their caregivers, help them cope during the most difficult of situations. The house meets many of the physical and emotional needs of caregivers so that those caregivers have more capacity to meet the emotional needs of, and be physically present with, their hospitalized child, which is invaluable.”

   Like the rules at the Ronald McDonald House, Jamie and Cale encourage guests to come as you are! The fun, casual atmosphere will include a variety of casino games, light bites from local eateries as well as a bourbon pull and auction. However, the couple is most looking forward to guests learning more about this worthy organization. Cale adds, “This event will involve some of our favorite people and businesses, all coming together to support an organization that we love.” Jamie concludes, “We’ve used ‘The House Always Wins’ as a fun slogan, but the truth is that our whole community wins when we come together to support the work of this house and the children and families whose lives are changed by it.”

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