Families staying at Ronald McDonald House Charities Detroit (RMHC) while their children are being cared for at DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan were treated to a special lunch this November, thanks to Detroit Red Wings Executive Chef William Ferrill and the team’s spouses and significant others, known as the “Lady Wings.”
“Especially around the holidays, it feels great to be here serving the families at Ronald McDonald House, providing them with a good meal,” said Ferrill. “I am grateful that my role has given me this opportunity to come out and help others.”
Chef Ferrill and the Lady Wings visited the Ronald McDonald House Detroit in advance of Hockey Fights Cancer night on November 30 to prepare and serve lunch to the families, as well as support the organization with additional volunteer tasks during their stay.
“It’s great for the Lady Wings to give back to the city, opening them up to the different volunteer opportunities that Detroit offers,” said Merideth Gokey, Community Impact Manager for the Detroit Red Wings. “With our Hockey Fights Cancer initiative, it’s important to support individuals and families affected by cancer. We are here supporting the Ronald McDonald House Detroit because of our long-standing relationship.”
The Lady Wings group consists of wives and significant others of Red Wings players, coaches and front office staff who participate in charitable functions and community service projects throughout metro Detroit. Since 2016, the group has provided support to a variety of internal events and external organizations, including the American Cancer Society, the Children’s Center, Humble Design and Ronald McDonald House Charities Detroit. Since its inception, the Lady Wings have contributed more than 300 hours and thousands of dollars to support local community causes.
“It’s so important to give back in the communities we get to call home during the season,” said Julie Petry, spouse of Jeff Petry, Red Wings defenseman. “Now that Detroit is our family’s home year-round, it means a lot to us to support the local community and families whose children have experienced difficult times.”
The doors of Ronald McDonald House Charities Detroit opened in November of 1979, adjacent to the DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan, becoming the 11th Ronald McDonald House location to open. Ronald McDonald House Charities Detroit sets out to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families, offering a place for families to stay while their children undergo treatment.
“The families that stay with us have children at the hospitals here in Detroit, and the meal from the Red Wings provides a comfort and takes the stress off these families because they don’t need to make anything,” said Kelly Klemmer, Marketing and Development Director for Ronald McDonald House Detroit. “It’s already provided to them. It allows them more time with their kids because we’re taking care of them. We are just grateful to have the support of the Red Wings, because it really shows these families support when they need it the most.”