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Cooking for a Cause

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If you are looking for Heather and Blaine Burgess at the Moncton Ronald McDonald Family Room, you will likely find them in the kitchen.

The husband and wife duo were looking for ways to give back nearly five years ago when they learned about the Moncton Family Room’s Home for Dinner program. Home for Dinner ensures that families receive a delicious home cooked meal after a long day at the hospital.

“I love to cook and we were interested in volunteering,” says Heather who said she knew they were at the right place when they visited the Family Room for the first time.

“You just walk in and you are home,” recalls Heather. “It was great to see everything that was available for families.”

The Moncton Family Room, which opened in 2011, provides an oasis of calm and support right inside the walls of The Moncton Hospital, allowing families to be just steps away from their child receiving medical care.

Since they began volunteering in August of 2012, Heather and Blaine have each donated close to 500 hours of their time and have prepared 50 Home for Dinner meals feeding more than 1,000 people. They personally contributed 32 of those meals and 18 were sponsored by Blaine’s employer, Graymont NB Inc. Heather cooks all the meals and Blaine serves as her sous chef. “And he’s good at cleaning up too,” adds Heather.

Over the years, they have made everything from lasagnas to baked spaghetti to chicken pot pies to cupcakes, as well as four Christmas dinners.

“Heather and Blaine are two of our greatest assets at the Moncton Family Room,” says Diane McCaie, Moncton Ronald McDonald Family Room Coordinator. “It’s obvious that they’re very passionate about helping the families we serve, and we appreciate all their efforts – including their monthly Home for Dinner meals prepared for our guests. We are so grateful for their kindness and generosity!”

Heather and Blaine have also made numerous personal financial donations over the years. Heather says that after volunteering there, you can see where the money goes.

“The best part is getting to see families enjoy the meals,” says Heather. “The Family Room is a safe place. It’s that little piece of home.”