Left to right: Director of Headquarters at BAYADA, Ann Baiada, Sherrie Duval and her daughter Aleksandra, Jamie Buttler muralist/artist, and BAYADA Founder and President, Mark Baiada
Inspired by BAYADA Home Health Care’s Founder and President, Mark Baiada, as well in the spirit of giving, BAYADA’s Employee Council Chair, Carol Quinn, and her team of employees raised funds to create a Muppet-themed room at the Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey. The council then coordinated a surprise ribbon-cutting ceremony where Mark Baiada and his wife Ann were present, along with the family who was going to stay in the remodeled room.
“While at the house last November, we were given a tour and learned that businesses could “adopt” a room, redecorating it in a theme of choice, and providing upkeep for a minimum term of three years,” said Quinn. “We were immediately interested and began planning what has become the council’s biggest project to date.”
For six weeks, BAYADA employees participated in fundraisers for the cause, resulting in a total of $3,690. The council used the funds to purchase beds for the room which can accommodate up to five people, as well as dressers, bed linens, bathroom supplies, lamps, side tables, and wall paint. Many BAYADA employees spent last Saturday assembling all of the furniture and putting the room together. One employee of the Communications office, Jamie Buttler, even painted a Muppet mural.
The mural is a parody of Georges Seurat’s famous painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, featuring the Muppets with a caricature of Mark Baiada and the BAYADA Bus. When Baiada speaks to employees he references “getting on the bus” as a metaphor for how BAYADA caregivers and office staff need to be focused on the same mission and purpose.
Appropriately, Sherrie Duval and her daughter Aleksandra, who traveled to the tristate area from Iowa for a follow-up surgical visit, have figuratively “gotten on the bus” to arrive in their Muppet-themed room.
“I am so grateful for the Ronald McDonald House and to BAYADA for giving us a room where we can feel at peace,” said Duval. “In total, we have stayed at this house 11 months, and thanks to people like you, it feels like home.”
On any given day, the Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey has 15 to 20 families on a waiting list to reside at that location. Each family who visits is asked to pay a $15 donation, but many cannot afford it with mounting health bills.
“We rely on businesses like BAYADA to adopt rooms and help us maintain them so that our families have one less thing to worry about,” said Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey Development Director Tina Fiorentino. “I’ve never witnessed a company honoring its boss by donating a room in his honor,” she said. “It truly speaks to the kind of person he is and how he has left a lasting impression on his employees.”