Firefighters help relieve patient stress with new home theatre

Firefighters help relieve patient stress with new home theatre
Guests at Ronald McDonald House of Jacksonville enjoy a movie in the new Theatre Room at the House with Reed, a certified Facility Dog.

Thanks to a retired Jacksonville firefighter and two-year volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House of Jacksonville, guests at the local lodge can now enjoy family movie nights at a brand-new theatre on the campus.

John Peavy, a 34-year veteran of the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters, got the idea during the renovation and expansion of Ronald McDonald House in San Marco when he recalled his brother could not go to public places during treatment for leukemia.

“Remembering my childhood…I was raised on Disney movies…I said to myself ‘These kids can’t do that,’” he said. “This is a very stressful situation for families, and movies are a great stress reliever, so we came up with the idea to do this.”

Retired Jacksonville Firefighter John Peavy, Randy Wyse, Jacksonville Association of Firefighters president with Firefighters Kevin Foley and Jeshua Kavanaugh, Ronald McDonald House Executive Director Diane Boyle, and Anthony Douglas, firefighter and owner of Production Design Group

Retired Jacksonville Firefighter John Peavy, Randy Wyse, Jacksonville Association of Firefighters president with Firefighters Kevin Foley and Jeshua Kavanaugh, Ronald McDonald House Executive Director Diane Boyle, and Anthony Douglas, firefighter and owner of Production Design Group

Peavy originally asked Jacksonville Firefighters Charities if they would fund one component of the $10,000 project, but they took hold of it completely.

“We started the Jacksonville Firefighters Charities about six or seven years ago for exactly this reason – to give back to the community,” said Wyse. “A lot of the money comes from the firefighters’ pockets through payroll deduction to give money to this charity.”

Randy Wyse, president of the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters, contacted his brother-in-law and fellow firefighter, Anthony Douglas, for help.

Douglas owns Production Design Group, a home theatre business, and donated his time to install all the components from a large, retractable screen and sound system, to Apple TV playback equipment donated by Michael Guillory, an Apple business manager and Lorenzo Flores, an Apple store leader.

At the dedication of the Theatre Room July 19, Wyse presented Diane Boyle, executive director of the House, with a $100 iTunes gift card so they can add more movies to the lineup.

“A lot of different pieces came together and we’re very proud that the JFC can support Ronald McDonald House. We know what goes on here,” Wyse said. “A lot of times we deal with those people who go to the hospital and they end up here, dealing with more treatment. There’s a connection here and we understand what they are going through.”


By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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