Category Archives: Giving Back

Articles about Service Directions, Commercial and Residential Laundry Room Solutions, giving back to the community.

Ronald McDonald House Receives New Laundry Equipment from SDi/Coinmach

SDi/Coinmach has donated brand new laundry equipment and service to Ronald McDonald House (RMH) of the Greater Hudson Valley. This beautiful facility is located next door to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, and provides lodging for families with critically ill or traumatically injured children. The house has a light-filled living room with fireplace and baby grand piano, a full service kitchen, children’s playroom, and homey suites designed and furnished by Starwood Hotels. In October, SDi delivered eight laundry machines for the building’s three laundry rooms, which they will service on an as-needed basis.

Ron Garfunkel, President of SDi Laundry Solutions, greets the SDi truck that delivered eight laundry machines donated to Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley. Photos by Vicki Chesler

“At SDi, we’ve had a long tradition of giving back to the communities we serve,” says company President Ron Garfunkel, whose father founded SDi in 1952. “We are a proud supporter of many worthwhile organizations that provide much-needed services throughout the New York tri-state area, including The Bridge, Make a Wish Foundation, ARC, and many others.”

Ronald McDonald House has a long history as well. The idea sprang from the combined efforts of Dr. Audrey Evans, a pediatric oncologist who saw families struggling daily to care for cancer-stricken children; Jimmy Murray, General Manager of the Philadelphia Eagles, whose team member Fred Hill had a daughter in treatment for leukemia; and McDonald’s, who agreed to provide funding to open the first house nearly 40 ago in Philadelphia. Since then, over 300 Ronald McDonald Houses have opened worldwide. The House in Valhalla was built by Westchester Medical Center two years ago.

Last Fall, SDi became a division of Coinmach, which was founded in 1947, and is the nation’s largest supplier of outsourced laundry services. The new partnership is not only one of shared resources, but also one that represents shared cultural beliefs.

“This is a great way to reinforce what we do,” says Coinmach CEO Bob Doyle. “We do a lot of community support, like sending money to flood victims after Hurricane Sandy, sponsoring fundraising walks and rides, driving our trucks around to deliver food donations at Christmas. It means a lot to our staff to know that the company is socially conscious.”

Ron Garfunkel and Bob Doyle joined SDi Vice President of Customer Support Services Bill Waters and Director of Client Relations Kamilah Ifill for a tour of the facility and an opportunity to meet the charming and dedicated staff, including Executive Director Marielena DiMatteo and Chairman of the Board Bryan Colley.

SDi President Ron Garfunkel, Ronald McDonald House Executive Director Marielena DiMatteo, SDi VP of Customer Support Services Bill Waters, RMH Office and Facility Manager Joanna Palace, and Coinmach CEO Bob Doyle at the RMH in Valhalla.

“Corporate and private donations cover the costs of housing families and operating the house,” says Marielena, pointing out two large walls in the entrance foyer displaying the names of dozens of donors. Each Ronald McDonald House is individually operated and self-funded through fundraising, grants and donations, and receives support from local McDonald’s restaurants as well.

The house has a spacious state-of-the-art kitchen and dining room, which are open to guests 24/7. There is even a stocked pantry filled with pasta, canned goods, dry goods, fruit and snacks, so that families can prepare their own meals at no cost using the wide variety of donated foods and beverages. Games and toys, and even massage therapy treatments, are donated regularly by individual and corporate members of the community.

“The laundry facilities are used exclusively by our guests, who often stay here for months at a time. Having new commercial laundry equipment in all our laundry rooms will be a huge benefit to our residents,” says Marielena. The entire staff expressed their great appreciation for all of the generous support they receive from their many sponsors and contributors.

Corporate and private donations fund the operation of the facility, and continue to provide toys, food, games and services to the families and children who stay here.

The Caring Awards Dinner will honor Ron Garfunkel, President and CEO of Service Directions, Inc.

Ron Garfunkel, President/CEO of SDi Laundry Solutions Receives the Partners in Caring Award from Al Mayas of Greenthal Property Managment at the Bridge's annual Gala, 2011.

Cynthia C. Wainwright, President of the Board of Directors of The Bridge has just announced the distinguished honorees for the upcoming 57th Anniversary Partners in Caring Awards Dinner. The three honorees have made significant contributions that have positively impacted the lives of many Bridge clients and the community.

The Caring Awards Dinner will honor Ron Garfunkel, President and CEO of Service Directions, Inc. a leading laundry equipment company, as the 2011 Corporate Partner, for being a valued provider of equipment and services in Bridge residences and a supporter of The Bridge for more than a decade. George Ball, Chairman and CEO of W. Atlee Burpee & Co. and the Burpee Foundation, will receive the 2011 Individual Partner Award for being the founding supporter of The Bridge Horticultural Training Program and Urban Farms. NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, will also be honored as the 2011 Government Partner, for her work as a long time activist in providing innovative solutions for combating geriatric homelessness and improving services for disabled New Yorkers.

Ms. Wainwright said, “We are delighted that Ron Garfunkel & Service Directions, George Ball and Speaker Quinn will accept our 2011 Partners in Caring Awards, as partners in our work with the homeless, adults with serious mental illness, substance abuse disorders and HIV/AIDS. We honor them for their commitment to The Bridge and our community.”

The fundraising Dinner will be held on June 9, 2011 at The Boathouse in Central Park, with cocktails at 6:30 pm and dinner at 7:30 pm. The Gala’s theme is “A Night in Venice” with gondola rides for our guests on the lake outside the Boathouse. Dinner proceeds will support the agency’s broad range of services, including homeless housing initiatives for recent veterans, as well as the horticultural training program and urban farms. For information about Journal Ads and Tickets, contact Ann Hyatt, Director of Development, at or call 212-663-3000, ext. 379.