Retrospective: Iva Metz & The Good Sams

It’s Throwback Thursday, so we’re taking a drive down memory lane with this story about our House’s history.

House in 1983

The House circa 1983!

Iva Metz was driving to work one day when a story on the radio caught her attention. A Ronald McDonald House was going to be built in Seattle and it was going to need support to get up and running. She immediately thought her friends from her Good Sam Club (an RV camping club) would want to help.

House opening with Good sams

The Good Sams at the House’s opening

Good Sam Club has hundreds of chapters and is the largest RV camping club in the US. Short for “Good Samaritans,” the club emphasizes providing a helping hand to those out on the road or to those in a chapter’s local community. When Iva told her local Good Sam Club chapter, the Roamin’ Wheels, about the House – they knew they wanted to get involved.


Mayor opens House

Seattle Mayor opens the first Seattle House in 1983.

Iva and the club attended the opening of the House in 1983. “I remember being there as they cut the big ribbon to open the House,” says Iva “The Mayor of Seattle at the time [Charles Royer] did the honors.” One of the first things the club did to get involved was to help keep the cookie jars full. Every month, Good Sam members would make and deliver six dozen cookies for families at the House!

When members weren’t at the House, they held fundraisers to support it. Over the years, they have sold pins and t-shirts, held raffles, put on garage sales, hosted dinner parties and held bake sales for the House.

Women standing

The cow chip toss was a popular fundraiser.

However, they also have held some of the House’s more interesting events – including a Christmas tree sale, a wooden turtle race, a plastic surprise egg sale,  and even a popular cow-chip tossing competition! Iva says “After the Cow Chip Tossing contest that my husband Homer wanted give everyone something to remember that contest by, so he arranged for everyone to tossed a brightly colored ribbon stating how far they threw.  He didn’t want just the strong, young arms to get noticed, but the old ones with arthritic arms or hands to have something to brag about.” The group continued the cow-chip contest for 16 years.

Lady throws cow chip

Tossing the chips!

Getting involved with the House today is still easy if you’d like to follow in the footsteps of the Good Sams- just browse our pages about how to volunteer or run your own fundraiser.