40 From Our 40: Marge Borgman

Marge Borgman smiling

In 1987, Marge Borgman’s husband, Roy, was planning to retire from The Indianapolis Star. They both wanted to spend their newly found free time volunteering, but they didn’t know where.

Marge had heard about the Ronald McDonald House through her sorority, Tri Kappa.

“I suggested the Ronald McDonald House. Roy said he’d go but probably wouldn’t like it,” she said. “He immediately fell in love with it. Even before he retired, we started working at the House.”

During their early years, they would play Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus at Christmas.

Roy and Marge Borgman as Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Roy and Marge Borgman as Santa and Mrs. Claus.

“It was a great part of our lives,” she said. She added at that time, it was common for volunteers to speak to school assemblies and organizations about the House. The pair were a fixture at the House and shared countless hours meeting new families, listening to their stories, and finding common connections.

“He and I would walk in together, and leave together, and that was it!” Marge said.

Roy passed away in 2018. In their long tenure, the Borgmans saw the House and its full-time staff grow. What hasn’t changed is “the love of children,” she said. Her secret to being an effective volunteer: being genuinely concerned for families and to understand, like, and believe in what you’re doing.

Volunteering at the House has created lifelong bonds. Marge and founder Judy Monnier remain the best of friends. Marge regularly visits with other founders and McDonald’s Owner/Operators.

The best thing about the Borgmans’ volunteer experience is “all the friends we’ve had; those that are still around and those that aren’t,” she said. “There’s something holding us together, and it’s love for the House.”

By Judy Monnier and Adam Lowe

Heart & Hearth Summer 2022