New St. Louis Ronald McDonald House and 300th in the World Helps Families of Critically Ill Children

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New House will Serve Approximately 700 Families Per Year Traveling to St. Louis to Receive Treatment at West County Hospitals

New Ronald McDonald House in St. Louis, MO -- 300th House in the World

This is a tremendous milestone for the entire Ronald McDonald House Charities organization and for our local Chapter as well.

More than 700 families each year who travel to St. Louis to receive treatment for their child at West County hospitals will be provided all of the comforts of home to help strengthen them as they focus on their child’s recovery at the new Ronald McDonald House in St. Louis, which is the 300th in the World.

On September 29, 2010, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Metro St. Louis, St. John’s Mercy Children’s Hospital, McDonald’s Corporation, McDonald’s Owner/Operators, and the local St. Louis community will gather to commemorate the grand opening of the third Ronald McDonald House in Metro St. Louis and the 300th Ronald McDonald House in the world. The ceremony and ribbon cutting will be held on the campus of St. John’s Mercy Medical Center at 11 a.m.

When a child is critically sick or injured - facing cancer, heart disease and more –important to the child’s recovery is having their family nearby for support. In addition, when families live hundreds of miles away from the hospital that offers their child the best treatment, they need a place to stay to be close to their child.

“This is a tremendous milestone for the entire Ronald McDonald House Charities organization and for our local Chapter as well,” said Dan Harbaugh, president of RMHC of Metro St. Louis. “We are so thankful to all of our generous donors and supporters who ensured we can help more families have access to the quality health care their children need and help them focus on what is most important – facing the weight of an illness, together, as a family.”

“When our very first Ronald McDonald House was built in 1974, no one could’ve imagined that one day, we might open another – let alone 300 of them. The 300th House in the world, and the third for RMHC of Metro St. Louis, is a testament of the commitment and support of the local Chapter, deep relationships with the medical community and the generous support of the staff, volunteers, and individual and corporate donors,” said Marty Coyne, president and CEO, RMHC. “Just like the 299 Houses before it, this House will ensure families have more than a place to stay, but also a place to find strength - emotionally, physically, and spiritually - as they focus on healing their children who are receiving medical treatment at West County hospitals.”

This $4.5 million Ronald McDonald House was made possible by lead gifts from St. John’s Mercy and the St. Louis McDonald’s Co-Op and other generous contributors. The project is contracted by Kadean Construction, designed by Gray Design Group, and financed through UMB.

“McDonald’s and our St. Louis franchisees remain committed to helping families and supporting the Ronald McDonald House provides us a unique avenue to strengthen families when they are dealing with incredible hardship,” said Cassie Nelson, general manager, vice president of McDonald’s Heartland Region. “The communities in and around St. Louis, along with our many McDonald’s customers, have always been incredibly supportive of RMHC and that makes us extremely proud and honored to have the 300th Ronald McDonald House built right here.”

RMHC received a $900,000 challenge grant lead gift from the J.E. and L.E Mabee Foundation. Other major donors include Ameren UE; Anheuser-Busch Companies; Cash’s Scrap Metal and Iron; The Dana Brown Charitable Trust, U.S. Bank, Trustee; Edward Jones; Emerson; Mississippi Lime Company; Packaging Concepts, Inc.; Prairie Farms Dairy; Rent One; Souers Family Trust; Southwest Airlines; and UMB. In-kind donors of $10,000 or more include: Ahal Contracting Company; Allworx Corporation; AT&T; Broyhill Furniture; Bussen Quarry; Charter Communications; The Coca-Cola Company; Viki Diedrich and Dad (Frank Ginsberg); Intermetro Industries Corporation; JS Express; La-Z-Boy; Modern Business Interiors; Rothman Furniture Stores, Inc.; Spellman-Brady & Company; Taylor Company; Tempur-Pedic; and USG. Additionally, certain project costs have been underwritten by the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Neighborhood Assistance Program.

RMHC of Metro St. Louis has been a cornerstone of the St. Louis community for more than 29 years. Since 1981, the St. Louis Ronald McDonald House has served as a “home-away-from-home” to more than 30,000 families of seriously-ill children. In addition, three Ronald McDonald Family Rooms have provided comfort and care to more than 10,000 families of pediatric inpatients at St. Louis hospitals, since 2005. The House provides a comfortable bed, warm meals, hot showers, and a network of families who share a similar burden of having a seriously-ill child. Ronald McDonald Family Rooms provide many of these same comforts within the hospital walls.

Families are only asked to make a donation of $5 per night, but no family is ever turned away based on their ability to pay. More than 40% of the families who call the Ronald McDonald House home are unable to afford to pay $5 because of mounting medical bills and other expenses. The average stay for families is ten days; however, some families stay for months or even up to a year. For more information about Ronald McDonald House Charities of Metro St. Louis, please call
(314) 773-1100 or visit us online at http://www.rmhcstl.com.

About RMHC of Metro St. Louis

Since 1981, RMHC of Metro St. Louis has served as a “home-away-from-home” for more than 30,000 families traveling to St. Louis with seriously ill children. The Houses provide a comfortable bed, warm meals, hot showers, and a network of families who share the similar burden of having a seriously ill child. In addition, three Ronald McDonald Family Rooms have provided comfort and care to more than 10,000 families of pediatric inpatients at St. Louis hospitals since 2005. Ronald McDonald Family Rooms provide many of the same comforts of the House, but within the hospital.

Ronald McDonald House Charities®, Ronald McDonald House®, and McDonald’s® are all trademarks or registered
trademarks of the respective companies.

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Clara L. Carrier

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