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Over 70 Companies Make In-Kind Donations to Help Make the New Peoria Ronald McDonald House® Possible

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois is proud to recognize the 75 area companies that made donations of in-kind goods and services to the Peoria Ronald McDonald House during its build and grand opening, helping to make this new service possible in the community.

“We are so grateful to these 75 companies and wish to thank them for providing hundreds of goods and services needed for our new 40,000 sq. ft. House, from paint, to installation of headboards and artwork, to furniture and room design services. The resounding support of the businesses in this community has been incredible,” says Kelly Thompson, CEO of RMHC of Central Illinois.

Following is a list of the in-kind donors to the Peoria Ronald McDonald House:

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Sold Out “Bid to Give” Art Gala Raises $200,000 for the New Peoria Ronald McDonald House®

Kim Blickenstaff Generously Matches All Funds Raised at the Event

November 4, 2019 – Peoria, IL

The sold-out “Bid to Give” Art Gala for the Peoria Ronald McDonald House® held at the Scottish Rite Cathedral over the weekend proved to be a huge success with $100,000 raised. Developer Kim Blickenstaff generously matched all funds raised at the event, bringing the grand total to $200,000. This gives Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois the funds needed to purchase all the artwork planned for the Peoria House.

Developer Kim Blickenstaff generously matched all funds raised at the event, bringing the grand total to $200,000.

“The new Peoria Ronald McDonald House is going to be a wonderful beacon of hope for families with children needing medical care,” says Kim Blickenstaff. “I’m honored to help play a part and brighten the lives of those who will be staying at the House through these works of art and the planned Art and Education Room.”

At the Art Gala on November 2, individuals, couples, families, friends and businesses selected and sponsored (or made a gift to help purchase) one or more pieces of art to be donated to the Ronald McDonald House. Each individual or group who purchased art for the Peoria Ronald McDonald House will be recognized for their thoughtful gift of art with a plaque displayed next to their sponsored piece.

Each individual or group who purchased art for the Peoria Ronald McDonald House will be recognized for their thoughtful gift of art with a plaque displayed next to their sponsored piece. The sold-out “Bid to Give” Art Gala for the Peoria Ronald McDonald House® held at the Scottish Rite Cathedral over the weekend proved to be a huge success with $100,000 raised.

“We are simply blown away by the generosity and support our community has shown us in making the Peoria Ronald McDonald House a reality,” said Kelly Thompson, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois. “These works were chosen to create a fun, healing environment for the children, their families, and all who will care for them. A special thanks to Mr. Blickenstaff for believing in our vision of supporting programs that provide for the well-being of children and their families in Peoria.”

The new Peoria Ronald McDonald House, opening December 16, 2019, will serve over 700 families annually and provide hundreds of volunteer opportunities for the community. The capital campaign for the Peoria Ronald McDonald House is still going strong with many individual giving and Adopt-the-House sponsorship opportunities still available. For more information about how to support the project, please contact Kelly Thompson, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois, at 309-401-2525 or kt@rmhc-centralillinois.org.

Wonderful Wally’s Family Gets a Sneak Preview of the First Responder Hero Room at the Peoria Ronald McDonald House®

Chillicothe Officer Alex Bastian and his wife Kelsey will be at the Peoria Ronald McDonald House® (RMH) on September 26th at 4:00 p.m. to view the new First Responders Hero Room and talk about why they are throwing their support behind the new Ronald McDonald House.

The Bastian’s son, twenty-month-old Walter (or Wonderful Wally as called by many in the Peoria area), battles a rare metabolic and neuromuscular genetic disorder called Barth Syndrome. He was diagnosed at 8-weeks old and has spent much of his life in and out of the hospital. His most recent hospital stay was around 100 days long in Chicago where he underwent a heart transplant. During their time in Chicago, the Bastians were residents at the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie’s Children’s and quickly came to view it as their “second home.”

“We’re so thankful to have the support of families like the Bastians who have experienced first-hand the relief and comfort a Ronald McDonald House can offer,” shares Julie Locke, Founder of the Dax Foundation and co-chair of the Peoria Ronald McDonald House Capital Campaign. “We also celebrate with them that Wally is finally home!”

The First Responders Room is one of five suites that are part of the new Dax Wing in the Peoria RMH. This section of the House is specifically designed for immunocompromised children. The First Responder Hero Room will not only benefit many children like Wally but is also a great tribute to the many men and women who go above and beyond to keep us all safe and protected – just like Wally’s dad and the many first responders who have supported his journey so far.

In addition to the Bastians, Chillicothe Police Chief Scott Mettille and Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois Board Members will also be in attendance at the Peoria RMH. All have played an instrumental role in helping make the First Responder Hero Room a reality. Donations for the Peoria Ronald McDonald House build are still being accepted. Supporters can purchase a shirt by contacting Julie Locke at 309-360-9168 while supplies last. The cost is $20 per shirt.

The new Peoria RMH will serve over 700 families annually and provide hundreds of volunteer opportunities for the community. The capital campaign for the Peoria Ronald McDonald House is still going strong with many individual giving and Adopt-the-House sponsorship opportunities still available. For more information about how to support the project, please contact Kelly Thompson, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois, at 217-836-3706 or kt@rmhc-centralillinois.org.

The First Responders Room is one of five suites that are part of the new Dax Wing in the Peoria RMH. The First Responder Hero Room will not only benefit many children like Wally but is also a great tribute to the many men and women who go above and beyond to keep us all safe and protected – just like Wally’s dad and the many first responders who have supported his journey so far.

Watch the Facebook Live below!

3rd Annual Duck Derby Helps Keep Families Close to the Care They Need!

Join Us at Knights Action Park this Labor Day from 10:30–11:30 a.m.

Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois (RMHCCI) will host its 3rd annual Ducky Derby this Labor Day, Monday, September 2, 2019, from 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Presented by HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital and hosted at Knight’s Action Park, 1700 Knights Recreation Dr., Springfield, IL. All funds raised through donations, sponsorships and duck number purchases will go towards supporting families served at the Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois. Ducks will swim rain or shine! Gates open at 10:00 a.m.

The free event starts off with a Celebrity Ducky Derby at 10:45 a.m. Come watch as local politicians, servicemen/women, radio and news personalities, and various community leaders race their giant rubber ducks through a portion of the Wild River. The community Ducky Derby will take place after that at 11 a.m. where thousands of ducks are expected to be launched into Wild River. The race will last approximately 10 minutes, with the winners announced at 11:30 a.m.

First place in the Ducky Derby receives $2,500 cash. Second place receives a half-steer of Bunn Family Farms beef ($1,300 value). Third place receives a $1,000 County Market gift card. Plus, those that purchase their ducky numbers before August 23, will be entered into a drawing to win a $250 Visa gift card – an early incentive prize! Winners will be contacted immediately after the race and need not be present to win.

Single ducks can be purchased for $5 each at our website. Sponsor packages, ranging from $25 to $5,000, can also be purchased here. Participants can also download the Duck Derby entry flyer and mail their registration and money to the Springfield Ronald McDonald House® at: RMHCCI, 610 N. 7th St., Springfield, IL 62702. Ducks will be available to purchase at the Derby until 11:00 a.m as well.

In addition to Presenting Sponsor HSHS St. John's Children's Hospital, and prize sponsors BUNN and County Market, top sponsors include Silver Duck Sponsors Mark & Debbi Denzler and HSHS Medical Group and Duckling Sponsors OSF HealthCare Children's Hospital of Illinois, Angie Acakpo-Satchivi, and Eck, Schafer & Punke, LLP.

For additional information, direct questions to Kelly Thompson, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois, at 217-528-3314 or kt@rmhc-centralillinois.org.

Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois Announces Five New Board Members

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois (RMHCCI) is pleased to announce five new members joining the RMHCCI Board of Directors.

Justin Ball

Justin Ball, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Bradley University, has a passion for promoting access and affordability to higher education. He serves on the board of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce and is an active member of Redeemer Lutheran Church. Ball, born in Peoria, grew up in Canton, IL. He earned his M.B.A. from St. Ambrose University, Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership Studies from University of Iowa. He lives with his wife, Jessica, and daughter, Chloe, in Mapleton, IL.

Jawad Javed, MD, FAAP

Jawad Javed, MD, FAAP, Division Head and Medical Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital of Illinois, is a Midwest native. Javed grew up in Northwest Indiana and has been a resident of the Peoria, Illinois community for the past decade. He has been involved in the education and research of pediatricians over the past decade both regionally and nationally. In addition, he sits on numerous faculty committees on scholarship, quality, research, and patient outcomes both at Children’s Hospital of Illinois and the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He resides in Dunlap, IL with his wife, Zohra, who is also a pediatrician in the Peoria community.

Mary Beth Miller

Mary Beth Miller, Operations Manager, HSHS St. John's Hospital, Women and Children's Center, began her career in 1985 as a staff nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit. As the operations manager she supports the leadership team in the Women and Children’s Center. She has three adult children with her late husband Scott: Eric in Denver, Allison (husband Steve and daughter Claire) in St. Louis and Meredith in Rochester, IL.

Christopher Setti

Christopher Setti, Chief Executive Officer, Greater Peoria Economic Development Council (GPEDC), is responsible for the successful development, implementation, measuring and sharing of Greater Peoria's regional economic development strategy. He has worked for the City of Peoria for twelve years, the last five of which were serving as the Assistant City Manager and Director of Economic Development. He and his wife, Eileen, have two daughters and live on the West Bluff of Peoria.

David Matthews

David Matthews is a recently retired community banker from Prophetstown in northwest Illinois. For over 30 years, Dave was Executive Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors of a $600 million community bank… Matthews served for 25 years as President of a Community Foundation, helped to form an Education Foundation for the local schools and served on a number of boards and committees of various local community organizations. He and his wife, Cathy are members of Connect Church in Washington.

Read about all RMHC Central Illinois Board Members...

Be Part of “The Summer of Hope!”

From June 21 to September 23, give a donation of ANY amount and we’ll include your name on the HOPE WALL. This wall will be located on the main floor of the new Peoria Ronald McDonald House® and will be a prominent feature of the House for years to come.

This summer, Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois is offering an exciting opportunity for families and businesses to give back and help support the new Peoria Ronald McDonald House®.

Here’s how it works: From June 21 to September 23, give a donation of ANY amount and we’ll include your name on the HOPE WALL. This wall will be located on the main floor of the new Peoria Ronald McDonald House® and will be a prominent feature of the House for years to come.

Be part of “THE SUMMER OF HOPE.” Give online today or mail your donation to Peoria Ronald McDonald House, PO Box 5354, Peoria, IL 61601.

Art Gala announced for Peoria Ronald McDonald House®!

Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois will hold it's first ever art gala in November to help raise funds needed to complete the new Peoria Ronald McDonald House®.

Art Gala - Peoria Ronald McDonald House

PEORIA, IL —  Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois is proud to announce it’s first ever Art Gala, which will take place on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Peoria, Illinois. The “Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois Art Gala” will feature the original work of central Illinois artists which has been specifically selected for our new Peoria Ronald McDonald House®. Guests at the event will have the fun of selecting one or more works of art for placement in the new home. Individuals, collective groups of friends and families, organizations and businesses will be able to choose which piece(s) they want to sponsor. Artists may submit up to 10 works for consideration., and can do so at: https://artist.callforentry.org/festivals_unique_info.php?ID=6729

“We recognize the arts as an important component to a peaceful environment that helps nurture our guests and supports their healing and well-being,” states Kelly Thompson, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois. “This community shares in our belief and has come together in support of this event for the benefit of our children and their families. Members of Farnsworth Group, our designers, local artists, arts advocates, friends of our charity and community leaders helped make this a reality.”

“The Ronald McDonald House Charities Art Gala is a win-win-win situation—the guests who stay at the house will enjoy beautiful artwork, the donors will have the great feeling of helping others (as well as a tax write off), and artists will be rewarded for their talent," said Doug Leunig. "We applaud RMHC for their progressive approach in healthcare and support of local artists," said Eileen Leunig.

Questions regarding the Art Gala can be directed to Kelly Thompson, C.E.O. at (309) 401-2525 or kt@rmhc-centralillinois.org.

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The Ronald McDonald House provides the necessities of home for families with a seriously ill child receiving treatment. At RMHCCI, families can stay together and find strength in numbers during a critical time. RMHCCI provides families with a private bed and bath, meals, laundry, parking and more in order to ease the stress of a difficult time in their lives. Families stay at the House at no charge to them, regardless of their length of stay at the House. The Springfield House currently serves over 400 families each year, and the Peoria House, estimated to open in late 2019 is estimated to serve 700 families annually. RMHCCI depends on the generous support of the community, especially through the Give a Little Love campaign. Support from the community is essential to keep the house running smoothly for their families.

For more information about Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois and ways you can help, please visit www.rmhc-centralillinois.org

East Peoria High School presents $7,500 check to Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois

Students raise funds to support the continuing build of the new Peoria Ronald McDonald House®!

PEORIA, IL — On Friday, May 24, 2019, East Peoria Community High School will present a check in the amount of $7,500 to Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois in support of the new Peoria Ronald McDonald House. Media are welcome and encouraged to attend this event. The check presentation will take place at 8:00 a.m. in the lobby of the East Peoria Community High School Audtorium, located at 1401 E Washington St. in East Peoria, Illinois. Questions can be directed to Kelly Thompson at (309) 401-2525.

Throughout the week of March 18th, the East Peoria Community High School Student Council raised $7,500 for the Ronald McDonald House of Central Illinois. The week consisted of dress up days, special lunch options provided by local businesses, EP teams and clubs, and an activity day where students could watch movies, do arts and crafts or play games by “Buying Out” of their normally scheduled classes. The week culminated with an assembly on Friday where students had the opportunity to pie teacher volunteers in the face if their ticket they had purchased earlier in the week was drawn.

“It is always a lot of work, but so very worth it to know we are helping such wonderful programs” said Jenny Lamb, one of the Student Council sponsors.

The students are excited to continue to make the event bigger and better next year.

“At EPCHS, the Buyout is our way of giving back. These actions provide students with the opportunity to become active members of the East Peoria community and leave a positive impact on our society” said Sarah Lahood.

The Ronald McDonald House provides the necessities of home for families with a seriously ill child receiving treatment. At RMHCCI, families can stay together and find strength in numbers during a critical time. RMHCCI provides families with a private bed and bath, meals, laundry, parking and more in order to ease the stress of a difficult time in their lives. Families stay at the House at no charge to them, regardless of their length of stay at the House. The Springfield House currently serves over 400 families each year, and the Peoria House, estimated to open in late 2019 is estimated to serve 700 families annually. RMHCCI depends on the generous support of the community, especially through the Give a Little Love campaign. Support from the community is essential to keep the house running smoothly for their families.

For more information about Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois and ways you can help, please visit www.rmhc-centralillinois.org

Sign the Beam and Witness Donor Support in Action at the Peoria Ronald McDonald House® Construction Site

RMHCCI Opens its “Raise Those Radiant Beams” Event to All

April 29, 2019 – Peoria, IL  

Two bright yellow beams are set to take up residence at the Peoria Ronald McDonald House® this May as the Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois (RMHCCI) celebrates the progress and support the new Peoria RMH has received so far. To commemorate this milestone, RMHCCI will be hosting its much anticipated “Raise Those Radiant Beams” event with major donors and the public on Monday, May 6, 2019. This event will take place at the Peoria RMH construction site, located at the corner of Spalding Avenue and NE Monroe Street.

Major donors are invited to come out and sign the beam from 10:30-11:00 a.m., then the event will be opened to the public from 11:00-11:30 a.m. where everyone can come out and show their support for the new Peoria Ronald McDonald House. A $10 donation is suggested for anyone that would like to sign the beam.

River City Construction will raise the newly signed beam into place at 11:30 a.m., capping off the structure to the main entryway to the Peoria Ronald McDonald House.

Kids receiving care at area hospitals will also get a chance to sign a second entrance beam on Friday, May 10 at 11:00 a.m. in celebration of Mother’s Day and the families the Peoria RMH will be serving. On this day, River City Construction will be transporting a 10ft x 8ft beam to the lobby at the OSF Healthcare Children’s Hospital of Illinois where children receiving care will have a chance to sign the beam.

The new Peoria RMH will serve over 700 families annually and provide hundreds of volunteer opportunities for the community. The capital campaign for the Peoria Ronald McDonald House is still going strong with many individual giving and Adopt-the-House sponsorship opportunities still available.

To learn more about how you can help our Peoria and Springfield Ronald McDonald Houses in 2019, please contact Kelly Thompson, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois, at 309-401-2525 or kt@rmhc-centralillinois.org. Together, we can make a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of sick children and their families!

Give a Little Love®campaign at McDonald’s® Restaurants aims to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois

Area restaurants provide support to children and families served through local Ronald McDonald House®

CENTRAL ILLINOIS - (January 25, 2019)—McDonald’s® Restaurants of Central Illinois and its local owner-operators will be providing support to Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Illinois (RMHCCI) from Friday, January 25, 2019 through Sunday, February 17, 2019 through the annual Give a Little Love® campaign.

To “Give a Little Love,” customers can donate $1 or more at over 90 participating McDonald’s restaurants throughout central Illinois. Customers who make a donation will have their names displayed on a paper heart in the restaurant. One hundred percent of the proceeds will stay local and benefit the families served by Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois. In 2018, more than $150,000 was raised during the Give a Little Love promotion.

The Ronald McDonald House provides the necessities of home for families with a seriously ill child receiving treatment. At RMHCCI, families can stay together and find strength in numbers during a critical time. RMHCCI provides families with a private bed and bath, meals, laundry, parking and more in order to ease the stress of a difficult time in their lives. Families stay at the House at no charge to them, regardless of their length of stay at the House. The Springfield House currently serves over 400 families each year, and the Peoria House, estimated to open in late 2019 is estimated to serve 700 families annually. RMHCCI depends on the generous support of the community, especially through the Give a Little Love campaign. Support from the community is essential to keep the house running smoothly for their families.

For more information about Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois and ways you can help, please visit www.rmhc-centralillinois.org

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