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Peoria Journal Star – Ronald McDonald House Planned for Peoria

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois is the latest addition to the city’s medical district.

Read the article here: http://www.pjstar.com/news/20180603/ronald-mcdonald-house-planned-for-peoria

PEORIA — Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois is the latest addition to the city’s medical district.

The $7 million, 4 1/2 story building with 22 bedrooms which is coming to the corner of Spalding and Monroe avenues will break ground in September.

“Construction should take about 14 months with the facility’s planned opening set for late October 2019,” said Kelly Thompson, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois.

Peoria follows Springfield as the second downstate city to feature a Ronald McDonald House, she said. Five Ronald McDonald Houses serve the Chicago area.

The Ronald McDonald House will serve any child receiving care at one of the area hospitals up to his or her 22nd birthday along with family, she said. “The stay could be one day or up to a year. The cost to the family is free,” said Thompson.

Rooms are designed suite-style to accommodate four to five people, she said. “The room becomes the family’s home while a child is receiving care,” said Thompson, who credited Gordon Honegger, former chairman of Morton Community Bank, with finding the location for the home.

“Two years ago on Memorial Day, he called me to say, ‘I have the perfect place for you.’ The key was to be close to the hospitals,” she said.

The location by the Scottish Rite Cathedral provides proximity to OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois and UnityPoint Health-Methodist. “Ninety percent of the children’s hospitals in the United States are served by a Ronald McDonald House,” said Thompson, noting that both area hospitals are active supporters of the project.

The facility will have a wing designed specifically for families whose children are receiving treatment at St. Jude Midwest Affiliate, said Julie Locke of the DAX Foundation. “The DAX wing will provide five rooms on the second floor with a playroom and laundry, all on that floor,” she said.

The DAX Foundation donated $1 million to the construction of the Ronald McDonald House in Peoria, part of the $5 million already raised, said Locke.

“One of the features in the house is a gathering space on the first floor so that families get to know one another and help provide support that’s so much needed,” she said.

Thompson said that 80 percent of the fundraising goal of $7 million is expected to be raised by the time of the September ground breaking. Area McDonald’s restaurant owner/operators have pledged to raise $500,000 towards the Ronald McDonald House, she said.

Fundraising will continue once the house is up and running, said Thompson. “We want to raise $1 million a year for annual operations,” she said. Honegger, Locke and Terry Clark, a McDonald’s owner/operator in Peoria, head up a 25-person committee that’s been meeting monthly for the past year to plan the Ronald McDonald House effort locally.

“Our goal is to provide a hot meal served every day for those staying at the house. We call it ‘Meals from the Heart,’” said Thompson.

Farnsworth Group and River City Construction have been contracted to design and build the 40,000 square-foot structure.

Adopt-the-House sponsorship opportunities as well as individual giving opportunities are available and can be viewed online at www.rmhc-centralillinois.org.

Steve Tarter covers city and county government for the Journal Star. He can be reached at 686-3260 or starter@pjstar.com. Follow him at twitter@SteveTarter and facebook.com/tartersource.

 

The Diebal Family

Pictured are Jamie and Craig, with Allison and Jillian doing well at 16 weeks in August of 2017.

Our 2017 Winter Mailer features to story of Jamie and Craig and their stay at the House when their twin daughters were born prematurely. Below is Jamie's story in her own words.

In the early morning hours of May 1, 2017, our world completely changed. I was only 27 weeks along in my pregnancy with twin girls, when my water broke. My husband and I arrived at the hospital in Springfield, fearing the worst. Two days later, our girls were born on May 3, 2017. They were so tiny with Allison weighing 2 pounds 3 ounces and Jillian weighing 2 pounds 9 ounces. Both girls spent over 50 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The evening I was released from the hospital we went directly over to the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) in Springfield where we were greeted and quickly checked in. From the moment we walked in the door everyone was so helpful and supportive.
Continue reading

2017 Holiday Wishlist

We need your help to restock our House with some special items this 2017 holiday season! You can help brighten the day of a family at the House with your gift this year! See below for items needed!
Questions? Contact Brian Replogle at br@rmhc-centralillinois.org or 217-528-3314 x147

Help up restock our House for our families this Holiday season!

Dishes break, fabric stains, items wear out... We could use your help to restock the items we regularly use!

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Meet Henry

During a challenging time, MaryBeth was able to focus on what was most urgent- her son, having a warm bed, hot meals and a comforting environment to return to.When MaryBeth arrived at the hospital last summer due to complications with her pregnancy, she did not know the lengthy ordeal she was beginning. MaryBeth’s daughter, MaryKate, and her son, Henry, were both born premature shortly after her arrival. MaryBeth learned that the twins would need to remain in the NICU for several months. Due to her children’s medical needs, she and her family could stay at the Ronald McDonald House for as long as needed, at absolutely no cost.MaryBeth was relieved she had a safe and comfortable place to stay that was just across the street from the hospital.

MaryBeth stayed at the House for over four months. Sadly, MaryKate passed away but her brother Henry’s care continued. She was relieved she had a safe and comfortable place to stay that was just across the street from the hospital. During a challenging time, MaryBeth was able to focus on what was most urgent- her son, having a warm bed, hot meals and a comforting environment to return to.

Mary Beth explains, “Ronald McDonald House is someplace that you do not think about until you or someone you know has benefited from it. The generous donations that enabled me to stay 116 days of Henry’s 120 day NICU stay are phenomenal! Those donations allowed me to be with my son every day throughout his care; our family will never be able to aptly show our gratitude to the supporters of the Ronald McDonald House! Continue reading

Meet Wynter & Her Family

Wynter was born 16 weeks early on November 27, 2015. She weighed only 14 ounces – not even one pound! Wynter was born 16 weeks early on November 27, 2015. She weighed only 14 ounces - not even one pound!

Beginning last December, her mom, Sara, stayed at our Ronald McDonald House while Wynter received care at St. John’s Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). From time to time, her grandma, Teresa, and sisters, Autumn and Summer, would also stay at the House while Wynter was growing big and strong in the NICU.

After almost eight months, Wynter finally went home on July 20, 2016 (pictured here). Because of your support, her family was able to stay at the House free of charge for the entire eight month period. Her mom, Sara, had this to say:

“The Ronald McDonald House has meant so much to my family. They have become a part of our family. Throughout the ups and downs of having a preemie, they were there to support us and offer encouragement, always asking how Wynter was doing and if we needed anything. We can’t ever say thank you enough for allowing us to stay by Wynter while she was receiving the care she needed. It was such a scary time, but the House made it all so much more bearable.”The Ronald McDonald House has meant so much to my family. They have become a part of our family. Throughout the ups and downs of having a preemie, they were there to support us and offer encouragement, always asking how Wynter was doing and if we needed anything.

There’s more to Wynter’s family’s story! Her cousin, Freya, was born 16 weeks early as well on August 13, 2016. Now Freya’s mom and dad, Jennifer and Matt, are staying at the Ronald McDonald
House while Freya takes her turn at growing big and strong in the NICU (pictured to the right).

For this family, the Ronald McDonald House has truly become their home away from home while their little loved ones receive the best medical care possible. Because of your support, Wynter’s family has been able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House for over 350 nights at no cost to them. This winter, please help us continue to keep families like Wynter’s close. Your gift will enable us to provide family-centered care that babies need to be healthy and strong.

House Artwork Sponsorship Opportunities

artwork promo for webAs an extension of our 2014 "Labor of Love" renovation, we have created an opportunity for donors to sponsor pieces of art in our House.  We have seven pieces remaining!

All artwork sponsors are acknowledged with a plaque at the side of each artwork.  Pieces can be sponsored in honor or in memory of someone as well.

If you are interested in sponsoring a piece of artwork in our House, please call 217-528-3314 x 148 to ensure the piece of art you would like to sponsor is still available.

The remaining pieces are pictured below along with the price.  Thank you for your consideration!

House Artwork Sponsorship Opportunities - #10 - $400

#10 - $400

House Artwork Sponsorship Opportunities - #12 - $150

#12 - $150

House Artwork Sponsorship Opportunities - #13 - $550

#13 - $550

House Artwork Sponsorship Opportunities - #14 - $480

#14 - $480

House Artwork Sponsorship Opportunities - #17 - $500

#17 - $500

House Artwork Sponsorship Opportunities - #18 - $400

#18 - $400

House Artwork Sponsorship Opportunities - #20 - $400

#20 - $400

Summer Newsletter: Meet Carly

20160316_193342The following was published in our Summer 2016 Newsletter, from Carly:

Hi Friends -

When I was diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma on November 15, 2015, it was scary. My family and I live in Saybrook, Illinois, so we had to travel to Springfield for the best care I could receive.  The week of my diagnosis, my mom, dad and aunt took turns staying with me and at the Ronald McDonald House. I was so glad they were able to stay close by while I was in the
hospital.

I'm still receiving treatment and it is nice for my mom to be able to stay at the House while we're in town. My mom says the staffis very friendly and makes our family feel at home. She also said it was easy to be able to do laundry and grab something to eat at the House whenever she wanted during my hospital stay. While I'm at the hospital, I sometimes see the Ronald McDonald House
Happy Wheels Cart! The Happy Wheels Cart ladies know I love the stuffed animals, so they always have some special ones for me to pick out. Even Ronald McDonald stops by with the cart to visit!

My school, Ridgeview Elementary, has been collecting pop tabs to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House in my honor. Mom and I drop them off at the House when we come to town for my treatments. We've collected over 85 pounds since November!

It’s comforting to know my family can stay close to me while I receive care for my cancer, and it’s all because of your support. Thank you - seeing my family makes me really happy.

Carly

First Due Fraternal Order of Leatherheads Society Inaugural Firefighter’s Ball

RMHCCI was honored to be the beneficiary of the First Due Fraternal Order of Leatherheads Society’s (F.O.O.L.S.) Inaugural Firefighter’s Ball on November 7, 2015.RMHCCI was honored to be the beneficiary of the First Due Fraternal Order of Leatherheads Society's (F.O.O.L.S.) Inaugural Firefighter's Ball on November 7, 2015.  Our chapter has had a great relationship with the first responders community, and we appreciate the support we have received from them throughout the years.

According to their website, the F.O.O.L.S. exemplify the true meaning of the Brotherhood by providing training opportuntieis to Brother and Sister Firefighters worldwide.  They organize benefits to assist not only a firefighter and their families in need, but their communities as well.  The F.O.O.L.S. exist to strengthen the Brotherhood of their chosen profession and fuel the flame of passion they have for their calling.

Pictured with Brian and Johanna is the F.O.O.L.S. Firefighter's Ball Committee.

We'd like to extend a huge "thank you" to the F.O.O.L.S. and all who attended!

The Barclay Family

 I could not bear to think how much worse it would have been without the comfort of the Ronald McDonald House.

Read about the Barclay Family, from Glennette Barclay:

In August, our son, Luke, 17, was involved in an accidental explosion. He experienced second and third degree burns over 65 percent of his body, requiring seven skin grafting surgeries and a three month stay at Memorial Medical Center’s Regional Burn Unit. As a mom, the experience has been overwhelming. My husband and I have felt completely helpless, watching our son be in excruciating pain and struggle every day to recover with nothing we could do to make him feel better. Our journey has been physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting – and truly traumatic. I could not bear to think how much worse it would have been without the comfort of the Ronald McDonald House.

For the first two weeks after Luke’s accident, we stayed at the hospital because Luke was so critical and we didn’t want to leave his side. Once he was stable, we learned about the Ronald McDonald House. When we were shown our room, I started to cry. The amount of relief I felt was indescribable. We had a place to put our stuff, our own bathroom, and the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on. It seems small, but having an actual bed during this difficult time was such a huge comfort and it made all the difference for us.

We still have a long road ahead of us, but the support we have received from the Ronald McDonald House, its staff and volunteers has been incredible. Without the House, I would not have been able to cope with our situation, not to mention been able to afford it. No one plans for their child to experience a severe burn accident and have the closest burn unit be two hours away from home. Thankfully, Ronald McDonald House helped us absorb a part of our critical needs during the worst unexpected experience of our lives. We could not be more grateful, and we plan to pay it forward for all that the House has done for us.

Pictured above are James, Luke, Tiffiney and Glennette Barclay, prior to Luke's accident.

21st Annual Golf Classic Recap and Highlights

We are happy to report that we had a very successful 21st Annual Golf Classic on Tuesday, June 23, 2015! We had a sold out field of 150-plus golfers and the weather could not have been better! We truly appreciate all the support we received to make this event possible - from sponsors, to golfers, to donors and volunteers. It could not have been done without you! Thank you for helping us keep families together when they need it most!

Thank you also to WICS Newschannel ABC 20 for coming out the day of and doing a story on us! You can view the story on WICS HERE.

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