Ronald McDonald House of Rochester receives $3.3 million grant from AbbVie donation

CHICAGO, ILL.—Ronald McDonald House Charities announced a $100 million donation from AbbVie at its international conference in Chicago on Monday, resulting in a $3.3 million grant for the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, Minnesota and its Love Tremendously Hope Exceedingly capital campaign.

It is the largest gift received by Ronald McDonald House Charities, the largest gift given by AbbVie, and the largest grant received by the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester.

“It’s an incredible gift,” Executive Director Peggy Elliott said. “The House has been blessed in the expansion process and today is no exception. AbbVie has made a lasting and meaningful impact on children and families. It still brings tears to my eyes.”

AbbVie–a research-driven biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Lake Bluff, Ill.–made the donation with the intent to accelerate the building process for Houses in the midst of capital campaigns. AbbVie wants to ensure all children have access to healthcare and that families are able to stay together during that time.

Thirty-two Houses received a grant, which will result in 600 new guest rooms (13-percent increase in nationwide capacity), 230,000-plus family nights annually, and more than $35 million saved for families with children seeking medical care every year. Specifically, the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester will increase from 42 to 70 guest rooms, increasing the amount of families it serves annually from 800 to 1,500.

The grant from AbbVie reduces the remaining funds to be raised for the Love Tremendously Hope Exceedingly capital campaign to less than $1 million.

“This gift is significant, not only for our House, but for many Houses across the country,” said Elliott. “It speaks volumes to the work being done by Ronald McDonald House Charities and its staff to build and foster this relationship with AbbVie. It’s certainly a day to celebrate.”

The Ronald McDonald House of Rochester was considered for the grant due to its diligence and thoughtful volunteer leadership and progress made in the capital campaign—every gift and every dollar counted. The capital campaign has received more than 1,000 gifts to date, led by six of $1 million or more.

“When we say each gift, each dollar is important and significant, it’s true,” Elliott said. “Our House was selected to receive a grant because of the tremendous support already received from the community on the project. We can’t begin to thank everyone who has supported our project thus far and who paved the way for this grant to happen.”

The Ronald McDonald House of Rochester broke ground on its 30-room expansion on May 1. It will also include a small indoor gym, indoor and outdoor play areas, underground parking and green space, all of which will use modern construction to create welcoming and comfortable areas for children and families. Upon completion, it will be the largest Ronald McDonald House in the state of Minnesota.

“Our community has a heart of gold,” said Elliott. “One of our core values is hospitality with heart; a warm, welcoming environment where children feel safe, comfortable and loved and their families gain strength and hope. AbbVie has given many children and families hope.”

Founded in 1980 as Northland Children’s Services, the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, Minnesota is one of 182 Houses across the United States, providing a home-away-from-home and offering support to families seeking medical care for their children. For more information about the expansion and the Love Tremendously Hope Exceedingly capital campaign, visit https://expansion.rmhmn.org.

May Day! May Day! Ronald McDonald House of Rochester breaking ground in two weeks

Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, Minnesota supporters put on their “heart hats” following the groundbreaking announcement at Tuesday night’s Annual Meeting and Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

ROCHESTER, MINN.—The Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, Minnesota announced at Tuesday night’s Annual Meeting and Volunteer Appreciation Dinner that it will break ground on its 30-room expansion on May 1.

The Board of Trustees voted to move forward with the expansion at its monthly meeting in March, reflecting significant progress in the $16.5 million Love Tremendously Hope Exceedingly capital campaign.

“It’s an exciting time for the House,” said Peggy Elliott, Executive Director of the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester. “We didn’t know if we would be able to break ground this year, but thanks to the support of local businesses, individuals and the community and the leadership of the Board of Trustees, we will be able to serve many more families beginning in 2019.”

In addition to the 30 guest rooms, the expansion will include a small indoor gym, indoor and outdoor play areas, underground parking, and green space. All aspects will be completed using modern construction, creating welcoming and comfortable areas for children and families.

The expansion makes the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester the largest Ronald McDonald House in the state of Minnesota.

“It’s a great accomplishment,” Board of Trustees President Dr. Dawn Davis said. “As a provider who cares for children, I can’t say enough about the new spaces being added to the House. Play areas are vital to their health and wellness, both physically and mentally.”

The Ronald McDonald House of Rochester serves nearly 1,000 families per year, but the need for its services continues to grow, as Mayo Clinic sees 1.65 million outpatients and 130,000 hospital admissions annually. The expansion allows the House to serve many more families for years to come.

“Families travel hundreds or thousands of miles seeking care at Mayo Clinic,” said Dr. Randy Flick, Director of Mayo Clinic Children’s Center. “The House truly becomes a home for children and families facing enormous health challenges, providing far more than a place to stay. Without its incredible staff and facility, many families would simply not be able to access Mayo Clinic care.”

Graphic by EmBe Design

But the work is not over. More families need the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester and the Love Tremendously Hope Exceedingly capital campaign is not complete. The planned cost for the expansion is $16.5 million and, with $13.2 million in funds raised to date, the House still needs to raise $3.3 million.

“The groundbreaking is a significant milestone, but it is not the final goal,” Capital Campaign Chair Ed Clark said. “The House still needs your support to complete the expansion. Will you help us reach the finish line?”

Founded in 1980 as Northland Children’s Services, the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, Minnesota provides a home-away-from-home and offers support to families seeking medical care for their children. For more information about the expansion and the Love Tremendously Hope Exceedingly capital campaign, visit www.rmhmn.org.

Graphic by EmBe Design

 

Bryce’s RMHMN Story

Over the past three years, 3,000 families were turned away from the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, MN because of capacity constraints. “Families travel great distances to our House and often have exhausted every medical resource available near their homes. They come to our community seeking hope, healing, compassion and comfort,” said Peggy Elliott, Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Rochester, Minnesota.  “We must answer the call to provide love and hope to seriously ill children and their families. We are so grateful to all of our donors and friends for their generous gifts of support to grow our mission,” said Elliott.

As Mayo Clinic Children’s Center grows in particular in the areas of proton beam therapy; regenerative medicine and individualized medicine the need for services at the Ronald McDonald House continue to rise. On average the Ronald McDonald House® serves over 900 families every year from across the country and around the world

Watch our latest campaign video about our former guest, Bryce.

 

Watch the audio description version of this film by clicking here.

 

Click here to make a donation to our Love Tremendously, Hope Exceedingly capital campaign.

5 Ways You Can Support RMHMN This Season of Giving

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Ronald McDonald House® Beautification Project Brings Community Volunteers Together for a Day of Caring

Seth’s 16th Birthday Wish

For Seth’s 16th birthday, he chose to celebrate it in a unique way. With our family by his side, he spent hours at the corner of two main highways in our hometown in Wisconsin with a banner that read “Seth’s Ronald McDonald House Supply Drive.” This came about when he was thinking about his upcoming birthday. Every year at this time, I (Seth’s mom) reflect about the start of treatment for the rare autoimmune diseases he has. This very week, eight years ago, Seth’s doctor told our family to go on vacation, make memories and celebrate his eighth birthday. He told us that when we return, we were going to have to start an aggressive experimental treatment. Weekly injections of the highest dose of low dose chemotherapy for a non-cancer patient would begin, along with his already harsh oral medications. There were many unknowns and the doctor was matter-of-fact that none of us had a clue what the future held. Now here we are celebrating another year of life! Seth remains on all those medications and more. We still regularly visit Mayo Clinic for all his medical care but thanks to God, and foremost, the amazing doctors at the Mayo Clinic, along with friends at the Ronald McDonald House, Seth is not only surviving but thriving!

 

Seth got to thinking about all the children at the Ronald McDonald House. He told me, “those kids might not have happy birthdays.” He said he wanted to give items to the House to make the kids happy instead of birthday gifts. He said, “Mom, I am so blessed, I don’t need anything.” Seth made a short video saying jut those words and posted it on his Facebook page. It quickly traveled across social media and we were told by a few that they were making monetary donations to the Ronald McDonald House in honor of Seth. A mention of this got printed in our newspaper and our small community once again rallied around his desire to give back. Our family, friends and neighbors were happy to participate.

 

For our most recent trip to the Ronald McDonald House, where we delivered all these generous birthday donations, over 150 pounds of pop tabs were collected. The owner of a local business, Trinity Homes, heard about Seth’s wish. The owner’s son, a classmate of Seth, shared Seth’s story with his mom who was personally touched. She donated an extremely generous shopping spree for the two boys to go and purchase items for the House. Seth received so many donations; it was quite obvious that a pull-behind trailer would be needed to transport all the items. U-Haul waived the rental fee for the 300-mile one-way-trip. There were many complete strangers that came out to that busy intersection that day. They came with items or cash to donate, but as they met Seth, felt compelled to leave with a hug and a word of encouragement. He was told by many that he inspired them. Many said they were proud of him and let him know they had been regularly praying for him. They encouraged him to keep fighting the good fight. This small gesture of a birthday wish of a young many brought out the best in others. It formed and strengthened many relationships, new and old. Who could ask for a better, more memorable birthday? That is a priceless gift that keeps on giving!

 

-Story shared by Seth’s mom, Julie Bayles

Melissa’s Story

(As told by her mom)

Melissa Webb and her twin sister, Kaitlyn, were born in Stillwater, MN. Melissa developed a lump on her neck around age six and had two surgeries performed before coming to Mayo for a second opinion. We were thankful to get into the Ronald McDonald House right when we arrived in Rochester.

Melissa underwent a 10-hour tracheotomy surgery to remove a cyst followed by a 16 day stay at Saint Marys. The night before her release, I was lying with her when I began to pray. I asked that Melissa go home without machines to help her breathe. A bright light came over the room and I believe that angels were near. In the morning, my prayers were answered – the doctors told us that Melissa could remove her line and would be able to leave the hospital without the burden of any machines.

The House meant so much to us during this otherwise difficult time. The staff made us feel right at home during Melissa’s 16-day recovery. They are such caring people.

The girls are graduating high school this year and planned their graduation party with the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester in mind. They have asked everyone to bring a donation gift for the House. In past years, they have organized a garage sale and even saved up their birthday and Christmas money so that they could donate supplies for the wish list. We love supporting the Ronald McDonald House because it is very near and dear to our hearts. If it wasn’t for this wonderful place, we would have nowhere to stay while receiving care in Rochester.

Even with the discount, hotels still cost a lot of money. Food expenses, doctor bills, and transportation costs all add up too. When we left the Ronald McDonald House, we donated our remaining food to help another family in need. When we stayed here, they were so warm and kind and made you feel right at home. The Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, MN has helped a lot of people and continues to do amazing things.

Melissa reminds us that life is about helping others and being thankful for everything you have.

-Marilyn  (Melissa + Kaitlyn’s Mom)

 

 

 

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