In His Words: 40 Years

Bill Gormley and his wife, Karlene, are one of the founding families of the Northland House, which was later renamed the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, Minnesota, and is celebrating its 40 years serving children and families…in his own words!

When we started the Northland House, our 13-year-old son, Dan, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. We started the appointments at the Mayo Clinic.

As he received treatments, we connected with three pediatric oncologists who became an important part of the core that group that started the Northland House. While our son received radiation and chemotherapy, we met with many parents who were experiencing the same problems with their children. We knew we had to be able to share in our concerns.

Shortly after those initial discussions, we met Phil Henoch, who owned the McDonald’s restaurants in Rochester. He was the important driving force who joined with us and soon we were able to start a home away from home for children and families facing that dreaded diagnosis of childhood cancer.

The key to starting the House was finding excellent and devoted board members who truly believed in our mission. So many people—even non-board members—contributed so much time and effort to our cause. We started by meeting at a home and had our final meeting in a church. It was at that meeting that I was voted in as the first president for two years—an honor and a great responsibility!

Thanks to Phil Henoch, we were able to visit the Ronald McDonald House in Chicago. It was a great and inspiring trip. However, after this trip, we were told that the Rochester area could not fund our House in Rochester at that time.

That did not stop us! We opted to proceed on our own. We purchased a house between the clinic and Saint Marys. We named it the Northland House!

We accomplished so much because numerous people helped. Carpenters, painters, mechanics, and electricians donated their time and worked on the House for credits for their apprenticeships. It was incredible!

Once the House was finished and the board, committees, operations, and volunteers were in place…we had the dedication. It was very emotional for many of us. The mayor was in attendance and spoke eloquently—it was so special!

We know without all the volunteer hours…we would have nothing. We accomplished our goals. We were up and running and helping so many children and families.

Our House has grown immensely. It is one of the best Ronald McDonald Houses in the country and the world. The new House is a beautiful, safe place for families.

I could go on and on about our House!

Love and blessings to all,
Bill Gormley

Will you help us celebrate 40 years with a gift of $40?
https://www.classy.org/campaign/celebrating-40-years/c288676
Thank you for supporting Ronald McDonald House children and families!

House names Bingner next Development Director

The Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, Minnesota, is pleased to announce Jamie Bingner as its new Development Director beginning August 24, 2020.

As the key staff person responsible for development and implementation of a successful multi-year strategic and comprehensive philanthropy plan, Bingner will lead the development team in its efforts to ensure financial support for the Ronald McDonald House program in Rochester.

A Rochester native, Bingner spent the past 13 years on the east coast in numerous development and leadership positions. Most recently, she served as Executive Director for CCS Fundraising, a strategic fundraising firm that partners with nonprofits for transformational change.

For more than 40 years, the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester has provided the gift of togetherness and helped families access the medical care and resources they need most. From humble beginnings, the House provides support and services to more than 1,000 families each year.

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, visit www.rmhmn.org.

Johnson shifts to Resident Caretaker position for House

Erin Johnson (Photography by Fagan Studios)

The Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, Minnesota, is pleased to announce that Erin Johnson has accepted the position of Resident Caretaker, effective August 30, 2020.

Johnson is a familiar face at the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, joining the Family Services staff three years ago as a House Manager on weekends. In her new role as Resident Caretaker, Johnson will ensure children and families staying at the Ronald McDonald House experience a safe and supportive environment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Erin earned her Associate of Liberal Arts and Science degree from Rochester Community and Technical College, followed by a Bachelor of Science in Sociology-Corrections with a minor in Psychology from Winona State University. Erin is currently a Community Corrections Development Specialist with Olmsted County, where she is involved with facilitation, staff training and development.

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, visit www.rmhmn.org.

Coronavirus Response

November 17, 2020

Dear friends of the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, Minnesota,

During this season of thanksgiving, I am reminded of the goodness of people and their willingness to help others during times of great need. We count ourselves fortunate to recognize our family of supporters who have made it possible for us to continue to serve and support children and families during a global pandemic unlike anything the world has seen for 100 years. I don’t know how we can adequately thank you or tell you how much your support has meant to those we serve, our staff, and our mission.

We are humbled by your trust in us to continue to serve families seeking medical care for their children during this global crisis.

It has been more than nine months since COVID-19 (coronavirus) began impacting our world, our community, and our House. These have been difficult months for so many, including the families who find shelter and support at the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester. This was certainly not the year we anticipated following the completion of our Love Tremendously Hope Exceedingly capital campaign to expand our House and our mission.

Although this year has been filled with great uncertainty, we remain steadfast in our commitment to provide a safe and welcoming home away from home for families seeking care for their ill children. For more than 40 years, we have kept families together and near the care they need. Our Ronald McDonald House program is strong and our commitment to children and families has not been shaken or weakened by this global pandemic.

The safety of our guests, staff, volunteers, and stakeholders continues to be our top priority. Our COVID-19 Pandemic Business Continuity Plan has provided the roadmap for keeping our House safe for those who live and work within our walls. With the help of many, our Ronald McDonald House of Rochester staff has risen to the challenges of serving families safely and with heartfelt compassion.

Our mission in action:

Guests: Although many changes have been made to our program to ensure the health and safety of our guest families, the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester is open and continues to serve children and families every day. Families wishing to stay with us should view the Conditions to Stay or contact Family Services (507-282-3955) for assistance.

Volunteers: The Ronald McDonald House of Rochester volunteers are not currently allowed inside our facility. However, there are many opportunities for volunteers to assist from afar. Please contact Katie, Nancy, or Paige (507-282-3955) for a list of current opportunities.

Friends and Supporters: The Ronald McDonald House of Rochester mission remains strong because of our caring and generous community of supporters. Now, more than ever, children and families seeking the services of the House need your help to manage through these difficult and uncertain times. Please help us keep our mission shining bright this holiday season by supporting the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester.

On behalf of the entire House staff, we send warm holiday greetings from our House to yours. Please be safe, stay healthy, and take good care.

Peggy Elliott
Executive Director
Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, Minnesota

McGuire added to House leadership as Operations Director

Jammie McGuire, Operations Director

Following a comprehensive search process, the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, Minnesota, added Jammie McGuire to its leadership team as Operations Director.

McGuire started at the House on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

McGuire brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the House, after serving the past 19 years at two separate Rochester nonprofit organizations. She was the Facility and Member Services Director at the YMCA for seven years and the Senior Manager at Hope Lodge for 12 years before accepting the position with the House.

“We are delighted to welcome Jammie to the House staff and look forward to the expertise she brings from her years of nonprofit experience,” Executive Director Peggy Elliott said. “Jammie joins an incredibly mission-focused team that is dedicated to providing shelter and caring support to hundreds of children and families each year.”

As Operations Director, McGuire works in partnership and consultation with the Executive Director and provides leadership on organizational activities, such as: general administration and strategic planning, financial management, operations and technology.

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, visit www.rmhmn.org.

Endicott added to Ronald McDonald House staff

Emma Endicott, Family Services Manager

Following a comprehensive search process, the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, Minnesota, named Emma Endicott as its new Family Services Manager.

As Family Services Manager, Endicott will work closely with the Family Services Director to ensure that guest families have a safe and comfortable stay at the House, fostering an atmosphere of hospitality and a pleasing environment for all guests and visitors. Endicott will plan, organize and implement programs that support families and promote a positive community setting, developing professional and supportive relationships in order to meet their needs.

“We are excited for Emma to join the Ronald McDonald House staff in this key role of Family Services Manager,” Executive Director Peggy Elliott said. “Emma’s education, experience and genuine compassion make her a natural addition to our dedicated and caring team, which is committed to providing shelter and support to ill children and their families.”

Originally from the Brainerd Lakes area, Endicott spent the past year as a Food and Shelter Assistant for Lutheran Community Services in Wilmington, Del., through Lutheran Volunteer Corps. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Concordia College in Moorhead with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Organizational Leadership.

Endicott began her role as Family Services Manager on Monday, Aug. 12.

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, please visit www.rmhmn.org.