History & Annual Reports
When Philadelphia Eagles tight end Fred Hill’s 3-year-old daughter, Kim, was being treated for leukemia in 1974, his life changed.
He and his wife, Fran, camped out on hospital benches and sat in cramped waiting rooms during Kim’s three years of treatment. They watched other parents and families of seriously ill children do the same thing. Many of the families had to travel long distances for their children to receive medical treatment and couldn’t afford hotel rooms.
The Hills knew there had to be a solution. Fred rallied the support of his teammates to raise funds. Through Jim Murray, the Eagles’ general manager, the team offered its support to Dr. Audrey Evans, head of the pediatric oncology unit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Evans dreamed of a comfortable temporary residence for families of children being treated at her hospital.
Jim enlisted Don Tuckerman from the local McDonald’s advertising agency who, with the support of McDonald’s Regional Manager Ed Rensi, launched the St. Patrick’s Day Green Milkshake (dubbed the Shamrock Shake) promotion. Funds raised helped buy an old house located near the hospital, which was opened in 1974 as the first Ronald McDonald House. The network of Houses quickly grew after that.
The First Canadian Ronald McDonald House opened in Toronto
In 2008 a feasibility study in Newfoundland and Labrador concluded that more than 115,000 patients received healthcare services at the Janeway in 2007, with one in five traveling more than 80 kilometers to receive care. This confirmed the fact that there is an urgent need for a Ronald McDonald House in St. John’s to support sick children and their families from rural Newfoundland and Labrador who travel to the Janeway for medical care.
A Board of Directors was formed and Ronald McDonald House Newfoundland and Labrador established itself as a registered charity.
A capital campaign was launched with a goal of $6.5M dollars to cover the costs of the development and construction of a House in St. John’s, NL, near the Janeway Children’s Hospital, furnishings, and capital campaign.
A ground breaking event took place in June 2011 to celebrate reaching the capital campaign goal.
In August 2011, construction began.
In late August 2012, staff and volunteers took possession of the House to begin the task of provisioning each room.
On September 7, 2012, Ronald McDonald House welcomed the first family.
On September 27th 2012, the Board of Directors and staff of Ronald McDonald House were joined by nearly 600 supporters, volunteers, families and invited guests for the grand opening of Ronald McDonald House Newfoundland and Labrador. Canada’s 14th house is located at 150 Clinch Crescent in St. John’s.
Guests enjoyed the talents of the Crescent Collegiate Vocal Ensemble of Blaketown Trinity Bay, and their director Mr. Robert Colbourne. Special guests included Premier Kathy Dunderdale, The Ciaccarelli Family of Chicago IL, Jackie Meara, the Senior Manager of Field Relations, Canada and Eastern United States with Ronald McDonald House Charities Global, Eleanor Swansonthe Vice-Chair of the Board of Regents with Memorial University, Richard Ellis, the Chairperson of Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada & Senior Vice President Communications & Public Affairs with McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada, Cathy Loblaw, the President and CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada, and of course, Ronald McDonald.
Sean McCann of Great Big Sea also attended and performed his song “Lullaby” which was used early at the start of the capital campaign in a commercial for Ronald McDonald House. Sean also performed “Stand by Me” as a tribute to Ronald McDonald House Board Member and friend, the late Dr. Jack Hand. At the conclusion of the event, surrounded by families, Premier Dunderdale and Ronald McDonald cut the big red ribbon on the front doors and officially opened the House. Guests were then given the opportunity to see for themselves the House that Love Built.
It’s time to OPEN Ronald McDonald House Newfoundland and Labrador!!!
Grand Opening – Ribbon Cutting Ceremony!!
The financial information provided in this annual report is in a condensed format; however complete audited financial statements are available on request at the charity office. To request a copy of the latest audited financial statements email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 709-738-0000.
There are 15 Ronald McDonald Houses all across Canada, keeping more than 20,000 families close each year.