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Reno Ronald McDonald House® Kicks Off 25th Anniversary Celebration

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Opening of the Ronald McDonald Family Room® at Renown Begins 25 Week Countdown

The Reno Ronald McDonald House kicked off its 25th Anniversary Celebration this week in recognition of the House’s official opening August 4, 1987. To mark the milestone, 25 weeks of recognition and events are planned, beginning with the February 6 opening of the Ronald McDonald Family Room® at Renown Children’s Hospital. The Ronald McDonald Family Room is a respite area on the Pediatric/Pediatric ICU floor of the hospital. It is a comfortable, quiet retreat where family members can rest, decompress, and partake in consultations with their children’s medical team in private without having to leave the unit. Amenities include a seating area with fireplace and television, a kitchen and dining area, a private sleeping room, and a computer center with internet access and reference books.

The rooms were funded entirely by Ronald McDonald House Charities® Northern Nevada (RMHC®) through local donations.  Marie Wikoff of Wikoff Design Studio designed the entirely new pediatric floor, including the Ronald McDonald Family Room. Notable local visual artists, Patricia Wallis, Melinda Plumbridge, Annie Hall, and Joan Shonnard donated the paintings. The photographs in the Sleep Room that depict mother animals and their babies were created by Diane McAllister. “The Ronald McDonald Family Room was designed so that when you walk into the room, you forget you’re in a hospital,” said Rose Marie Donohue, RMHC President. “From the fireplace, to the stocked kitchen, to the welcoming art on the walls, we envisioned a place where families could feel supported. The room is a realization of our vision, ‘Change a child’s life. Change a family. Change the community.'”

The Ronald McDonald Family Room will be open every day from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm. The sleep room will remain open 24 hours a day. There is a need for volunteers to staff the family room. Interested individuals should call Marty Ozer, Executive Director at (775) 322-4663.

“Over the next 25 weeks, you’ll be hearing about our story, culminating with The Red Shoe Gala, a fundraiser benefitting RMHC,” said Marty Ozer, Executive Director. The Red Shoe Gala will be held on Thursday, July 19 at the Atlantis Hotel and Casino in the Grand Ballroom, with special guests Maury Povich and Connie Chung. Cocktail reception will begin at 6:00 p.m. with Dinner and the Program at 7:00 p.m. “If you’ve been looking for an excuse to dress up and do good, this is it,” said Ozer. “Ronald McDonald will set the tone for the evening in black tie (optional), and Red Shoes preferred.” Tables of ten can be purchased for $1,500, and sponsorship opportunities are available for this first inaugural event. Proceeds will go to RMHC and 100 percent of the funds will stay in northern Nevada.

“Beginning this week, our Board members, volunteers, and friends of the House will be wearing red shoes all around town to generate excitement for the gala, especially the evening’s highly anticipated Best Red Shoe Contest,” said Ozer. “If you see someone with red shoes on, I welcome you to ask them about why they are passionate about the Reno Ronald McDonald House and what we do here. It is a fun way to tell the heartfelt stories of our guests, and it also serves as an analogy to encourage people to walk in the shoes of those coping with a child’s medical crisis and who have unfortunately fallen on hard times.” Each guest at the house has a story, and come from all walks of life, all income levels, and ethnicities.

About the Reno Ronald McDonald House

The Reno Ronald McDonald House is home-away-from-home for up to 12 families at a time. The children we serve suffer from many different medical conditions ranging from premature babies in need of extended hospital stays, to children suffering from injuries caused by accidents and more serious ailments such as cancer, diabetes and pneumonia. In 2012, the Reno Ronald McDonald House will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary. Please help us celebrate today and build for tomorrow by donating online at www.rmhc-reno.org. No matter the size, the cumulative impact of the gifts you give is profound. The House is just one of the programs and services provided by Ronald McDonald House Charities® Northern Nevada (RMHC), including the Travel for Treatment Program, The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®, and the RMHC® U.S. Scholarship Program, which in northern Nevada is second only to the Millennium Scholarship in number of scholarships award per year. For more information, please call Marty Ozer at (775) 322-4663 or visit www.rmhc-reno.org.

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