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History

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Madison was born out of an enormous outpouring of community support spanning more than four years, and resulting in more than $2 million dollars in funding. We opened our doors debt free on May 22, 1993.

How did the first Ronald McDonald House get its start?

The first Ronald McDonald House opened in Philadelphia in 1974 as the result of the perseverance and dedication of Fred Hill, then a Philadelphia Eagles football player. After his daughter, Kim, was treated for leukemia at the local children’s hospital, Hill became determined to help other families faced with the same situation.

Very few institutions at that time provided sufficient accommodations for such families, and Dr. Audrey Evans, a pediatric oncologist at Children’s Hospital, suggested that a “home-away-from-home” was needed. Hill enlisted the help of his teammates and then General Manager, Jim Murray, as well as the local McDonald’s restaurant franchisees to raise funds to purchase and renovate the first House.

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