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.
It’s something we see every day – children healing because they’re surrounded by their families. And while RMHC may not be able to make the medicine taste better or erase the pain of a much-needed treatment, we have helped lessen the burden for nearly 2,800 families in 2014. Since 1993 we have been making children happier and healthier by keeping families together – giving them a place to rest and refresh. A place that feels like home.
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.