Rochester In Focus: Ronald McDonald house preps for 33rd annual Bee A Hero day

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For the 33rd year, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester is celebrating “Bee A Hero Day” – an annual fundraiser for families of children going through critical, lifesaving treatment at local hospitals.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester (RMHCR), is run entirely on community donations. It provides housing, transportation, and food for families in crisis, many of whom travel long distances for care at Rochester-area health facilities.

“We are so proud to be partnering with Channel 10 and the Bee,” said RMHCR President & CEO Joanne Ryan. “From 5:30 in the morning until 7 at night, you have an opportunity to tune in, listen, hear about some of the amazing families we’re serving as well as support us, we are so grateful for the community support.”

While the house takes care of families’ basic needs like meals and lodging during treatment, it also serves as a place for families to find comfort in community.

Read stories from families who have stayed with RMHCR here. (link to: )

“When they come to us, typically they’ll find that there are other families in the house that are also going through very similar things and the strength that they get from each other is just, it’s profound to watch,” said Ryan. “We as a team try and make sure that we clear any barriers that keep them from using all the energy that they have just on their child."

News10NBC’s Emily Putnam: "Talk about how Covid and coming out of the pandemic has underscored the need for support from the community."
Joanne Ryan: "While we were in the throes of the very beginning of the pandemic, our houses did have to close, but I’m proud to say through the innovation of the team, no family was turned away.”

During the pandemic, RMHCR…
-Saved families over $1 million in food, lodging, and transportation
-Provided lodging for over 800 families with a total of over 8,000 family nights
-Provided 640 hotel nights through their Virtual Family Program

Founded in 1988 with radio partner WBEE, Bee A Hero Day has grown into one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for RMHCR. There are a couple of ways you can “Bee A Hero” for families staying with the house this year.

1.) Round up your change at local McDonald’s drive-thru’s. Rochester-area drive-thru’s can get up to 1,000 customers or more per day, and every dollar raised locally stays at the Rochester-area Ronald McDonald house.
2.) Donate any amount, any time, online. Details here:
3.) Donate by calling or texting on Bee A Hero Day (5:30am -7pm on Nov. 12th)
Call: (585) 300-4282
Text ‘RMHCR’ to 366283
More info on

Tune in to News10NBC Today on Friday, November 12th for live coverage of RMHCR’s Bee A Hero Day.