Ronald McDonald House: A home away from home

June 18, 2019 05:50 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — For nearly three decades, Rochester has had a place to help families in their greatest time of need. We're talking about the Ronald McDonald House. 

It started as just an idea about 30 years ago. Now, it helps take some of the stress away for families while their children are getting the medical care they need in Rochester, and it's more than just a place to stay. 

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"When I walk in the door I'm home," said radio show host Terry Clifford from 92.5 WBEE. "It just feels like home." 

Clifford has been involved with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester since the start. 

"I watched this house be built," said Clifford. 

The house on Westmoreland Drive, located just steps away from Strong Memorial Hospital, opened in 1990. 

"It's an amazing house," Clifford said. "It's magical!"

It's a place where families can stay, free of charge, while their children are treated in town. 

"Some people might not even come to Rochester to be able to get the care they need unless they have somewhere to stay," Danielle Howard said.

She's the programs director at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester. The Westmoreland house is just one of the programs. It has 24 bedrooms. 

"They don't have to worry about lodging," Howard said. "They don't have to worry about transportation, or food or laundry. We take care of all that so you can focus on your child."

You may not know Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester relies completely on donations. 

"We are 100 percent reliant on fundraising, and it takes about $2.5 million each year to make this run," Howard said. 

That's where you come in, and 92.5 WBEE has been spreading the word for 31 years. 

"Our listeners have come forward so loyally, so predictably, and opened up their hearts and opened up their wallets every single year," Clifford said. 

The radiothon for Ronald McDonald House Charities started in a field in 1988 where the home would be built. Through the years it was held at the house, Marketplace Mall, even the Lilac Festival! It has raised more than a million dollars. 

"There are few things that I'm as proud of," Clifford said. "That's the truth. I love this place. It's home!"

News10NBC is asking you to help! This Friday, June 21, is BEE a Hero Day. We're asking you to donate by phone or online to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester so they can keep serving families. Nikki Rudd will be live at the Ronald McDonald House on Friday starting at 5 a.m. on News10NBC Today. Deanna Dewberry will be there in the afternoon and evening.

For more information, CLICK HERE

It's more than just the Ronald McDonald House. There's also a house inside Golisano Children's Hospital and other programs around town to help families. We'll be sharing the inspiring stories all week on News10NBC.


Nikki Rudd

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