Ronald McDonald House

Behind the Scenes

February 14, 1999|By Karin Remesch

Mission: To provide temporary housing for families of critically ill children being treated at Baltimore-area hospitals and to make grants available to other nonprofit programs in Maryland that help children reach their fullest potential. Grants are awarded with money generated by McDonald's. The Ronald McDonald House on Lexington Street, which opened in 1982, provides housing and support for an optional $10 daily donation to an average of 1,500 families annually. In addition to 39 bedrooms, the facility features a playroom, game room, fitness room, library with computers, children's media entertainment room, two large living rooms, six fully equipped kitchens, two large dining rooms, laundry facilities and an enclosed play yard. Parking and transportation to area hospitals also are provided.

Latest accomplishment: Completion of a $1.4 million addition, which enlarged the facility by one-third, providing additional rooms and common spaces. The project was paid for with capital funds raised by the board.

On the horizon: In March, delivery of a donated new van for the transport of residents to area hospitals. Remodeling of the living-room fireplace is planned for this summer. Proceeds from a Pro-Am Golf Tournament Aug. 9 at Caves Valley Gold Club and the Port Discovery Ball, a black-tie gala Oct. 30, will benefit the house.

About the Ronald McDonald House: Operating budget: $1 million; reserves for capital improvements and other expenses: $635,000; endowment: $481,000.

Where and when: 635 W. Lexington St., on the campus of the University of Maryland. Hours: Open around-the-clock daily. Call 410-528-1010.

Nancy Swartz, president of the board of directors: "Serving the children and families at the Ronald McDonald House is a rewarding experience. We have an excellent board. They care deeply about the house and work hard to provide services for our families who are dealing with tremendous stress. It is a true joy to see children involved in their play at the Ronald McDonald House and, for a time, leave all their worries behind."

Members of the board

Jeff Bartko

William Bass Jr.

Stanley Fine

Robert Foreman

Karen Fitzpatrick

Janet Henry

Robert Houck

Muyiwa Ige

Glenn Kikuchi

Anita Korpisz

Robert Lee

Kyle Miller

Steve Paterakis

Ricky Ressin

Michael Riley

Vicki Singer

Willis Smart

Susan Spector

Sandy Gimbelstob

Mark Szklennik

Diana Taylor

Barry Weiskopf

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