Peoria welcomes Ronald McDonald House

Peoria, IL – According to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois, a brand new 40,000 square foot Ronald McDonald House is coming to Peoria.

It’ll give families with hospitalized children a close place to stay at no cost.

The new House will be located in the heart of the Peoria medical district on the corner of Spalding and Monroe and stand 4.5 stories with 22 bedrooms.

According to a press release, based on a medical feasibility study completed in the region, the new House will serve over 700 families annually and provide hundreds of volunteer opportunities for the community as well as a dozen or more new jobs.

”The new Peoria Ronald McDonald House will continue to build and expand Peoria’s growing medical district services,” stated Mayor Jim Ardis. “Not only will it be good for Peoria and our economic development, but it will also help families save precious dollars and keep them close to their children during a very stressful time in their lives.”

A 25-person committee has been meeting monthly for the past year to plan the effort.

The group is comprised of Peoria area residents including Honorary Chair Gordon Honegger, Chairman Emeritus of Morton Community Bank, and Co-Chairs Terry Clark, McDonald’s Owner/Operator in Peoria, and Julie Locke, Founder of The DAX Foundation.

According to Capital Campaign Co-Chair Terry Clark, “The central Illinois McDonald’s owner/operators are so happy and excited to help bring a Ronald McDonald House to Peoria. As a mission partner with this charity, we are committed to raise funds to provide a place for families to call home, so they can stay close by their hospitalized child at no cost.”

Campaign Co-Chair Julie Locke added, “The DAX Foundation aims to help families in need who are receiving medical treatment for cancer, and the mission of the Ronald McDonald House aligns perfectly with our goal of serving these families by providing a caring and comfortable home so families can focus all of their energy on what matters most – the health and well-being of their child.“

The group held multiple community and business stakeholder meetings with input from over 40 individuals and organizations represented, including the OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois, UnityPoint Health and the St. Jude Midwest Affiliate.

“I’m thrilled to have the new Peoria Ronald McDonald House coming to my district. This House fulfills an essential community need by providing families a place to stay free of charge while caring for their critically ill child,” stated First District Councilwoman Denise Moore.

Councilwoman Moore will be hosting a “Meet and Greet” with the public to provide more information about this exciting project on Wed., June 13 from 5:30- 6:30p.m. at the Gateway Building, 200 Northeast Water Street.

Farnsworth Group and River City Construction have been contracted to design and build the new 40,000 square foot Ronald McDonald House.

Key donors to the project are The DAX Foundation, McDonald’s Owner/Operators of the central Illinois region, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Marquis Energy, CEFCU and family foundations located in central Illinois.

The local spokesperson family for the project is Adam and Christine Simmons, who stayed in a Ronald McDonald House for several months while their son Bowden was critically ill and are passionate about bringing RMH to Peoria.

"As a major regional medical center, especially with the OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois, it’s important to have facilities that ensure all families are able to get the care they need here," said State Senator Chuck Weaver (RPeoria). "This new Ronald McDonald House will be an asset to the local community and the families of Central Illinois."

The capital campaign to bring a Ronald McDonald House to Peoria is $7M, and over half the funds have been committed.

The new House will be a 4.5 story building and program space will include a community room, game room, arts and crafts room, kitchen, playgrounds, family and living room, and 22 bedrooms to start. Adopt-the-House sponsorship opportunities, as well as individual giving opportunities, are available and can be viewed online at www.rmhc-centralillinois.org.

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