Ronald McDonald House Charities History
The very first Ronald McDonald House was opened in Philadelphia in 1974. This was accomplished through the efforts of Fred Hill, a former Philadelphia Eagles football player, Jim Murray, the team’s general manager, and the many members of the team.
Fred Hill realized the tremendous need for families with ill children to gather together for support after his daughter, Kim, was treated for pediatric leukemia. He understood the stress that is caused when a loved one seeks treatment at a hospital that could be many miles from home.
It was with this vision that he and Jim Murray proceeded and approached McDonald’s owner operators in the Philadelphia area to raise funds for their cause. Dr. Audrey Evans, head of Pediatric Oncology at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital suggested a “home away from home” to accommodate these families who travel long distances for medical care.
Together, this team began raising money to build the first Ronald McDonald House. Today, Fred Hill, Jim Murray, and Dr. Evans are still involved with the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Meet our Staff
Kristine Bickford – Executive Director
Deanna Cameron – Volunteer and Guest Relations Manager
Samuel Mathewes Clark – Program and Development Manager
Carol Winchester – Evening Manager
Bill Parkhill – Facilities Manager
Board of Directors
Pam Baker – President
Norm Blais – Vice President
Jamie Harnish – Secretary/ Treasurer
Peter Napoli – McDonald’s Owner/ Operator
Charlie Coughlin – McDonald’s Owner/ Operator
Sally Wichert – First Congregational Church Liaison
Susan Victory – University of Vermont Children’s Hospital Liaison
Ann Wittpenn, M.D. – Medical Representative
Jenny Bedell Joe Carton
Robbi Handy Holmes Perry LaRoque
Emily Flaherty – Junior Board Member – Alpha Delta Pi Sorority
- McDonald’s employees volunteer their time
- Owner/operators participate on the RMHC Board and Committees
- Vermont and upper NY State McDonald’s restaurants donate proceeds from special promotions like ” Penny per Happy Meal”, “#Lovin for RMHC Hearts”
- Local franchises partner with our programs for promotional and fundraising events, such as our largest fundraiser Jingle Bell Express
- RMHC Donation Boxes hosted in restaurants remain a strong source of ongoing fundraising
Although McDonald’s is one of our generous corporate donors, no company can solely fund RMHC programs and the growth needed to serve more families. We need the support of the entire community and greatly value any support you can afford to RMHC, whether it’s through cash donations, your time, or fundraising efforts.About Us