About Us

RMHC of Burlington, Vermont Logo

Image of Burlington Vermont Ronald McDonald House

Global Ronald McDonald House Charities History

Philadelphia House ChestnutThe 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.

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Our House
The Ronald McDonald Charities of Burlington, Vermont is comprised of three programs. The Ronald McDonald House, located at 16 South Winooski Avenue, The Family Room at the University of Vermont’s Children’s Hospital and The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile.

Meet our Staff

Kristine Bickford – Executive Director

Deanna Cameron – Volunteer and Guest Relations Manager

Sadie Stone – Program and Development Manager

Lisa Nagle – Administrative Assistant

Carol Winchester – Evening Manager

Bill Parkhill – Facilities Manager

Picture of House Dog Mike
Mike (pictured here) – Dynamic Brand Specialist

Board of Directors

Norm Blais –  President
Bill Miller – Vice President
Jamie Harnish – Secretary/ Treasurer
Alan Homans, MD – Medical Representative
Al Getler
Charlie Coughlin – McDonald’s Owner/ Operator
Jenny Bedell
Joe Carton
Liza Smith-Vedder
Matt Wilson
Peter Napoli – McDonald’s Owner/ Operator
Perry LaRoque
Sarah Twichell, MD- Medical Representative
Sally Wichert – First Congregational Church Liaison
Susan Victory – University of Vermont Children’s Hospital Liaison
Steve Shover
Timothy Wile
Emily Flaherty – Junior Board Member – Alpha Delta Pi Sorority

McDonald’s involvement:

  • 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.

RMHC StaffAbout Us