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Our History

Our History

The first Ronald McDonald House opened in Philadelphia in 1974. Philadelphia Eagles football player Fred Hill and his wife Fran’s young daughter Kim was battling leukemia. They wanted to do something to ease the suffering of families enduring long hospital stays and treatments. With the help of Dr. Audrey Evans, head of pediatric oncology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Leonard Tose, the Eagles’ owner, Jim Murray, the Eagles’ General Manager, and Ed Rensi, the McDonald’s Regional Manager, the initial funds were raised to buy a house near the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for families to stay while their children were hospitalized. The Philadelphia area McDonald’s owner/operators donated proceeds from the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake which provided much of the funding for the first house. The Ronald McDonald House movement took off quickly after the initial house. Ronald McDonald House Charities was established in 1984 and by 1986 100 Ronald McDonald Houses were operating. In the last 40 years, the Ronald McDonald House program has grown to 380+ Houses in 60 countries and regions.

Locally, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Indiana has been serving families since 1998. Here’s what we’ve been up to since!


25 Wonders

How many steps separate the House from NICU? What’s the longest stay at our Ronald McDonald House? Enjoy these 25 little-known wonders about Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Indiana.