by Craig A. Ruark
Families are stronger when they are together, and their presence helps a sick child cope better. Research even proves that while we cannot make medicine taste better or take away painful treatment, we can help lessen the burden and ensure families have the stability and resources to support their child’s recovery.
The Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Greater Las Vegas (RMHC®) is celebrating 20-years “of togetherness” with an annual fundraising gala on October 20th What better theme for the event is the ‘Glitz & Glam’ of the Roaring 20s, where men are encouraged to put on their tux and women to find their inner flapper.
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Greater Las Vegas is an autonomous non-profit located in Las Vegas. Their mission is to provide a supportive “home-away-from-home” for families and children who are receiving inpatient or outpatient medical treatment at local hospitals. “Without our House, families might have to sleep in the hospital lobby, a child’s hospital room or even in their cars, as most families cannot afford a hotel room for weeks or sometimes months – especially under the financial stress of mounting medical bills,” said Alyson McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer.
Since opening in July of 1998, the House has served more than 4,600 families for more than 56,500 nights. In 2017, the House served 452 adults and 194 children for more than 3,600 nights. The average length of stay was 11 days, and the House saved families more $460,000 in lodging costs in 2017 (based on 2017 average nightly lodging rates in Las Vegas of $130.48).
The House was designed specially to accommodate up to 12 families at one time, for a total of 72 family members. Each guest room includes two double beds, private bathroom, TV, and telephone. Families will also find a fully stocked pantry; anon-coin operated laundry facility with detergent and fabric softener, a fun-filled game room for kids to play in, an outdoor patio area with a BBQ grill, and ample seating as well as toys and games for the kids.
While McDonald’s restaurants are an incredibly supportive founding partner in the mission, the Greater Las Vegas House raises between 92-98 percent of their annual funding through the local community. It’s a common misconception among donors that McDonald’s is funding the operation. McDonald’s does lend their collective advertising dollars, restaurant packaging and the hospitality of their team members to create customer awareness and support for RMHC. Also, one cent from every happy meal goes to local RMHC as well as donation boxes in the lobby.
RMHC and the community hold a number of fundraising events including the annual Rock the Socks Golf Classic, Running for the House 5K Run and Fun Walk, and the annual Gala.
This year’s gala will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, October 20th, from 6-10 p.m. Along with the gourmet dinner and entertainment, there will be both a silent and live auction. The evening will also honor long-time corporate sponsor Capital One and House Hero Eva Martin, a current McDonald’s owner-operator.
Besides the participating in the Gala and other events, there are other ways to get the business community involved. Ronald McDonald House Charities® offers programs for individuals, groups, and youth. They also have offsite opportunities to volunteer.
More information can be found at https://rmhlv.org/volunteeror by calling 702-252-4663.