How it all began – The First Ronald McDonald House
- Co-Founder, Dr. Audrey Evans, was working as a pediatric oncologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and saw the need for families to have a supportive place to stay while their children were in treatment; she had a vision for a home away from home, similar to a YMCA.
- At the same time, the Philadelphia Eagles were fundraising in support of player Fred and his wife Fran Hill’s daughter, Kim, who was battling childhood leukemia. Thanks to Leonard Tose, then owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, the team received his undivided support to continue raising funds to help benefit local area hospitals.
- Stan Lane, neighbor to the Hill family, formed Eagles Fly for Leukemia, to organize fundraising efforts to benefit Kim Hill. For over forty years, Mr. Lane as been a strong proponent for leukemia research and oncology families.
- Co-Founder and then General Manager of the Philadelphia Eagles, Jimmy Murray, approached Dr.
Lawrence Naiman at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children with proceeds raised by the Eagles. However, Dr. Naiman directed Jimmy to Dr. Evans; stating that she had a greater need for the proceeds.
- The first proceeds from the Eagles went towards creating two positive pressure rooms at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and then Dr. Evans told Jimmy of her vision for a house.
- Jimmy approached Don Tuckerman and Stanley Elkman of Elkman Advertising and came up with an idea that a quarter from every McDonald’s Shamrock Shake sold in the Philadelphia region would go towards the purchase of a House located by Dr. Audrey Evans.
- Thanks to Ed Rensi, President of the McDonald’s Region, he said yes to this proposal and agreed to provide funds from the sale of Shamrock Shakes if McDonald’s could name the House.
- On October 15, 1974, the world’s first Ronald McDonald House was born and now serves as the model for over 357 Ronald McDonald Houses in 39 countries– providing comfort to millions of families.