It was a three-year journey and a race to construction completion, but it all came together beautifully today at the grand opening of the Ronald McDonald House at 401 NE Monroe in downtown Peoria, right near the I-74 Freeway.
Hundreds turned out today for the opening ceremony. I can’t remember attending a ribbon-cutting event as a member of the “press” where I had to wait in line outside to get in, but that’s what it was like this morning. Once inside, Cumulus Peoria account executive Brad Creek and I were jammed shoulder-to-shoulder in what I believe to be one of the facility’s break rooms, with no sight of the speakers. No matter, it was still a feel good event for our community. And pretty much anyone who was involved in the Ronald McDonald House was there to get their deserved acknowledgement.
This facility will be a short-term home to family members whose kids are hospitalized at one of our world-class downtown hospitals getting medical care and treatment. They stay free at this fully-staffed, 24-7-365 home away from home. This way, the family doesn’t have to drive, say, a couple hours back home each night or have the expense of staying in a hotel. And that’s why we give when we can to this non-profit entity.
Now with a Peoria facility, Midwest families can stay here in Peoria and not have to drive to places like St. Louis, thereby being an economic driver for Peoria. The Open House continues until 7 pm tonight. For more info Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois, visit their website HERE.