CHICAGO (CBS) – Officials will cut the ribbon on Tuesday for a new 15-story Ronald McDonald House in Streeterville, the largest of its kind.
The Ronald McDonald House at 211 East Grand Avenue will serve families of patients at the new Lurie Children’s Hospital, which opened earlier this month. Families who use the center will have living quarters, community gathering spaces, eating and playing areas, and an open-air rooftop deck.
Doug Porter, CEO of Ronald McDonald Houses of Chicagoland and Northwest Indaina said, “We’ll have 86 rooms in here total, plus 9 in the hospital.”
Porter said the new facility is the largest Ronald McDonald House in the world. It replaces the old 21-room Ronald McDonald House near the old Children’s Memorial Hospital, which was renamed Lurie Children’s Hospital when it moved to Streeterville earlier this month.
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Porter said the new Ronald McDonald House will be able to take reservations, for instance, when a parent knows his or her child will be undergoing surgery at Lurie.
In the past, volunteers were sometimes forced to turn away families from the old Ronald McDonald House on Fullerton Avenue, because of a shortage of rooms.
The new facility cost about $40 million, Porter said Ronald McDonald House Charities is a few million dollars short right now, but he’s working on the fundraising.
The new Ronald McDonald House is five blocks from Lurie Children’s Hospital, but nine Ronald McDonald House rooms are inside the hospital itself, for “families of the most critically ill children that five blocks is too far to be away.”
Porter said the new Ronald McDonald House has lots of community spaces so families can bond. Families who stay there are asked for a $10-a-night donation, but no one is turned away if they can’t afford it.