Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House Multi-Million Expansion Receives Major Gifts from San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and McDonalds

From left to right: George Ball (board chair, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California), Mike Kovack (executive director, Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House), Candace and Tom Spiel (McDonald’s owner/operators) and Derek Hanson (board chair, Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House).

From left to right: George Ball (board chair, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California), Mike Kovack (executive director, Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House), Candace and Tom Spiel (McDonald’s owner/operators) and Derek Hanson (board chair, Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House).

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley) – Friday, the Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House, a program of Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Southern California (RMHCSC), announced “Growing to Meet the Need,” a philanthropic effort to raise $12 million to help double its size to support more families with critically-ill children. For nearly 20 years, the House has been a “home-away-from-home” keeping families together and close to their critically-ill child while they receive life-saving treatment. Two major philanthropic organizations have stepped forward to support the effort. San Manuel Band of Mission Indians will provide the lead gift of $5.6 million and McDonald’s Operators’ Association of Southern California (MOASC) is contributing over $1.25 million in addition to its ongoing support of RMHCSC. Both groups have a long history of supporting the House’s mission and the gifts will enable the House to break ground in September of this year.

To date, the program has raised 73 percent of its $12 million goal, which amounts to $8.7 million. The expansion will allow the House to add 33 rooms, increasing the total number from 21 to 54. It will also expand its kitchen and dining areas, as well as the common spaces, including the playroom and business office. The Loma Linda House serves more than 1,000 families each year from areas, including Riverside, San Bernardino, Coachella Valley and beyond.

“When a child is sick, keeping the family together and close is an essential part of the healing process for all involved,” said Derek Hanson, board chair, Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House. “We’re here to accommodate those families, whether it’s offering a place to sleep, a warm meal or simply a friendly face. The need for these services is growing and we thank partners like San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and McDonald’s for their ongoing commitment.”

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and McDonald’s have been major supporters of the Chapter and Loma Linda House. The partnership with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians began in 1998. Over the years, the Tribe has answered the call in times of need, supporting the program with key contributions for previous renovations and improvements, as well as meals for the families. In recent years, as the House reached up to 150% occupancy, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians provided funding for temporary housing for families at local hotels. In 2011, RMHCSC was a recipient of the Tribe’s prestigious Yawa’ Award in the program area of Health.

McDonald’s has been the Mission Partner of Ronald McDonald House Charities® for 40 years and MOASC has supported the Southern California Chapter since its inception in 1977, remaining its largest corporate donor. Each year, local owner/operators fund a portion of the annual operating costs, as well as provide funding for college scholarships and the Community Grants Board. Within the restaurants, RMHC Donation Box contributions remain a strong source of ongoing support and proceeds from daily Happy Meal and Mighty Kids Meal sales are also donated back to support RMHCSC and its programs. Owner/operators, crew and regional staff are dedicated volunteers and many hold positions on program boards.

The Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House plays a vital role in the continuum of care by balancing a family’s need for both privacy and social support while supporting improved access to quality medical care and helping enhance the hospital experience. Since opening on September 11, 1996 just steps from the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, the House has served more than 19,000 families. The program currently operates over capacity and works to place families at local hotels at a reduced rate until a room becomes available. In 2013, more than 800 families were referred to hotels. For more information, readers can visit http://rmhcsc.org/lomalinda.  Community members and businesses can commit to supporting the “Growing to Meet the Need” effort by contacting Executive Director Mike Kovack at mkovack@rmhcsc.org, or by phone at (909) 558-8338.

About Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Southern California

For more than 35 years, Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Southern California (RMHCSC) has been dedicated to improving the health and well-being of children and families across Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. RMHCSC helps families with critically-ill children stay together, connecting them with others facing similar challenges through its six Ronald McDonald Houses® in Bakersfield, Loma Linda, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Orange and Pasadena and two Ronald McDonald Family Rooms®. One of the few chapters to operate a cost-free, medically supervised Camp Ronald McDonald For Good Times®, RMHCSC helps children with cancer and their siblings rediscover childhood and develop the self-esteem and self-efficacy often lost as a result of the disease. The organization also provides funding through its Community Grants Board to deserving non-profits that improve the lives of children and funds four college scholarship programs that help exemplary high school students pursue the education of their dreams. More information about RMHCSC and its programs can be found at www.rmhcsc.org or on

www.Facebook.com/RMHCSoCal and www.Twitter.com/RMHC_SoCal.

About San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is a federally recognized American Indian tribe located near the city of Highland, Calif. The Serrano Indians are the indigenous people of the San Bernardino highlands, passes, valleys and mountains who share a common language and culture. The San Manuel reservation was established in 1891 and recognized as a sovereign nation with the right of self-government. Since time immemorial, the San Manuel tribal community has endured change and hardship. Amidst these challenges the tribe continued to maintain its unique form of governance. Like other governments it seeks to provide a better quality of life for its citizens by building infrastructure, maintaining civil services and promoting social, economic and cultural development. Today San Manuel tribal government oversees many governmental units including the departments of fire, public safety, education and environment.

About McDonald’s Operators’ Association of Southern California (MOASC)

MOASC is comprised of more than 600 franchised and company-owned McDonald’s restaurants in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. Learn more at www.mcdonaldssocal.com and follow us on Twitter: @McDonalds_SoCal.

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