How and when did you first hear about Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana (RMHC-CNI)?
I first heard about RMHC-CNI in 2009. Ken Norgan, who was a principal in the world’s largest Ronald McDonald House capital campaign and also an owner/operator, wanted to share the news about this exciting project with me, so I met him at a restaurant downtown where they had a presentation and a mock-up of the project. I met so many people that night who were so passionate about the charity, like Lovie and MaryAnne Smith and former director, Jamie Haberkorn, that I became instantly hooked. Ken and Jamie took it a step further and invited me to be the chair for Glamorama, which I was thrilled to do! I’ve been the honorary chair for the past five years, hosting the Glam Launch Party, and am looking forward to doing it again for 2015!
What motivated you to get involved with RMHC-CNI? (When there are so many charities out there!)
I was motivated by the story and the people who are involved. They lead by example and after touring a few of the Houses, the genuine love and care for all of the families from the staff and volunteers brought tears to my eyes. This is why families whose children are well now still call the House they stayed in during their difficult times “home.”
What has been your favorite part about being involved or becoming connected with the charity?
My favorite part about being involved is seeing the children grow up, like Ambassador Max Herrick. His story was a desperate one at times, having had a heart transplant at age 2, but now he’s a happy, healthy kid who loves the Avengers, dancing and wearing his signature hat. The ice cream machine in the new House has his name on it.