WLS-TV Sports Director, Mark Giangreco first learned of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana (RMHC-CNI) through his passion for classic cars. Almost seven years ago, when the Chicago Brushmasters, Caring Partners of RMHC-CNI, were planning their annual ‘World of Wheels’ event to benefit the charity, Mark found a perfect match. Being an amateur artist himself, Mark recognized the talent behind the group of pinstripe artists and was memorized how they lent their skills to detailing classic cars and other various car pieces. So, Mark was eager to lend a helping hand and help bring awareness to both the Chicago Brushmasters and the efforts of RMHC-CNI.
Mark has also generously donated his time at several of the charity’s fundraiser events including the Chi-Town STA-BIL Kruze, Cook County Farm Bureau’s Food Checkout Day, RMHC-CNI’s Annual Golf Classic at Cog Hill Country Club, and served as Honorary Chair of the Capital Campaign for the charity’s Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s.
On February 21, 2013, Cook County Farm Bureau celebrated its 13th Annual Food Checkout Day with two of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana’s “House of Representatives”, ABC 7 Chicago‘s Mark Giangreco and CBS 2 Chicago‘s Ryan Baker. Mark and Ryan participated in a “scavenger hunt competition” at the Dominick’s located right next to our Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s. It was a close race with Ryan taking the victory with 101 items over Mark’s 95 items, but both celebrated together knowing that over 10,529 pounds of food would support the families staying together at our five Ronald McDonald Houses and three Ronald McDonald Family Rooms.
For the past five years, Mark has served as the Honorary Chairman for RMHC-CNI’s Annual Golf Classic at Cog Hill Country Club. Stay tuned for more details regarding this year’s Golf Classic happening once again at Cog Hill Country Club in July.
On June 26th 2012, after five years of planning and construction, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana (RMHC-CNI) celebrated the official opening of the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s. Mark Giangreco graciously emceed the event. The celebration was a culmination of support from small to large donors, community and government leaders, RMHC-CNI’s board of directors and Capital Campaign Steering Committee, and committed staff and volunteers.
RMHC-CNI came one step closer to completion of the new Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s on September 27 as we ‘topped off’ a historic construction project. The ceremony was a commemoration of the important milestone of placing the final beam at the very top of the building. Hundreds of supporters attended the event, which was held on the rooftop parking deck of the garage just across the street from the House and Mark was the Master of Ceremonies for the celebration. The program included an amazing rendition of the national anthem by famed vocalist Jim Cornelison, the official voice of the Chicago Blackhawks. A beautiful symbolic heart-shaped balloon release followed the raising of the beam.
On November 9, RMHC-CNI held the official groundbreaking to mark the beginning of construction of the nation’s largest Ronald McDonald House in downtown Chicago. Over 300 friends and partners joined RMHC-CNI at the ceremonial groundbreaking at 211 E. Grand Avenue. Honored guests included RMHC-CNI’s very own Mark Giangreco, Honorary Chair of RMHC-CNI’s Capital Campaign Committee, Charles Tillman, Chicago Bears cornerback, along with wife Jackie and daughter Tiana. The family spent time at the Northside Ronald McDonald House while Tiana underwent heart surgery and later a heart transplant.
Additional guests included Pat Magoon, President and CEO of Children’s Memorial Hospital, Joe Antunovich, President of Antunovich Associates, the architectural firm responsible for the design of the new Ronald McDonald House, and Max Herrick, patient at Children’s Memorial Hospital whose family has stayed at Ronald McDonald House.