Hearts in Action: RMHC-CNI Updates

Quarter One Reflections: Shaping 2024 Together

As we transition into spring, I am so appreciative for what we’ve already accomplished and what’s ahead.

Welcome to the second edition of my quarterly commitment to keep you informed and inspired by the progress your support is enabling at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana.

You’ll read about the impactful moments with the families we serve and the extraordinary dedication of our volunteers, supporters, and staff. Each highlight showcases the strength and warmth of our shared mission.

Let’s dive into the milestones that have defined these first few months of 2024…

Lighting the Way at Our Sold Out 2024 Gala

Last Saturday, we celebrated together at our Annual Gala, a vibrant event filled with community spirit and dedication to our cause. We are immensely grateful to all supporters for their generosity, raising over $1.7M to empower our vital work. The enthusiasm to support our mission was evident throughout the evening as we heard inspiring family stories and celebrated our collective impact.


Honoring Our Secret Ingredient: Volunteers

During National Volunteer Month in April, we celebrated the diverse contributions of our volunteers, highlighted by Joe Hobein, our longest-serving volunteer, recognized for his 45 years of dedication. Joe has lovingly tended the gardens at RMH near Lurie Children’s, creating serene retreats for families.

Last year alone, volunteers donated nearly 45,000 hours of their time. Our mission simply could not succeed without the team of dedicated volunteers: they serve meals, enliven nighttime programming, bake cookies, celebrate special occasions, raise crucial funds, and support special programming like our Hospitality Cart.


Grand Marshal of the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade was extra memorable for us this year. We were proud to serve as Grand Marshal, a role that added to the excitement of the day. Team members, volunteers, board members, and families walked along with us, making it a truly special celebration for everyone involved.

This was a great way to engage with the southside community near our House in Oak Lawn. Plus, we were able to build awareness via media story coverage spanning ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, WGN as well as print and online news outlets that reached folks locally and globally.


NUDM Raises Over $342,000 for Charity

Northwestern University Dance Marathon marked its 50th anniversary by raising an impressive $342,138 for charity. We are thrilled to have been the primary beneficiary this year, alongside the Evanston Community Foundation as the secondary beneficiary. A huge thank you to all the dancers and organizers for their dedication and hard work in making this milestone event a tremendous success and helping #unlockcare!


New Board Chair Marion Gross

For more than 30 years, Marion has been a member of McDonald’s Corporation and currently serves as the Executive Vice President and Global Chief Supply Chain Officer, overseeing one of the world’s largest supply chains. Throughout her career, she has been a champion of our mission and an active volunteer. We are honored to have Marion’s leadership, business acumen, and empathy guiding our efforts for the benefit of the families we serve.


We are constantly reminded that every step forward is made possible by our incredible community of supporters. Together, we are not just meeting goals—we are expanding the boundaries of what we can achieve and fostering transformative changes for families facing pediatric illness and injury.

Thank you for being the cornerstone of our success.

Holly Buckendahl
Chief Executive Officer