Frontdoors Magazine February 2021 Issue

Page 23

A 2ND ACT {helping is healing}

The original Ronald McDonald House in Phoenix, the Roanoke House is the largest of the three Valley locations.

A CLOWN’S LEGACY

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern Arizona supports children’s journeys to wellness Judy Pearson | Contributing Writer

The May 9, 1971, Arizona Republic classified read, “One bedroom, furnished, air-conditioned, pool, carpet. 501 E. Roanoke Avenue.” The small complex in central Phoenix featured apartments and single rooms. Offering both airconditioning and a pool practically made it a palace. Fifty years later, that piece of real estate is so much more. But first, a back story. Two years before the classified ran, then-Philadelphia Eagles football player Fred Hill asked his teammates for help in raising money to fight leukemia, a disease that had stricken his daughter. That request led to the idea of providing free housing for families kept away from home while their children went through medical treatment. The Philadelphia McDonald’s franchise owners got on board, ponying up big money with just one request: to name the facility after their beloved clown. Thus, the first Ronald

FRONTDOORS MEDIA

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FEB 2021