For over a year, MacKenzie’s Co-Owner and President – Katie Rucker – has been hard at work on a passion project that will forever change the landscape our Orange County Community.
On September 19, 2019, the Orange County Ronald McDonald House publicly announced its extraordinary effort to raise $12 million with which it will double the size of its current housing facility. To date, over 84 donors have participated helping raise $7.7M of the $12M goal. As co-chairs of this AMAZING project, Katie Rucker and Charles Antis invite everyone to join them in expanding the impact this house can make by helping even more families stay close to their children during critical times of medical treatment and recovery.
The Orange County Register published a fantastic article which we highlight below:
With more families in need, Ronald McDonald House in Orange County plans to grow
Fundraising has begun for a project that could boos capacity from 20 to 44 families
By: Theresa Walker – September 19, 2019
On a good day, when there is no traffic, Dan and Summer Wenzl can make the drive from their home in Las Vegas to CHOC Children’s Hospital of Orange County in about four hours.
It’s a journey they’ve taken several times over the past two years. They bring their daughter Rebecca to the hospital in Orange to get treatment for a rare genetic condition that, so far, has slowed her growth. At 2½, she is the size of a 9-month-old.
With all the uncertainty they face, there’s one thing the Wenzls don’t have to worry about.
When they reach their destination, they know they have a place to stay that offers a home away from home: Ronald McDonald House of Orange County.
The comfort comes from more than just the safe and clean surroundings blocks away from the hospital. They’re also surrounded by families who, on some level, share their experience. There is a steady but non-intrusive stream of assistance from volunteers and staff. And the Wenzl family doesn’t have to explain themselves to have their emotions understood.
“It’s like having an entire support system in another city,” Summer Wenzl said.
Her husband, a police officer, added: “It’s funny – when (Rebecca) says she wants to go to McDonald’s, she’s talking about the Ronald McDonald House.”
Soon, that kind of comfort in a time of crisis will be available to more than twice as many families as currently can use the Ronald McDonald House in Orange. A $12 million expansion is slated to begin next year, and when construction is complete, capacity will expand to as many as 44 families like the Wenzls.
Since it opened, in 1989, the house on South Batavia Street, a short walk from CHOC, has been a refuge for out-of-town families with seriously ill or injured children under treatment at local hospitals. Up to four guests can stay in one of the rooms for days, or, in some cases, months at a time, for a nominal contribution of $10 a night.
If a family can’t afford that, they aren’t turned away.
When the 20-bedroom home is full, Ronald McDonald House provides vouchers that let families stay at nearby hotels, even as they retain access to the house’s kitchen, dining room, laundry and other amenities.
The thing is, these days, the guest rooms in the airy, three-story home are always full. That’s been the case the past six years, as families rotate in and out, spending an average of eight days at Ronald McDonald House Orange County.