Roxboro Kiwanis aids Durham Ronald McDonald House

Jul. 20, 2013 @ 12:05 PM

At the July 15 meeting of the Roxboro Kiwanis Club, Nancy Jones, director of communications at the Durham Ronald McDonald House and Oie Osterkamp, its executive director, spoke to the club about the vital role this program plays, locally and around the world, in making lodging available for families who need to be with their children who are being treated for critical illness. 

Jones indicated that the Durham facility provided a total of 9,200 nights of care last year and served 1,300 families.  However, due to space limitations 700 families could not be served.  Already this year, 9,418 nights of care have been provided. 

The Durham Ronald McDonald House has 55 bedrooms available.  It began in 1980 with only 13 rooms.  The latest capital campaign doubled its capacity, which now includes 28 suites containing a living area, kitchen and laundry facility.  The Roxboro Kiwanis Club was recognized as a co-sponsor of suite 352 at the Durham Ronald McDonald House, along with the Hillsborough, Tobaccoland and Friendly City Kiwanis Clubs.

Osterkamp advised that the program served 88 of North Carolina’s 100 counties last year and is active in 25 states in the United States and five foreign countries.  He cited as an example of the program’s impact a family from Argentina whose son had a rare blood disease that required care at a cost of over $1 million.  The entire nation of Argentina responded to raise the necessary funds.  Duke was one of only two facilities in world that could treat this condition with a bone marrow transplant, and the family spent 347 nights at the Durham Ronald McDonald House. 

The child responded positively to the treatment he received and they have recently returned to Argentina.  Since the house opened in Durham in 1980, 28,000 different families have benefitted from the program.

The Roxboro Kiwanis Club then presented a check to its guests for $1,250 as the first installment on its $5,000 pledge.  The Durham Ronald McDonald House may be visited online at www.ronaldhousedurham.org.

The club then conducted its quarterly business meeting, with reports from standing committees:  Interclub Visits, Membership, Nominations, Publicity and Service Projects.