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Ronald McDonald House opens expansion

Executive Director Ellen Carpenter cuts the ribbon on Ronald McDonald House's expansion.
David Limbaugh
Executive Director Ellen Carpenter cuts the ribbon on Ronald McDonald House's expansion.

Grand Rapids’ Ronald McDonald House held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday for its $2.5 million renovation and expansion

Ronald McDonald Charities of West Michigan opened its new expansion to Ronald McDonald House. The renovation adds another 8 bedrooms to its current 17, allowing the organization to house even more families with children who are being treated for critical illnesses in nearby hospitals.

Jess Morefield is one of those parents. Her family is from Cadillac, and they’ve been staying at Ronald McDonald House while her twins receive care from Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

“To have somewhere that was nearby the hospital that we could stay and didn’t have to worry about meals, where we were going to stay, things that we needed. It was such a huge blessing to have that as opposed to making a 2-hour trip twice a day.”

Executive Director Ellen Carpenter says the expansion was necessary.

“For 34 years Saturday, we have had a full house and a big waiting list, so we estimate we’ve taken care of 10,000 families. We’ve turned away about 5,000, and so it’s heartbreaking to have to turn a family away who needs us.”

Carpenter says the expansion was made possible through their More Room, More Love campaign, and that fundraising goals were not only met, but exceeded. Families who stay at Ronald McDonald House have full access to the houses many amenities free of charge.

Dave joined WGVU Public Media in November of 2023 after eighteen years as a Michigan Association of Broadcasters Emmy-nominated photojournalist and editor at Grand Rapids' WOOD TV8 and three years at WEYI TV25 in Flint, Michigan. As a General Assignment Reporter, Dave covers daily news and community events all over West Michigan.
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