The first annual Ronald McDonald House Pancake Breakfast will be held from 7:30 a.m. to noon Jan. 25 at the Delaware Eagles 376, 127 E. William St.
All proceeds will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Central Ohio. Ronald McDonald House opened in Columbus in 1982. The House, located across the street from Nationwide Children’s Hospital at 711 E. Livingston Ave., allows families to stay nearby when their hospitalized child is getting treatment.
“When anyone’s sick, you feel like you want to be close to them,” said Amanda Webb, an intern for RMHC. “With the amazing hospitals that we have, we have people from all over the world coming here, and this is their home-away-from-home.”
Webb said for several months, construction has been underway at the house to double its size.
“They will be the largest in the world when they’re done in June,” she said. “On average, they’re full most of the time. They have to turn families away. It’s open 24 hours a day. It’s like the house that doesn’t sleep.”
In an email, RMHC Central Ohio spokesman Ryan Wilkins provided data regarding the Columbus House.
“The House is nearly 80,000 square feet with 80 guest rooms, including 10 continuing care suites for families whose children need an isolated environment close to the hospital during chemotherapy or following a transplant,” Wilkins wrote.
Wilkins said the House serves nearly 3,000 families each year by providing over 20,000 nights. The average stay is 8 nights, but can range from a night to more than a year. Most families live within 150 miles of Columbus, but some are from other states and countries. Guests have given the House 99.9 percent positive ratings. More than 275 volunteers work nearly 35,000 hours annually at the House.
“Families are asked for a $20 per night room donation, but no one is ever turned away for financial reasons,” Wilkins wrote. “The estimated cost per night of housing a family is $100; this cost is largely covered by donations from the community.”
Wilkins and Webb said that longtime Delaware resident and Eagles member Pete Jones thought up the breakfast.
“Jones was our Facilities Director, and he retired last year,” Wilkins wrote. “This event was his idea, and it is a celebration for his retirement. Instead of doing a party, he wanted to do a fundraiser.”
“I love it when the community comes together to support other people,” Webb said.
To volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org.