Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities was created in 1984 in memory of McDonald’s founder, Ray A. Kroc. Mr. Kroc practiced what he preached — he shared his business and personal financial success with others. That philosophy has characterized McDonald’s community commitment throughout its more than 30-year history.
Pencil scrapes and scribbled dates crawl up the door frame as a memorial to the fleeting nature of childhood. It doesn’t seem like much, each little half inch or inch, but before long inches tower into feet and the impossible happens: a child grows up! Just as parents inscribe their children’s inches on a doorframe, RMHC-NEO etches our growth in thirty years of markers that remind us where we’ve been and help guide us to where we’re headed.
Northeastern Ohio McDonald’s Owner/Operators continued Mr. Kroc’s tradition by establishing a local chapter in 1987. In December 1987, the articles of incorporation were filed with the State of Ohio to legally declare our children’s charity. During the first week of January 1988 the petition was approved, and Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities (RMCC) of Northeastern Ohio became the first chapter in Ohio. Our first Black Tie Gala fundraiser was held that October. As we grew our first inch that first year, RMCC supported the Ronald McDonald Houses of Akron and Cleveland with financial support of $75,000 each – all from the funds raised at the Gala.
The mid-1990’s was a time of change. In 1994, the RMCC Board began the process of the name change from Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeastern Ohio, Inc. (RMHC-NEO). As RMHC-NEO the formal affiliation agreement among Ronald McDonald House of Akron, Children’s Family Care, Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland was formed, and with this change we stretched to new heights!
From the early 2000’s sprouted even more milestones. RMHC-NEO totaled $4M in grant awards, and the astoundingly successful Mini-Grant program was established. The local McDonald’s Owner/Operators in NEO hosted the 26th Annual McDonald’s All American High School Basketball Games. The Quicken Loans Arena (then Gund Arena) in Cleveland was practically sold out, and they raised nearly $330,000! Thus marked the second highest amount raised by this event across the RMHC system til that time, and another notable marking on our doorframe. RMHC-NEO launched its web presence.
In the late 2000s plans were set in motion to launch the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile® (RMCM), a dental program that serves children ages 3 to 12 in underserved areas of Northeast Ohio, which took to the road providing service in May 2010. In the 6 years that the RMCM has been in service, over 12,500+ children have received state of the art, desperately needed dental care and education totaling more than $2 Million Dollars.
In 2014, we expanded our mission to include the RMHC Educational Scholarship Program, which is dedicated to helping students achieve the education of their dreams. That year we climbed even higher when we launched our only special event fundraiser, a very successful Golf Outing.
During our 30th Anniversary in 2017, RMHC-NEO plans to reach other tremendous milestones as we set out to celebrate our mission of service to the community throughout the year. Over the past 30 years, the lives of thousands and thousands of children and families have been positively impacted by the charitable efforts of RMHC-NEO. We will continue to strive to positively impact as many children as possible, and place another meaningful tick mark as we grow in 2017.
Just as the growth of a child is measured, our unwavering commitment to children and families in Northeastern Ohio continues to grow with the community. We are proud of our growth over the last 30 years, of our great heights of achievement, and most importantly, we are proud of our legacy. We continue to look ahead to the future to meet the needs of children and families in communities across Northeastern Ohio.
We have big priorities…they are all shorter than us, younger than us, weaker than us….and their needs are so very urgent. We believe that when you help a child, you help their family. When you help a family, you help the community. And when you help the community, you change the world.