Third Valley Ronald McDonald House opens

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By Chloe Nordquist By Chloe Nordquist
By Chloe Nordquist By Chloe Nordquist
By Chloe Nordquist By Chloe Nordquist
By Chloe Nordquist By Chloe Nordquist

MESA, Ariz. -- The third Ronald McDonald House in the Valley opened Monday in Mesa at Cardon Children's Medical Center.

This is the first house in the East Valley.

"This was a huge team effort. All of the community stepped up when we went out to raise money so we could build it," Nancy Roach, Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities said. "Banner was so generous they gave us this building and the land on it and a 99 year lease for a dollar a year."

The facility is 12,000 square feet of renovated space from a former medical facility and contains 16 bedrooms, four with kitchens.

Each room is sponsored by a different company, organization, or donor.

In total, the project cost around $2.1 million.

Ronald McDonald's mission is to provide temporary housing for families that travel to the Valley to get medical care for their children.

"They are coming to Cardon Children's Medical Center to receive treatment and oftentimes they don't have the money to stay in a hotel so we're a great alternative for them," Roach said. "We want it to be a home away from home for them."

They ask families to contribute 15 dollars a night for their stay, but no one is ever turned away for not being able to pay.

"Last year only about 8% of the families that stayed with us paid anything," Roach said.

Lynn Pellistri, a former Ronald McDonald House resident, stayed at a house for a month and a half while her son went through open heart surgery.

"The house was a place, yes, for us to stay, absolutely, but it was also a place for support. Huge support while we were away from our environment," Pellistri said.

For more information or to get involved, visit rmhcphoenix.com.