Press Release


Palo Alto, CA—Hope is growing for families in need as Ronald McDonald House® at Stanford breaks ground on July 14, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. The ceremony marks the first step of the vast expansion project to provide expanded housing, accommodations, and supportive programming to a greater number of families of critically ill children being treated at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.

Upon completion, the House at Stanford will become the largest of the 337 Ronald McDonald Houses worldwide, with 123 guest rooms. The expansion will more than double the current facility by adding a new 52,000-square-foot building with 67 new private guest rooms, which will be adjacent to the existing facility at 520 Sand Hill Road in Palo Alto. The project will include repurposing and remodeling work on the existing 47-room facility, adding nine additional guest rooms, all aimed at increasing capacity to allow more families to stay close to their hospitalized children.

“We take wonderful care of the families who stay at the House every night,” said Annette Eros, chief executive officer at the House. “However, there are currently between 40 to 50 families on our daily waiting list, and this demand will only increase in the coming years as Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford continues to expand.”

The House serves any family with a child who is receiving treatment at a local hospital and is living outside of a 50-mile radius of the facility, regardless of their ability to pay a standard $10 nightly fee per family.

“When a child is diagnosed with a serious illness, the entire family’s life is immediately turned upside down,” continued Eros. “Having access to advanced medical care becomes critical, but often medical facilities are extremely far away from their homes. It is important to ensure that more families in need will have a place near the hospital be together to rest, recuperate, and heal.”

The groundbreaking ceremony will feature children from the House, donning mini hard hats and shovels to break ground for the new building. Brian Murphy of KNBR-Radio will emcee the event. Other special guests will include Anne McCune, chief operating officer at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, Steven Ramirez, incoming chairman of the board of trustees for the global chapter of Ronald McDonald House Charities®, Steve Peat, president of McDonald’s Restaurant Owners of the Bay Area and Ronald McDonald.

Children from the House summer camp, including patients and their siblings, will cap off the event with a special performance to the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Minna Rogers, a jazz and tap teacher at the American Academy of Ballet in Redwood City, choreographed the dance for the kids.

The groundbreaking ceremony marks the beginning of the public donation phase of the campaign. The House has already raised a significant portion of private funding for the expansion, but there is still work to be done. A $40.5 million goal has been set to fully fund the project.

“Our Hope is Growing capital campaign is an ongoing outreach initiative,” said Eros. “We’re sharing the Ronald McDonald House story, not only to build the new facility, but also for future financial support of a much larger operation serving more families.”

The groundbreaking ceremony follows a community block party at the House on July 12, 2014, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. to celebrate the expansion, featuring therapy animals from Jasper Ridge Farm, a selfie photo booth with Golden State Warrior Forward Harrison Barnes, and an appearance by Ronald McDonald.

For the new construction and remodeling, Ronald McDonald House at Stanford has engaged Vance Brown, Inc. as the general contractor and Kenneth Rodrigues & Partners, Inc., as the architecture firm. Nova Partners is providing pro bono project management services.

Once complete, the two buildings will operate as one campus offering space for complimentary and enhanced programming. In addition to more private guest rooms, the expanded campus will also include new:
• Home-like kitchen and dining areas
• Kitchen preparation space for volunteer meal preparation
• Age-specific activity rooms
• Classroom
• Multi-purpose rooms
• Library and resource center
• Healing garden and retreat
• Fitness center and rehabilitation room
• Spa facility for free haircuts and massages
• Day pass room for single day use by all families at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford
• Underground parking

Construction is expected to take 15 – 18 months and will be completed in late 2015. Those who wish to donate can contact Jay McCullough, chief development officer at Ronald McDonald House at Stanford at 650.470.6005. You can also visit the House’s expansion project website:


Media Contact
Barbara Zamost
(415) 389-0210 - office
(415) 987-2810 - mobile