Staff, volunteers, families celebrate Ronald McDonald House anniversary
Danesa Napier shared her memories of how the Ronald McDonald House had an impact on her family’s life as more than 100 people gathered for the 10-year anniversary celebration of the facility Saturday morning.
The Ronald McDonald House of the Four States opened in July 1998. Staff, volunteers, families who once called the House home and the general public gathered Saturday to celebrate what the facility had done for the community since it opened its doors.
Napier and her husband, David, of Miami, Okla., stayed at the Ronald McDonald House from August to November 2006 after the premature birth of their twins, born weighing 1 pound, 9 ounces and 1 pound 11 ounces.
“In a very short time, this house became your home and these strangers became your family,” Napier said of the RMH. “There is a fantastic beautiful building behind us, but that is not what the Ronald McDonald House really is. All of those who have ever cooked a meal, sat behind a desk, created a bulletin board or changed a light bulb — all those who worked here and have volunteered, you are the Ronald McDonald House. Without you, there would be no one to greet us, no one to ask about our sick children, no one to hug us, and no one to cry with us.”
During the ceremony, Annette Thurston, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House of the Four States, thanked the many sponsors and volunteers who have given of their time and money to the success of the House in the past 10 years.
“I can’t think of better words other than ‘thank you,’” Thurston told the crowd. “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you to all of you that have truly made this a home. Thank you to the people who have had a vision and to the people who have donated from your hearts. You have kept our House open and operating.”
The Ronald McDonald House of the Four States operates with an executive director, one full-time house manager and 131 volunteers.
Also during the ceremony, a proclamation from the City of Joplin and a resolution from the Missouri House of Representatives was read.
Neosho Daily News