Getting into the swing of things for Ronald McDonald House

Stretching Your Dollar

INDIANAPOLIS –  It’s been a generation of help for families struggling with one of the most difficult things in life.  Children who are very sick often need to stay in the hospital.  And for families, that can present many obstacles and tough times. 

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Indiana held their 34th annual “Swing for Kids” Golf Tournament on June 7.  The event benefits RMHCCIN’s mission to keep families together and near the care they need by providing a supportive home away from home for families of children receiving care at Indianapolis-area hospitals. 

They also champion programs that improve the health, education and well-being of children through community grants and scholarships.  McDonald’s owner-operator Pete Wojtowicz is a volunteer and has been the chair of the tournament for all 34 years. 

“When I got a tour and I went into the burn center, your senses are really peaked.  When you see the little kids in the little red wagons and all the equipment behind them, it just makes you understand what it’s all about.  This tournament became a passion and something I fell I love with and I do every year now to help the children and their families,” said Wojtowicz.

The tournament this year was at The Club at Chatham Hills in Westfield, where organizers tell FOX59 they have a wonderful facility and they’ve been really good to them.  Golfers pay and also raise money through a silent auction to help the families.  Many of those families are travelling to get care for their child, so Ronald McDonald House provides three things the hospital can not. 

“Ronald McDonald House keeps them close to their children, and we do that by providing a home away from home for them.  It gives them a nice comfortable bed to come home to at the end of day at the hospital.  And the third thing is to make sure they have wonderful delicious food and feel like it’s a home away from home,” said Karin Ogden, CEO of RMHCCIN Inc.

They partner with those in the community which includes shopping at Second Helpings. 

“Our chef will take money and stretch it and make a meal for our families.  And I tell you he makes things smell so good.  At the end of the day, we can house up to 58 families at our house on Limestone and at the hospital.  It costs us about $100 a night to house a family,” said Ogden. 

But they only ask for $15 from families to help cover the costs.  However, as is often the case with mounting medical bills, if they can’t pay, they won’t ask again. 

“That’s why it’s so wonderful we have these golfers and supporters to help cover costs and that’s what this tournament is all about,” said Ogden.

Thanks to community, corporate and individual support, Ronald McDonald House is open 365 days a year, keeping families together when it counts the most.  For more information, you can visit the www.rmhccin.org.

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