The first Ronald McDonald House was opened in 1974 in Philadelphia, thanks to the vision of Dr. Audrey Evans, Philadelphia Eagles’ player Fred Hill (whose daughter, Kim, had leukemia), Leonard Tose, owner of the Eagles, Jim Murray, the Eagles’ general manager, and Ed Rensi, the McDonald’s regional manager. Soon, communities nationwide recognized the need for comfortable lodging for families with sick kids, and Houses began being built across the country. Although linked through an organizational affiliation and shared values, each House is independently financed and operated.
Ronald McDonald House of the Inland Northwest first opened its doors in 1987 with 14 private guest rooms.
In 1996 Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities and Ronald McDonald Houses merged on a national level. This brought Ronald McDonald Houses, Ronald McDonald Family Rooms in children’s hospitals, and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile Units under one umbrella. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Spokane (RMHC) was officially formed.
Motivated by a growing waiting list and a desire to serve as many families as possible, Ronald McDonald House Inland Northwest underwent an expansion in 2000 to add an additional 7 guest rooms.
In 2002, RMHC Spokane entered an agreement with Sacred Heart Medical Center for a cooperative venture to add 2 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at the new Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital. The rooms replicate the homelike atmosphere of the Ronald McDonald House inside the hospital, and provide a place for families to rest and regroup while their children receive care. These rooms opened for families in August 2003.
After much planning and deliberation, RMHC of the Inland Northwest partnered with Cobra BEC to host the 1st Annual Cobra Polo Classic in 2004. The event has evolved into the premier charity event in our region, and is the largest fundraising event for RMHC Spokane. Last year was record setting in terms of both attendance and funds raised.
In 2009, RMHC of the Inland Northwest launched the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile Program in Central Washington as a joint venture with the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic.
In 2012 Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Inland Northwest brought back the organization's orgiginal fundraiser, the "SK Ball".
In 2017, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Inland Northwest launched a 2nd Ronald McDonald Care Mobile Unit to serve children in the Yakima Valley and Columbia Basin.
2017 marks the 30th Anniversary for Ronald McDonald House Inland Northwest. Since opening our doors in 1987 we have served as a shelter in the storm for over 13,000 families in medical crisis.
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our past successes, and who continue to light the way toward a bright future.