Home / Celebrating 40 Years

We have an exciting year ahead! In 2024, we celebrate 40 years of providing families with hospitalized children a place to stay close to their children and our global charity will celebrate 50 years of service.

We will share lots of history, photos, celebrations and more throughout the year. Keep scrolling to learn more and check out our monthly highlights.
You can also follow along on social media for more news and updates.

Dr Audrey Evans sits looking at the camera

Dr Evans photographed by Alicia Slough

In 1974, the first Ronald McDonald House opened to give families a place to stay when they came to Philadelphia, Penn. for their child’s medical care. Co-founder and pediatric oncologist, Dr. Audrey Evans, knew it was important to care for, and support, the whole family when a child was sick.

Soon, Dr. Evans’ idea was replicated around the country. When the second Ronald McDonald House opened in Chicago in 1977, it ignited a global movement to care for families all along their child’s healthcare journey.

Read more about Dr Evans and the founding of RMHC.

In Oklahoma City, a group of concerned citizens came together in 1980 and formed the first board of directors for Ronald McDonald House Oklahoma City.

The board of directors started a fundraising drive to raise $425,000 to build a home-away-from-home for parents and families of children receiving care at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Oklahoma City. They rallied their networks and engaged many local organizations to support the project.

Board members received support from the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, who filed the permit with the Oklahoma City Planning Commission on behalf of the House.

The board of directors continues to play a vital role in the success of RMHC-OKC. Members are engaged in decisions affecting the house like expansions, and financial decisions. They support activities like our annual Walk for Kids and Red Shoe Rendezvous and engage their friends and colleagues to share the mission of RMHC-OKC.

“Ronald McDonald House provides invaluable support to families with critically ill children,” Kyle McElvaney, board chair said. “The work of this organization is profoundly inspiring, and I’m beyond grateful for the opportunity to further its mission. As board chair, I am eager to help alleviate the burdens families face so they can remain focused on the health of their child.”

As we celebrate our 40th anniversary, we are also hosting a Day of Giving campaign. We hope to raise $40,000 in 40 days to help ensure we can continue supporting families for years to come. Learn more on our Day of Giving webpage.

We have a lot of things planned for the year and hope you’ll join us as we celebrate this milestone.

A few upcoming activities include:
April 10 – RMHC-OKC Anniversary and Day of Giving
June 8 – Walk for Kids

If you’d like more info on our events, please contact Ramsey at rtarrant@rmhc-okc.org.
You can also make a donation to celebrate this milestone and help us continue supporting families.