19 October 2011
5K event generates funds and awareness for the Ronald McDonald House charity.
MBU’s Spartan mascot poses with Ronald
McDonald before the race Saturday morning.
Photo by Ben Province
Runners and walkers lined up at Missouri Baptist University to take part in the second annual 5K Run for Ronald Oct. 15.
Participants crossed the finish line at the West County Ronald McDonald House, located on Mercy Hospital’s campus.
“I ran my first 5K over the summer,” Taylor Gieg, junior, said in an email. “I really enjoyed it, and I wanted to do another one.”
The event was a time to not only run and raise financial support for Ronald McDonald House Charities, but a time to raise awareness as well.
“For [participants] to see the house – [it] is a good visual, and [it] is a reminder that we do really have 20 families in there, right now,” said Ally Favre, development coordinator at Ronald McDonald House Charities in the Metro St. Louis area.
“These homes are actually a home away from home for families with seriously ill children,” said Brad Lennon, who portrays Ronald McDonald.
Lennon added that when faced with a medical scare, families who have to travel to obtain proper medical attention might not be fully prepared for their trip.
“When something happens to your child and you have to go to a specialist hospital somewhere in the country [or] somewhere in the world, you’re not really planning on a vacation,” Lennon said.
In the three houses in the St. Louis metro area, 59 families are served each night, according to Lennon.
“[The Ronald McDonald House] serves all the needs from blankets to beds to showers,” Lennon said. Meals are also provided.
Ronald McDonald houses across the world provide an economical alternative to hotels for these families.
Funds raised from the 5K will support local Ronald McDonald House Charities.
“All the money raised here stays in this community,” Lennon said as he thanked participants for running and walking the 5K.