McDonald House saying mahalo Saturday


Ever drop some change in the receptacle below a McDonald’s drive-through window, or in a canister next to the restaurants’ cash registers?

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawaii wants to say thanks.

Between 40 and 50 West Hawaii families stay in the charities’ two Ronald McDonald houses in Oahu’s Manoa Valley, near Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children and Shriners’ Hospital for Children in Honolulu, McDonald House spokesman Gene Davis said. About 130 Big Island families use the houses annually, he added, for stays averaging about 10 days.

With more treatments being offered on an outpatient basis, even the children undergoing the treatments are now able to stay at a Ronald McDonald House, Davis added.

The organization asks for families to chip in $20 a night for using the homes, but no one is turned away because they cannot afford to pay, he said.

On Saturday, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawaii is throwing a 25th anniversary celebration at Kona Commons, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Activities include a Ronald McDonald show, face painting, glitter tattoos, coloring and balloon decorating.

Kona Commons merchants have donated prizes to give away during the event. Charity staff and board members will attend as well, and Davis said they are hoping West Hawaii families who used the Ronald McDonald House since it opened on Oahu in 1987 will stop by to say hello, too.

“We serve more families from the Big Island than anywhere else,” charity President Jerri Chong said. “It would be so great if, through this event at Kona Commons, we can reconnect with some of the families from West Hawaii that have stayed at the Ronald McDonald House over the years. They are all part of our special ohana.”