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Ronald McDonald House Charities • Our History

Our History

For 24 Years Our Doors Have Always Been Open

Since the day we opened the doors of the Ronald McDonald House in Salt Lake City in 1988, we have never closed them. Not for a day, not for an hour. Families depend on us, and we depend on the thousands of people who have supported us faithfully and who continue to support RMHC of the Intermountain Area to ensure that our doors are always open.


The First Ronald McDonald House - Philadelphia, 1974

In 1974 the first Ronald McDonald House opened its doors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the time Kim Hill, the daughter of Philadelphia Eagles football player Fred Hill, was undergoing treatment for Leukemia. Throughout Kim's treatment, her father recognized the need for a supportive environment away from the hospital for families of seriously ill children. He enlisted the aid of his teammates and local McDonald's restaurant owners to raise funds that would help purchase and renovate the first Ronald McDonald House.

Today there are over 300 Ronald McDonald Houses located in 52 countries and regions world-wide. Every Ronald McDonald House is autonomous and is owned by a not-for-profit corporation in the city where it is located.


The History of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Intermountain Area

The Salt Lake City Ronald McDonald House opened in October 1988 and was the 100th House in the United States. The original Ronald McDonald House had 13 guest rooms, a common kitchen and living room.


It was clear almost immediately that 13 rooms were not enough and construction was undertaken in 1994 to expand the House to 29 rooms. To meet the needs of families with immune-compromised pediatric patients the Apartments on 800 East were renovated and opened in March 2002 - to provide families a place for long-term stays. In  September 2004, the Brigham Street Inn Bed and Breakfast was purchased to offer a quiet, peaceful house for families with the most critically ill children.


Not all families who have a seriously ill or injured child need to stay at the Ronald McDonald House - sometimes what they need most is a quite place to rest and regroup right in the hospital - to help families like this we opened the Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at Ogden Regional Medical Center in 2009 and at Primary Children's Hospital in 2013.

Since opening our doors, we have served over 35,000 families from all over the world.