WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (March 14-20, 2011)


Kim Hill, Inspiration for Ronald McDonald House, Dies at 44.” By Daniel E. Slotnick. New York Times. March 9, 2011. Kim Hill, whose childhood battle with leukemia inspired the first Ronald McDonald House, the model for an international network of temporary housing for families of sick children, died on Saturday in Orange, Calif. She was 44. Ms. Hill first came to public attention in 1972, when her father, a former tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles, held a team fund-raiser for the Leukemia Society of America in her honor. Its success — more than $10,000 was raised — prompted Mr. Hill and a neighbor, Stan Lane, to start their own charity, Eagles Fly for Leukemia, with backing by the Eagles’ owner, Leonard Tose. The housing idea was suggested by Dr. Audrey Evans at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia when Mr. Hill and Mr. Lane asked her about ways to use the money they raised. She saw a need for short-term lodging near the hospital for families of cancer patients. Local McDonald’s restaurants were brought into the effort in 1974, when the Eagles reached an agreement with them to feature the quarterback Roman Gabriel and other players in a promotion for Shamrock Shakes if the franchises would donate a portion of the sales to buy a house. The chain’s regional manager later offered all the shake proceeds if the house was named after their mascot, the clown Ronald McDonald. The Eagles accepted. Ronald McDonald House Charities now operates 302 houses in 30 countries.

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