Portland, October 10th, 2015. The Oregon Convention Center was a sea of elegant red dresses and red ties at the annual Hearts & Hands Gala to support Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC) of Oregon and Southwest Washington. At the benefit, Jen Clason was joined on stage by her 8-year-old son Sam, they talk with RMHC CEO Jessica Jarratt Miller about their experience of staying at Ronald McDonald Houses more than 20 times. With 475 attendees, the event raised a record-breaking $521,000 gross, making it the most successful fundraising event in RMHC’s history.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled with this year’s Hearts & Hands Gala and the tremendous impact it will have on our families with seriously ill children,” said Jessica Jarratt Miller, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and Southwest Washington. “From the amazing support of our sponsors to the outpouring of generosity from attendees, the evening’s success allows us to provide loving “home away from home” for the thousands of families who stay with us each year.”
The evening began with a red carpet greeting from Ronald McDonald, which was followed by a live and silent auction that raised more than $100,000 for families with seriously ill children. Jen Clason, mother of 8-year-old son Sam, spoke about her multiple stays at Portland’s Ronald McDonald Houses and the impact it had on her family while Sam was undergoing treatment for brain cancer. The event also honored and recognized RMHC’s 2015 Partner of Distinction – Marquis Companies – for their countless contributions to RMHC.
“It is hard to fully capture, in words or in dollars, the beautiful impact that Marquis Companies has had on the thousands of seriously ill children and families who come to stay and heal at our “home away from home,” Jarratt said. “From bringing gifts at the holidays, making meals throughout the year, filling welcome bags, raising funds, and lending a hand as RMHC renovates and remodels its 18-year-old East House, we simply couldn’t do what we do without the tremendous support of Marquis Companies.”
McDonald’s and U.S. Bank served as the event’s gold-level sponsors with additional sponsorship support from Dr. Pepper, HealthNet, Northwest Consulting and Marketing, Perkins & Co., Portland Trail Blazers, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, and Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel. Ken Wright with Ken Wright Cellars donated the evening’s wine pairing.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and Southwest Washington® provides a “home away from home” for families with seriously ill children, and supports initiatives to improve pediatric health. For more than three decades, our dedicated staff and volunteers have offered comfort and support, a well-stocked kitchen and a warm bed to more than 32,000 families. To accomplish this, we rely on the generosity of donors, community partners and the hundreds of volunteers who selflessly give to our organization every year. For more information, visit www.rmhcoregon.org.