A Publication of WTVP

Since it first opened its doors in Springfield, Illinois, in 1986, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois has provided a supportive place for families to stay while their child is receiving medical care. Thirty-two years later, the organization is poised to double its regional impact with a brand-new Ronald McDonald House (RMH) in the heart of Peoria’s medical district.


  • Headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, Ronald McDonald House Charities has 366 Houses worldwide in 42 countries.
  • Ronald McDonald Houses provide over 7,200 bedrooms to families around the world each night, with an estimated value of $700 million in lieu of hotel costs.
  • The first Ronald McDonald House was opened in Philadelphia in 1974.
  • A campaign to bring RMHC to central Illinois started in 1982 after research showed an average of 45 children from outside of Springfield were being admitted to Springfield hospitals each day.

Located at the corner of Spalding Avenue and NE Monroe Street, plans for the four-story, 40,000-square-foot facility include 22 private bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as a full-service kitchen, playgrounds, laundry facilities, a community room, and more. It will serve families with children receiving care at any area medical facility—including OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois and UnityPoint Health. Groundbreaking for the $7 million project is set for September, with a grand opening tentatively scheduled for next fall.

Based on a recent feasibility study, the new Peoria RMH will serve more than 700 families annually and provide hundreds of local volunteer opportunities, as well as a dozen or more new jobs. A 25-person committee has been meeting for the past year to plan the effort—led by honorary chair Gordon Honegger of Morton Community Bank and co-chairs Terry Clark, McDonald’s owner/operator in Peoria, and Julie Locke, founder of The DAX Foundation.

“As a mission partner with this charity, we are committed to raise funds to provide a place for families to call home, so they can stay close by their hospitalized child at no cost,” Clark says. “The DAX Foundation aims to help families in need who are receiving medical treatment for cancer, and the mission of the Ronald McDonald House aligns perfectly with our goal of serving these families,” adds Locke.

Farnsworth Group and River City Construction will design and build the new facility, while key donors include The DAX Foundation, local McDonald’s owner/operators, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Marquis Energy, CEFCU and a number of family foundations in the region. Adam and Christine Simmons are the local spokesperson family for the project—their stay at a Ronald McDonald House while their son Bowden was critically ill left the couple passionate about bringing RMH to Peoria.

More than half of the $7 million capital campaign has already been funded. Adopt-the-House sponsorship opportunities and other giving opportunities are available at To learn more about supporting the project, call (309) 401-2525 or email [email protected]. iBi