With fundraising gearing up for the first Ronald McDonald House in the Western suburbs, potential donors now can see what the building may look like when it debuts in 2015 near Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield.
Cadence Health, which is partnering with the nonprofit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana to construct the fifth house in the Chicago area, has released a preliminary rendering of the structure.
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The facility, named Ronald McDonald House near Cadence Health -- CDH Campus, will provide low-cost or free housing for families who travel great distances to get treatment for seriously ill or injured children at CDH, Delnor Hospital in Geneva and a cancer treatment campus in Warrenville.
The house is planned for a site along Winfield Road, directly west of CDH. But first, an estimated $5.6 million must be raised to build it.
The Cadence Health Foundation, which seeks philanthropic gifts to advance health care, is supporting a push by Central DuPage Hospital's auxiliary to collect $5 million for the building's construction. Ronald McDonald House Charities is raising the rest of the money.
"We're working to make the house a reality over the next couple of years," said Chris Hensley, president of the Cadence Health Foundation.
Hensley said the release of the rendering is significant for the fundraising effort, which includes a Saturday luncheon and fashion show the auxiliary is sponsoring in Glen Ellyn.
"Fundraising is always benefited when you can help people see what the future vision is going to be," Hensley said. "Once we can show people what it looks like, it starts to seem much more real."
CDH officials stress the preliminary rendering could change before construction begins.
Still, the house is expected to cover 18,000 square feet with at least two floors. There will be private bedrooms and bathrooms for 12 families, along with a communal living room, kitchen, dining room, recreational spaces and laundry facilities.
"There's going to be some great spaces within the house -- play areas for kids and a physical fitness facility for the parents," Hensley said. There are also plans for park space south of the house, he said.
Officials say they hope to break ground early next year and open the house by early 2015.
While Ronald McDonald House Charities will manage and operate the house, Cadence Health Foundation will assist efforts to raise money for operational expenses. Hensley said the current goal is to raise $1 million to help operate the house for at least three years.
There are more than 300 Ronald McDonald Houses around the world. Locally, there are four -- two in Chicago and one each near Maywood and in Oak Lawn. There's also a Ronald McDonald Family Room that opened last year at Edward Hospital in Naperville.
House: There are four Ronald McDonald Houses in Chicago area