Last Friday the Ronald McDonald House and the 1986 Mets World Series champs celebrated their 20th anniversary; McDonald House for opening its doors 20 years ago and the Mets for winning the 1986 World Series. To commemorate the event the '86 Mets dedicated the Krueger Family Room, at McDonald House, as a Mets Memorabilia Room.
McDonald House celebrates its 20th Anniversary by dedicating the Krueger Family Room as a Mets Memorabilia Room. At the dedication of the room are (seated) the Krueger Family including Stuart, his wife Jill, their daughter and grandson Alec. New York State Assemblyman Mark Weprin, along with Mets Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez, Mookie Wilson, Wally Backman, Tim Teufel, Lenny Dykstra and New York State Senator Frank Padavan.
The room, donated by Jill and Stuart Krueger, is on the second floor and it will be equipped with various artifacts of the '86 team including a bat, signed by all the members of the '86 team in attendance at the McDonald House Friday event.
When the event began, the downstairs of McDonald House was filled to the brim with public officials, McDonald House officials, fans and lots and lots of paparazzi, all trying to get just the right "shot" of the members of the '86 team.
Many members of the team did attend including Wally Backman, Mookie Wilson, Tim Teufel, Lenny Dykstra, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling. They were so very gracious in their willingness to sign autographs on balls, hats and just about anything that either the young folks or the adults wanted them to sign.
The room owner Stuart Krueger said a few words to the group thanking everyone for attending and stating how proud both he and his wife were that their room would be used as a Mets Memorabilia Room.
The next speaker was the President of the Board Stacie Rodriguez who thanked profusely both the Met players and the Krueger family for their part in the wonderful unique event and dedication.
The entire event was planned by McDonald House Executive Director Silvana LaFerlita Gullo, Jean Ellis, Events Planner and the New York Mets Director of Community Relations Jill Knee, who is also a "friend of the house."
McDonald House was actually started 20 years ago through the vision of Lyn Jurick and Stuart Krueger. After Jurick visited a McDonald House in Pennsylvania she came back and convinced the doctors associated with Schneider Children's Hospital and Long Island Jewish Hospital to give up the land, which was used for a tennis court, so that Ronald McDonald House could be built. After many meetings with the McDonald folks, the boards at the hospital and lots and lots of fundraising their mission was accomplished. And, the rest as they say, is history.
Ronald McDonald House has become so popular that it has just undergone a huge renovation project adding additional rooms so that now the house is able to accommodate 42 families each night.
The Ronald McDonald House, located at 267-07 76th Avenue, New Hyde Park, is a home-away-from-home, a temporary lodging facility for seriously ill children and their families who must travel to area hospitals for urgently needed medical care. Residents at the house enjoy a home-like setting, the privacy of their own room and most importantly, the understanding of others who share the same burden of having a seriously ill child.
Families, who are residents of the house are asked only to donate $25 per night, per family and if a family cannot afford the requested contribution, arrangements are made to reduce it.
Since opening in 1986, the house has been home to more than 9,000 families from Long Island, across the country and around the world. Along with the 42 bedroom suites the house includes indoor and outdoor play areas, library, eight kitchen stations, fully stocked food pantries, laundry rooms and three family rooms where the families can socialize or watch television.
McDonald's Corporation, headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, provides each house with $25,000 "seed" money. Further the corporation acts in an advisory capacity and licenses all the houses worldwide. The corporation also provides the houses with a network of legal and various other services, as well as securing the support of national donors, for example, Coca-Cola supplies soft drinks to the houses nationwide, at no cost.
The McDonald's New York Tri-State Owners and Operators guaranteed half of the house's original mortgage. Then in 1994, they all rescued the house by paying nearly $200,000 to correct drainage problems which caused a major flood in January of that year. In 1996 they contributed more than $100,00 toward the houses' 10-year renovation project. They also help promote many house fundraising efforts in their restaurants. Six members of the McDonald's New York Tri-State Owners and Operators serve on the board of directors. In 2001 they agreed to help fund an expansion project that has more than doubled the size of the house. They provided $500,000 to launch the campaign and an additional $1.35 million in the form of a challenge gift or 50 cents for each dollar the house raises. The McDonald's New York Tri-State owners and Operators distribute the money they raise to all three houses in the Tri-State area on an "as needed basis."