Ronald McDonald House Charities® Eastern Wisconsin History
In the early 1980s, a small group of dedicated volunteers set out to build the first Ronald McDonald House in Wisconsin because families had no place to stay while their seriously ill child was being treated at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin (CHW). The outpouring of support to build our House was remarkable. So much so that when we opened in 1984, we called it “the House that love built.”
As Children’s Hospital made medical advances, so did the need for longer family stays. We expanded the House in 2003, adding our long-term wing with thirteen suite-style units. The demand for our unique services continued to grow, so we expanded once again and in September 2014 we opened our new addition and remodeled House. We now offer 70 private guest rooms, a new entrance, reception area and common spaces for families to gather and play. Our additional kitchens easily accommodate both family needs and our Family Meal Program.
We added a two-level attached parking structure and pedestrian bridge that spans Watertown Plank Road that connects the Ronald McDonald House to CHW. The bridge provides our families with a safe and convenient way to stay close to their child.
Over the years, we have grown as the needs of our families have changed. Each addition and renovation has continued to make our House the best home away from home it can be for the families we serve.