JUNEAU - Ronald McDonald house offers a home away from home for families with children suffering from life threatening illnesses. Almost 25 children a year from Alaska are residents, some even from Juneau. Each family has a private room, TV, kitchen facilities, laundry, transportation and support of other families and staff.
In 1998, Lions Susan Bowman and Donna Hurley went to Ronald McDonald house with Travelodge of Juneau and fixed an Alaskan dinner of salmon, halibut, coleslaw and "smiley" fires. They toured the facility that was being rapidly outgrown. They heard about the new facility plans just down the street.
The immediate need, however, were TVs and VCRs in each room for the children too ill to go to the play rooms. Upon return to Juneau, they asked the Mendenhall Flying Lions to donate $750 and complete the funding needs for that project. Our relationship grew from these beginnings.
The new facility has been completed. Lion's clubs of District 49A have joined our efforts and the new children's play room was completed. We continue our "Alaskan dinner" once a year and are lovingly called the "Smiley Fries" gang.
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