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Ashley Bauer: Area would benefit from Ronald McDonald House

Currently, there is a Ronald McDonald House Charities located in Onalaska that supports Western Wisconsin and Southeastern Minnesota.

They have awarded more than $2,000,000 in grants to not-for-profit groups, organizations (including our local hospitals), and schools. Three examples of local grants are the Ronald McDonald ER Family Area at Mayo Clinic Health System, Gundersen Health System Kid Town, and the Gundersen Health System Legacy Expansion.

These services have done much to improve comfort and care for children and their families visiting these facilities. However, I believe that our area, which is a hub for two large hospitals that treat families from miles away, would benefit from a Ronald McDonald House. These houses act as a “home-away-from-home” for families so that they can stay nearby at little to no cost.

The closest ones are located in Marshfield, Rochester, Minneapolis, and Madison. As is stated on their website: ( “many families travel far from home … to get treatment for their seriously ill or injured children” and that for these children “nothing seems scarier than not having mom and dad close by for love and support.”

Let us live by these words and help families and children (beyond those who are seriously ill, injured, or far from home) visiting and staying at our healthcare systems by beginning the discussion of the need for something better, something that these families deserve. Let us work together to assess the need for a Ronald McDonald House and work from there.

Ashley Bauer

Hokah, MN 


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