Ronald McDonald
House Charities®
Northern California
We are halfway through 2013 already and so much has already happened at the Sacramento Ronald McDonald House. So far, we've served 355 families from around the world and dozens of volunteers continue to stop by and help us get the house ready for more families. Buckle up, get a cup of java and enjoy the read!

Some Fun Can Help Heal and Forget A Little

It's been a long 60 days for five-year-old Sara, but last Monday night, it made up for it. Earlier in the day, her mom Amanda surprised her with tickets to the American Idol Concert at Sleep Train Arena, which had been donated to the Sacramento Ronald McDonald House that morning by Chris Millard of Roseville. Sara had never been to a concert and she enjoyed every minute of it by dancing during the entire performance, enjoying some of the food that she doesn't get to eat often, including buttery popcorn and relishing the night with a new friend she met while staying at the House; but most importantly, she saw her young mother smile and forget why they were so far away from home.

Amanda Vanocker-Rodriguez, along with her family - her husband Eric, sons Damian and Jordan, and daughter Sara - are temporarily living at the Sacramento Ronald McDonald house since their fourth child Khiah was rushed from an Oroville area hospital to UC Davis Medical Center due to complications at birth. After days of testing, Khiah was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, a life-threatening disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs and digestive system.

Little baby Khiah has been plugged in to machines that feed her and help her discard of waste since she was born and has had two major surgeries to relieve the blockage in her intestines. Amanda has been faithfully going to the hospital every three-and-a-half to four hours to provide nourishment and reassure her she's going to be ok. "As soon as we were told the diagnosis, my husband and I began researching the disease and are determined to make her life as normal as possible" said Amanda... she continued, "I just feel horrible that my baby girl has not seen the light of day, because all she knows is the hospital room, tubes and pain. I can't wait to take her home to be with her brothers and sister."

It was eleven at night when the American Idol Concert was wrapping up, but instead of thinking of going to sleep and resting after a night of fun, Amanda and Sara went straight to the hospital to visit baby Khiah and share their latest adventure. "It was a day of fun to help us forget all the stress we've gone through the last couple of months, we're so grateful to be staying here and for this amazing gift. We would've never been able to go to the concert if it wasn't for the Sacramento Ronald McDonald House, seeing Sara so happy was priceless," added Amanda.

Khiah has shown improvements, but the hospital has not given the Vanocker-Rodriguez family a date when they can take her home. In the meantime, the family is together and they're living one day at a time in a place they are now calling 'home'. Amanda and Eric are also arming themselves with information about Cystic Fibrosis and preparing themselves on the daily care Khiah will require. They are happy she will be able to attend school, work and have a better quality of life than people with this disease had in previous decades.

Another Successful Crawl

Four years in the making and this year's Red Shoe Crawl was the biggest we've had yet! Crawlers came from all over Northern California to enjoy a great day in Downtown/Midtown Sacramento, taste the best culinary creations from the finest restaurants in our city and support their favorite charity all while sporting red shoes in honor of Ronald McDonald's trademark footwear. This year's event was a huge success with over 600 attendees and 24 participating restaurants and food vendors that came together to benefit our families!

We want to give a big thank you to all of our awesome sponsors, participating restaurants, entertainers, volunteers and everyone who helped make this, the best year of the crawl to date! We are thrilled to have raised over $60,000 for children and families in need!


Camp Ronald McDonald at Eagle Lake

Camp Ronald McDonald® at Eagle Lake is in full swing. The fun, games, learning and dozens of activities began the weekend after Memorial Day and it will continue until Mid August. This year, Camp is celebrating its 21st birthday.

Camp Ronald McDonald at Eagle Lake is a fully accessible, residential summer camp for children who are 'at-risk' with a variety of special medical needs, economic hardship and/or emotional, developmental or physical disabilities. In partnership with the Lassen National Forest, each summer Camp collaborates with other non-profit groups to provide a week of traditional camp activities including arts and crafts, hiking, fishing, canoeing, sports, swimming, talent shows and campfires. Campers typically have special challenges that would normally hinder their ability to experience the joys of nature and camp; however, this is not an issue at Camp Ronald McDonald at Eagle Lake. Here all barriers, physical and mental, are removed.

Did you know? Camp Ronald McDonald at Eagle Lake serves:
  • Children from all over Northern California and Nevada
  • 70% are below poverty level
  • Campers are aged 8-20
  • 49% are male, 51% female
  • Ethnically we serve 60% Caucasian, 10% African-American, 10% multiracial, 5% American Indian, 5% Asian, 5% Hispanic and 5% Pacific Islander

Sensory Garden Project

All gardens can stimulate the senses. In a sensory garden, plants and other design elements are selected with the intention to provide experiences for seeing, smelling, hearing, touching and tasting. They are especially good with younger children and have been used therapeutically for those individuals on the autism spectrum. Our sensory garden will provide both stimulating and relaxing experiences to allow all of our participants to enjoy.

Sensory gardens have been linked to improvement of fine and gross motor skills; increased self esteem; improved communication and social skills; increased sensory awareness. Through our garden we hope to promote hands-on learning, reduce stress, anxiety and frustration, and provide opportunities for investigative learning while providing a non-threatening alternative learning environment.

How You Can Help: Any financial contribution of any dollar amount and/or in kind donation will assist in this endeavor. The cost of a sensory garden is about $20,000. All donations will be acknowledged in the Sensory Garden on our donor recognition wall.

Mark Your Calendars

Neo Splash Dash

On Saturday, September 7th, hundreds of runners will participate in the wildest & brightest night time running event ever seen and benefit the Sacramento Ronald McDonald House. Runners will run (or dance!) through different Glow Zones and will be sprayed with U.V. Glow Water. Once runners finish their 5K and get to the finish line they will be part of a fun After Glow Party!

Register today, run, have fun and help the families and children that call the Sacramento Ronald McDonald House their "home away from home!" For more information visit:

Wishlist Items

  • Paper plates
  • Canned meats: tuna, chicken
  • Chunky soups
  • Soups
  • Chicken top ramen
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned pasta (ravioli, spaghetti)
  • Laundry soap - powdered
  • Canned chili

2013 Dream House Raffle

This year's Dream House Raffle was a huge victory and it made 1000 people winners of a fabulous prize; from trips to jewelry, cars and more! We congratulate the top winners!
  • Multi-Ticket Drawing Winner: Guadalupe Oseguera of Vacaville
  • Refer-A-Friend Drawing Winner: Adelle Plain of Carmichael
  • And the Grand Prize Winner: Kevin Frederick of Sacramento.
For a complete list of winners and prizes visit

Donation Shout Outs!

A big "THANKS" to the California Department of Corrections and the California Correctional Center for being the first organizations to donate to the Sensory Garden Project for Camp Ronald McDonald. We'd also like to express our gratitude to Fraternal Order of Eagles for their recent donations. We are so grateful for all of their contributions!

150 Local Students Receive Scholarships

On June 12, 2013 nearly 150 students from the Sacramento region were awarded over $157,000 in scholarships at the 11th Annual Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern California Scholarship Event. Each student received at least $1000 based on their academic success, financial need, community involvement and personal story.

Since 1995 over 2.5 million dollars has been awarded to local students and this would not have been possible without the contributions of local McDonald's restaurants, RMHCNC and members of the business community. Thanks to all who made this event possible.

Our Volunteers are Stars!

Volunteers are the core of Ronald McDonald House Charities® Northern California. In 2012 alone, volunteer groups and individuals donated a total of over 14,000 hours helping in all areas of the operations of the house from cleaning to maintenance, gardening and organizing. Volunteers have also helped cooking for our families, baking in the cookie brigade and helping as house assistants. Groups have tackled big projects assigned by our House Manager during their Outdoor Work Parties like installing fixtures and appliances, painting, pulling weeds, planting flowers and removing waste.

On April 25, 2013 the Sacramento Ronald McDonald House honored volunteers who have graciously donated hours of their time to help the Charity. We celebrated their dedication and contributions with music, performances and awards. We are happy to announce those that won top honors:
  • Beale AFB - Non-Profit Volunteer of the Year
  • State Street - Corporate Volunteer of the Year
  • Jake Eres - Teen Volunteer of the Year
  • Doug MacPhee - Volunteer of the Year
The Camp Volunteers who went above and beyond their call of duty to bring smiles and laughter to hundreds of campers were:
  • AmeriCorps, NCCC, Pacific Region
  • Ann Carlson, Lassen National Forest
  • Joan Mallum
  • Ikemoto Family
  • Jonas Landes, HistoriCorps, Colorado Preservation, Inc.
A big thank you to all of our volunteers for inspiring us and for helping the Charity be the charity of choice in Northern California. Our volunteers are our greatest advocates and you too can get involved. If you have a unique skill or expertise, let us know and we'll find a way you can get involved or check out other ways you can lend a hand.

Ronald McDonald House Charities in the Community

  • People Helping People Awards: On May 7, Community Link's 25th Annual People Helping People Awards took place at the Crest Theater in Downtown Sacramento and awarded the Sacramento Ronald McDonald House with the People's Choice Award.
  • C.E.A.R. E-Waste Events: Our Charity partnered with C.E.A.R. for E-Waste recycling events every Friday from February through April! With all the e-waste collected they were able to donate $10,950 to RMHCNC. Thank you, C.E.A.R.!
  • Lil Mudder Kid Fun Run at Eagal Lake: On May 18, children ages 4-13 gathered at Eagal Lake in Tracy to participate in a one-mile obstacle course to have fun, get some energy out and benefit our Charity. The owners and organizers of the event raised $500 for us. Special thanks to Karen - Eagal Lake owner and event organizer, for becoming our Ambassador during the event.
  • RMHC Day of Change: On July 1, 2013. The Ronald McDonald House Charities in partnership with local McDonald's across the world united to encourage people to stop by into their local McDonald's restaurant and drop their pennies, nickels and dimes into the Donation boxes. The total funds collected this year are still being tallied, but this day alone will help RMHC make a big impact on the seven million children and families served by this organization yearly.
  • Bogle Vineyards Friday Alfresco: A beautiful vineyard garden, great food, a spectacular atmosphere and fun music set the stage at Bogle Vineyards in Clarksburg on Friday, June 14. Our Charity was the net beneficiary of their opening summer event. Thanks to Bogle Vineyards for including us!

Join the Conversation: Facebook   Twitter
2555 49th Street  •  Sacramento, CA 95817  •  Phone 916.734.4230