Ronald McDonald House Celebrates First Birthday (NBC33 VIDEO)

By Eric DeFreeuw - NBC33

November 27, 2013 Updated Nov 27, 2013 at 6:45 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (NBC33) – The Ronald McDonald House inside Parkview Regional Medical Center celebrated its one-year anniversary Wednesday morning. Current guest families, staff, and of course even Ronald McDonald himself were on hand for the cake-cutting ceremony.

The Ronald McDonald House has already served over 700 families from four states in just its first year, an one of many accomplishments the organization has to be proud of.

"This place is such a wonderful home, and a home away from home for the families who have children staying here at Parkview,” says Lisa Pacula, the Executive Director of the Ronald McDonald House of Northeastern Indiana. “When they need a place to stay, when they need a place to shower, find comfort, get a meal, and have other families in the same situation to gain support from, this is where they come. They come to the Ronald McDonald House."

But as Pacula points out, after the celebration it’s time to switch gears to Year Two.

"We just look forward to this next year. We look ahead with so much anticipation to be able to continue to offer more meals, more items in the pantry, and to continue to add to the programs and services that we offer our families."

The organization has saved families over $191,000 in hotel costs by offering overnight accommodations at no cost.

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