The Owings Mills-based Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation announced today it is awarding a $5 million capital grant to Ronald McDonald House Charities Baltimore.

The foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States, providing approximately $100 million in annual grants to nonprofits that provide direct services to low-income and vulnerable individuals and families, primarily in the U.S. and Israel.

The grant will help close the gap on a $30 million capital campaign, allowing RMHCB to break ground this spring on a new Ronald McDonald House in Baltimore’s Jonestown neighborhood.

“The Weinberg Foundation has a long-standing relationship with Ronald McDonald House Charities Baltimore,” said Rachel Garbow Monroe, the foundation’s president and CEO. “Prior to this $5 million grant, since 2002, the foundation has provided 15 grants to RMHCB totaling nearly $1.5 million. This project will allow RMHCB to provide compassionate care to many more families who are coping with a medical crisis, and will contribute to the positive development of the Jonestown community.

“For the Weinberg Foundation, this is a significant and meaningful contribution that will endure for decades.”

Sandy Pagnotti, president and CEO of RMHBC, said the grant will enable her organization to achieve its goal of opening in Jonestown and serving families in need.

“The magnitude of the Weinberg Foundation gift is overwhelming and transformative in every way, ” Pagnotti said. “Beyond our own bricks and mortar, we hope to be an anchor and a part of the positive future development in our new neighborhood. We are grateful for the Weinberg Foundation’s belief in our vision of a future that will allow us to help more families in crisis now, and for generations to follow.

“Our increased capacity will enable thousands of families access to the world-class pediatric medical care provided in Baltimore. We are proud to continue a legacy of love, compassion and community through this partnership.”

The  60,000-square-foot Ronald McDonald House will be located at 1 Aisquith St. and will replace the existing house on Lexington Street. In addition to a state-of-the-art facility, the new six-story house will have 55 rooms and accommodate 2,200 families annually, more than doubling the capacity of the current house.

Some amenities include a floor with suites dedicated to serving oncology families; a teen room; a classroom; a rooftop outdoor space and a two-story underground garage.

More than 35,000 families have stayed at the RMHCB since opening in 1982.

RMHCB  serves as an extension of care for six local hospitals including the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Kennedy Krieger Institute, University of Maryland Medical Center, R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, the Rubin Institute at Sinai Hospital, and Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital.

RMHCB embarked on the New House Campaign more than three years ago under the stewardship of campaign chairs Bill Paterakis and Chuck Langmead. To date, the campaign has raised $27.5 million, garnering support from hospital partners, foundations, corporations, and individual donors.

Donors include the Paterakis/Tsakalos Family, the Johns Hopkins Hospital Children’s Center, Kennedy Krieger Institute, University of Maryland Medical Center, McDonald’s Owner Operators of Greater Baltimore and the Eastern Shore, Dresher Foundation, Edward St. John, France-Merrick Foundation, Northeast Foods, the Kenneth Battye Foundation, McCormick & Co., Bob Pascal, Peter Grimm, and the Kahlert Foundation. Construction and building partners include Beatty, Harvey and Coco Architects, Morris and Ritchie Associates, Whiting Turner, Kirk Designs and Harbor East Management.

Donations are still needed for the final phases of the new facility. Groundbreaking is anticipated this spring, and construction is expected to take 18 to 24 months.

For information about the Weinberg Foundation, visit www.hjweinbergfoundation.org.  For information on the new Ronald McDonald House, visit www.rmhcbaltimore.org/ournewhouse.

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