Joining children from families served by the organization at the ribbon-cutting for the new Pill Hill Ronald McDonald House Dec. 17 are (from left) Javier Goizueta, a McDonald's and Coca-Cola executive who co-chaired the facility's fundraising campaign; Beth Howell, president and CEO of Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities; restaurant mascot "Ronald McDonald"; Donna Hyland, president and CEO of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta; and Thomas Kirbo, ARMHC's board chairman. (Photo John Ruch)

Joining children from families served by the organization at the ribbon-cutting for the new Pill Hill Ronald McDonald House Dec. 17 are (from left) Javier Goizueta, a McDonald’s and Coca-Cola executive who co-chaired the facility’s fundraising campaign; Beth Howell, president and CEO of Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities; restaurant mascot “Ronald McDonald”; Donna Hyland, president and CEO of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; and Thomas Kirbo, ARMHC’s board chairman. (Photo John Ruch)

The new Ronald McDonald House in Pill Hill wowed officials and some families it will serve at a Dec. 17 ribbon-cutting.

“I was overwhelmed when I walked in,” said Donna Hyland, president and CEO of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, about the luxurious, hotel-style building at 5420 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road. Of the roughly 350 Ronald McDonald Houses worldwide, said Hyland, who has served on the international charity’s board, “I’m willing to bet this is the best.”

The 31-bedroom facility, which opens for business Dec. 21, will house families of ailing children when they are treated in local hospitals. An unusual feature that attracted attention is a three-story “treehouse” in the lobby. It’s an elevator shaft decorated to appear tree-like, with two treehouse-style play rooms built into it.

The Winston family of Valdosta, Ga.,  gathers at the new Pill Hill Ronald McDonald House. Pictured are (from left) sons J'Shawn and Erick Jr., mother Shaneka and father Erick Sr. Not pictured is daughter Alexis. (Photo John Ruch)

The Winston family of Valdosta, Ga., gathers at the new Pill Hill Ronald McDonald House. Pictured are (from left) sons J’Shawn and Erick Jr., mother Shaneka and father Erick Sr. Not pictured is daughter Alexis. (Photo John Ruch)

The Winston family of Valdosta, Ga., was among those impressed. Father Erick Sr. donated a kidney several years ago to son Erick Jr., who continues to need treatment at CHOA’s Scottish Rite hospital in Pill Hill. Instead of a regular four-hour drive, they will be able to stay at the house.

“I’m speechless. The kids love the treehouse,” said mother Shaneka Winston.

“It’s like a mini resort,” added Erick Sr.

“They treat everybody like that’s their whole house. It’s fun,” said Erick Jr.

For information on eligibility to stay at the house, call 404-315-1133 or see armhc.org.

The new Pill Hill Ronald McDonald House. (Photo by Ed Wolkis Photography)

The new Pill Hill Ronald McDonald House. (Photo by Ed Wolkis Photography)

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