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., 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.