The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 27, 2013

Mike Pound: Ronald McDonald House plans fundraising runs

I’m not exactly a moron, but I’m honest enough to admit that sometimes I can be — as the great Foghorn Leghorn once said: sharp as a sack of wet mice.

On Tuesday, I was talking to Tara Horinek, associate director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Four States, about the upcoming Ronald McDonald Big Red Shoe 15K and 1.5-Mile Fun Run. I mentioned that I thought the Joplin Ronald McDonald House recently celebrated an anniversary. Tara told me I was correct.

“It’s our 15th,” Tara said. “That’s why we’re having a 15K and a 1.5-mile fun run.”

“Oh,” I said.

Making matters worse is the fact that I should have known that the Ronald McDonald House celebrated its 15th anniversary on July 27, because I have written several columns this year pointing out that very fact.

Yep. Sharp as a sack of wet mice.

By the way, every time I talk to Tara I feel guilty because she always thanks me for writing about the Ronald McDonald House. I’m the one who should be thanking Tara and the hundreds of volunteers who make the house possible.

In the 15 years (and one month) that it has been open, the Joplin Ronald McDonald House has provided a temporary home for 2,344 families with children staying in area hospitals.

I think that’s something.

The Ronald McDonald House, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, gets by almost entirely on local money and in-kind donations. Just about everything done at the house — from cleaning to cooking and most repairs — is done by volunteers.

Because of that, fundraisers such as the upcoming 15K and 1.5-mile fun run are important to the Ronald McDonald House and to the families it serves.

The runs are Saturday, Sept. 7. Race day registration gets under way at 6:15 a.m. at Ronald McDonald House, 3402 S. Jackson Ave. The 15-kilometer run, which is 9.3 miles, gets under way at 7:15 a.m., and the 1.5-mile fun run starts at 7:30 a.m. Both races begin and end at Ronald McDonald House.

Early registration for both ends on Thursday, Sept. 5. However, it is still possible to register on the day of the race. The entry fee for the 15K is $30 if you pre-register and $35 if you register on the day of the event. The entry fee for the 1.5-mile fun run is $15 for those 13 and older. For younger participants, a donation will be accepted.

Tara said the 1.5-mile fun run was added to let more people participate.

“You don’t even have to run. You can walk, push a stroller or pull a wagon,” she said.

For registration information, visit

Tara said that the response has been good. She mentioned that a number of families who have stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in the past have signed up for the event.

I mentioned to Tara that the fact that so many former families come back and support the fundraising events speaks well for work done by the volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House.

“We get great support from our past families,” Tara said. “They volunteer in so many ways by taking part in our fundraisers and volunteering at the house.”

If you would like to support the Ronald McDonald House but can’t take part in either run, Tara said there are a number of sponsorship opportunities available. One of the easy ways to help out is to become a Sole Supporter by donating $30. There are also a number of larger corporate sponsorship opportunities still available. For sponsorship information or for information about how you can help the Ronald McDonald House, call 417-624-2273.

Do you have an idea for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.


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