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Community Supports Ronald McDonald House - KOAM TV 7

Community Supports Ronald McDonald House

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Racers take off down the course and the sight warms Executive Director Annette Thurston's heart because she knows that each runner represents help with funding for local families in need of a place to stay when a loved one is in the hospital.

"For over 20 years now, Ronald McDonald House has been serving families of seriously ill children from 0-21 years old," she stated.

It's what they're known for, helping keep families together, and that's why Erica Laudermilk signed up to participate in this event.

"I've had friends that have had their babies early and if they needed a place, they've been able to come here," said Laudermilk.

But these runners aren't the only ones who wanted to show their support for this cause.

"I was in Ronald McDonald's House when I was in the NIC unit," said 6-year-old Tyler Wills.

Tyler Wills decided he wanted to help the babies who were like him, and their families, by putting on his own fundraiser, and he explains why.

To get people home faster and for people to feel better faster," said Wills.

His mother, Trina Wills, says that her son is always looking for ways to help others and so she knew she had to help him organize this event.

"For being a 6-year-old little boy who just had a dream to help others, it's just been absolutely amazing to see the support that you know, people have put forth," said Wills.

But one of the biggest things these fundraisers both have in common is support from the community.

"The commitment of the volunteers and the effort of our community to support us is tremendous," stated Thurston.

Nearly 400 participants and over $50,000 dollars were raised with this year's Big Red Shoe Run.

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