By: Sarah Travis
Posted: September 29, 2010 10:32 am
People danced the night away at "A Fine Affair", the biggest fundraiser of the year for Columbia's Ronald McDonald House Charities Monday. A Jimmy Buffet tribute band provided the evening's music at the Columbia's downtown Marriott Hotel.
Alex Nucipher, special events coordinator for the Marriott, said this event is one of the most important of the year.
"This is our largest event of the entire year. We raise about $100,000 plus," said Nucipher. "We have families that come out and speak to our biggest sponsors and supporters to kind of explain exactly what their experiences were."
The Ronald McDonald House provides a home away from home for families of children who are hospitalized who can't afford to drive back and forth from home or pay for a hotel every night.
Families from all over the Midlands helped by the charity shared their stories. The Jeff Miles family said their experience staying in the Ronald McDonald House was truly a special one.
"The nurses suggested we stay at the Ronald McDonald House so we could get our break from the hospital," says Kelly Miles. "They did so much for us between giving us the Christmas that Joshua will never forget, to football games. But overall it was being able to leave the hospital and being able to financially afford it."
A Philadelphia Eagles football player Fred Hill started the first Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia when his daughter had to spent a lot of time in hospitals battling leukemia. Hill had the money to stay in a hotel, but his experience gave him the idea for a hospitality house for families of sick children.
The Columbia Ronald McDonald House helps more than 350 families a year. The organization is designed to help families of children, but they say if anyone ever needs a meal or shower, their doors are always open.