Ronald McDonald House Charities gets largest ever donation, $100 million, from AbbVie

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A north suburban biopharmaceutical company made the largest-ever single donation to Ronald McDonald House on Monday.

AbbVie, which is based in North Chicago, gave $100 million to the charity that provides temporary housing for the families of hospitalized children. Melissa Walsh, who works for the 5-year-old company, said it has made philanthropy part of its identity.

"Their mission resonates with our mission in really treating the whole patient, which means treating the whole family," Walsh said.

Ronald McDonald House kicked off its international conference with the big announcement, which both companies called "the best-kept secret of 2018," on Monday.

The money will be used to build more than 600 new guest rooms at 32 Ronald McDonald Houses in at least 26 states. It will all be ready in two years.

Eight new rooms will be added to the house in Oak Lawn, and a new 20-room house will be built in Peoria.

Kelly Dolan, who works for Ronald McDonald House, said at the heart of the donation is both companies' commitment to supporting families who are going through the tough time of caring for a seriously ill child.

"This is truly a transformational gift," she said. "It's just two incredible Chicago area organizations coming together to serve more families in need."
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