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Angels In Our Midst

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Angels in our Midst (Mike Wright-Ronald McDonald House)

Updated: Monday, January 13 2014, 07:55 PM CST
 It's called, the house that love built.
At the Ronald McDonald House, it's also love that keeps the doors open.
 
Voice of Elizabeth Ensing;  It's a place to feel warm and welcomed and loved.  I mean, I can't even imagine doing this without the support of the staff and the volunteers.  We've become great friends through all of this.

Pensacola's Ronald McDonald House welcomes hundreds of families each year.  Like Elizabeth Ensing, they have a critically ill child who is receiving care at Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart.  The families stay here free of charge and that takes away just one more worry .
  
Elizabeth Ensing, Staying at Ronald McDonald House;  If you can talk to the families here and see them and get to know them, that it makes a huge difference in our lives.  We don't have to worry about our finances.  We don't have to worry about where our meal's coming from.  We couldn't do it without this place.

Mike Wright is one of the people who works to make sure the families never have to do without this place.  He owns five McDonald's restaurants in the Ft. Walton Beach area. 

Mike Wright, McDonalds Restaurant Owner;  The House truly relies on the involvement of the communities.  Without their help, the House wouldn't exist.

For years, Mike has hosted a fishing tournament for his employees.  Three years ago, someone suggested they start a tournament to raise money for Ronald McDonald House.  Mike was on board and pulled together a team to make it happen.

Mike;  Our first tournament, we were able to raise about 15 thousand dollars. 
The following year, we raised 45 thousand dollars.

Seeing the community support was touching to Mike but nothing touched him quite like a mother who stopped him at one of his restaurant openings, just to say, thank you..

Mike;  He couldn't have been more thank six or eight years old.  And she said, show him your badge of courage.  And the young man lifted up his shirt and he showed me a huge scar.  And she went on to relate to me how he had had to have multiple surgeries and the family had stayed here at the House.  And
 
Mike;  It humbled me to be thanked for doing that. 
Humbled and more committed than ever. Mike and his team took on the challenge to do even more.   Last year, the Destin Fishing Rodeo invited his group to hold their fishing tournament as sort of a preview tournament to the big rodeo.  A lot more work for sure but a lot more reward too.  They brought in a big haul for the house.

Mike;  We were able to present a check for a little over 90 thousand dollars to the Ronald McDonald House.  I get goosebumps still just thinking about it.

Mike;  Not because of me but because of so many people who rally around me each year.  They know what it means to so many families.
 
Speaking for so many others, here's another grateful mom.
Elizabeth,   All I can say is, thank you,  I can't imagine not having this place. 

Angels in our Midst is brought to you by Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart.

Angels in our Midst (Mike Wright-Ronald McDonald House)


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