Ronald McDonald House Charities hosts ‘Magic Lamp Gala’

Kay and Charlie Thompson, whose family stayed at a Ronald McDonald House in New York and who have supported Ronald McDonald House Charities of Phoenix since it opened in 1985, and Banner Health, whose employees have donated thousands of dollars and hundreds of volunteer hours and which donated the building that is today the Ronald McDonald House on the campus of Cardon Children’s Medical Center, are the 2015 Heart of the House honorees.

Ronald McDonald Charities

Kay and Charlie Thompson

They will receive their awards at “A McNight to Remember: The Magic Lamp Gala,” presented by SRP, on Saturday, Nov. 14 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort, 2400 E. Missouri Ave. in Phoenix.

Cardon Children’s Hospital CEO Rhonda Anderson will accept the award on behalf of Banner Health.

Amy and Aidan McSheffrey, longtime advocates for and supporters of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Phoenix, are co-chairing the event.

“Kay and Charlie have been part of the Ronald McDonald House family since the very beginning,” said RMHC Executive Director Nancy Roach.

“Their support, love and deep commitment are reflected in every aspect of our three Houses and everything we do for our families. Banner Health has ensured that our families have everything they need for warm, safe and comfortable stays at our Mesa House. Banner has been represented on our board since 2007. We are deeply grateful for their contributions and we are thrilled to be honoring them with this recognition.”

The Thompsons first became aware of Ronald McDonald House when their nephew was being treated at New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital in the early 1980s.

They have been linked with the organization ever since with Charlie being elected to the first board of directors and serving as chair of the Finance Budget Committee in 1984.

Kay became involved as a member of Junior League of Phoenix, which was instrumental in engaging the community in fund-raising for the house and collaborating with McDonald’s owner/operators to build the first House in Phoenix. Charlie has remained a community advisor and Kay a volunteer.

Banner Health and its employees have donated substantially through in-kind contributions, event sponsorships and their employee-giving program. For years, Banner employees have been serving dinner to families staying at Ronald McDonald Houses and the Cardon Children’s NICU Nurses and Cardon POTC Nurses each adopted a room at the House in Mesa, a building donated for renovation by Banner.

“A McNight to Remember: The Magic Lamp Gala” attracts more than 550 guests with all proceeds benefitting families staying at the three Ronald McDonald Houses in the Valley, where no family is ever turned away for being unable to make the $15 nightly voluntary donation.

In 2014, the average family stay was 15 nights and only 10 percent of the 1,956 families staying at the Houses were able to make a contribution toward their stay.

The Gala includes dinner and silent and live auctions and is followed by the Three Wishes After Party hosted by The Red Shoe Society, a group of young professionals supporting RMHC.

The annual Heart of the House Awards will be presented during the evening that will be hosted by RMHC board member Connie Colla and KEZ 99.9 FM radio personality Marty Manning. Jennie Heal is the auctioneer.

Dress is black tie optional.

Event and table sponsorships are available. Individual tickets are $300. Tickets for the Three Wishes After Party only are $50.

Tickets can be purchased and more information can be found at or by calling 602-798-5097.

For more information about Ronald McDonald House Charities of Phoenix, visit

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