October 11, 2008

Mcdonald House Doles Out $50,000

By JoAnne Poindexter [email protected] 981-3232

Laney Mofield has no qualms about asking customers to drop loose change into the collection canisters at McDonald's restaurants.

As executive director of the Ronald McDonald House on Jefferson Street Southwest in Roanoke, she's seen those coins go to work to operate the house as a temporary residence for parents of hospitalized children and to support many programs that provide services and assistance to children throughout Southwest Virginia.

On Sept. 29, Mofield awarded more than $50,000 to 12 agencies and programs on behalf of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Virginia.

"Run to the closest McDonald's and say 'thanks a lot,' " Mofield told grant recipients, also reminding them to drop a few coins into the canisters.

"You always have a friend at Ronald McDonald House," she added.

The 2008 grants will be used in numerous ways, such as testing special needs children, buying pediatric medical equipment and providing equestrian lessons and reading programs.

Mofield presented awards to the Bland County school system, $1,832 for special education hearing assessment; Southside Community Hospital in Farmville, $3,290 for medical equipment for Head Start children; Carpenter's Foundation of Roanoke, $3,500 for its Backpack Project; Project Operation-New Vision of Scottsburg, $1,000 for "Youth Intervention for Healthy Bodies and Minds" project; the town of Farmville, $4,000 for park equipment; DePaul Family Services of Christiansburg, $2,500 for an equine assisted riding program; Girls Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council in Roanoke, $2,000 for Community Initiative Program Summer Experience; Roanoke Valley Therapeutic Riding Program of Boones Mill, $2,460 for Care for the Caregivers program; Central Elementary School of Lexington, $4,760 for playground equipment; Total Action Against Poverty of Roanoke, $2,000 for Head Start Healthy Start; West End Center of Roanoke, $3,000 for a fitness nutrition program; Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital of Roanoke, $20,000 for medical equipment to work with premature babies.

Donna McCarty is president of the board of directors of McDonald's charities, which is composed of McDonald's restaurant owners and operators in Southwest Virginia. She and her husband operate McDonald's in Rocky Mount. The charity has awarded more than $300,000 in grants since 1996, Mofield said.

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and a "Walk in their Shoes" march will take place today in downtown Roanoke starting at noon at Lee Plaza.

The Family Violence Coordinating Council is sponsoring the event to honor domestic violence victims and their children and families. After a brief ceremony, the march will proceed to Elmwood Park where refreshments will be available. Participants are encouraged to wear purple to show support.

For additional information on the walk, the council or local domestic violence services, call 345-6781, ext. 4323, or 983-9252.

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