New Ronald McDonald House opens in Syracuse

Ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York officially opened the doors of the new Central New York Ronald McDonald House.

The Ronald McDonald House operates year-round and around the clock as a "home away from home" for families whose children are hospitalized with serious illnesses or injuries.

An open house for the public will be held on Tuesday from 12p.m. to 6p.m. for the community to tour the new house, which is located at 1100 East Genesee Street in Syracuse.

"We are excited to open our doors and welcome families into the new Central New York Ronald McDonald House," said Beth Trunfio, executive director, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York. "It has taken many hearts to build this home and it wouldn't have been possible without the tremendous support from the community, volunteers and our donors, who have helped to make this dream a reality."

Sandra Tillinghast's from Ithaca, stayed at the old Ronald McDonald house for two months back in 2008 when her daughter was a patient at upstate hospital. Tillinghast says the new home will is a lifesaver for out of town parents like herself who have nowhere else to turn. " What I'm thrilled about is that it houses 25 families which also doubles the capacity where we were. That's important because there's a waiting list," she says.

Fundraising for the six million dollar project began back in 2006. Much of the work and many of the materials used to build the new house were donated by the community. Beth Trunfio, Executive Director of the Ronald McDonald House of Syracuse, says without the genorisity of the community the new house would never of been built. " This is truly the house that love built. It was built with love and care and compassion and that's carried through each and every day here at the Ronald McDonald House," she says.

The Ronald McDonald House is fully handicap accessible and features an elevator, guest rooms with private baths, a large family centered kitchen, a private registration area for guest families and a community room.

The new House on East Genesee Street is much bigger than the previous house, which was about 10,000 square feet. The new house is about 35,000 square feet. Much of the work for the new Ronald McDonald House has been donated, including 52 queen mattresses that were donated from Metro Mattress earlier this month.