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Ronald McDonald House Charities(R) Awards of Excellence Honors Peter and Virginia Ueberroth, Dr. Catherine D. Deangelis and Lionel Whitehead
Date:11/3/2008

Global Awards Ceremony Featuring Performances by Grammy Award Winning

Recording Artist Richard Marx and Country Music Star Kenny Rogers

OAK BROOK, Ill., Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Ronald McDonald House Charities(R) (RMHC(R)) hosted its 24th Annual Awards of Excellence celebration on Saturday, November 1 in Rosemont, Ill. to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to improve the lives of children.

The annual event presented three prestigious awards to individuals selected from across the globe, including:

-- Peter & Virginia Ueberroth, founders of the Ueberroth Family Foundation, honored with the RMHC Award of Excellence for their commitment to assisting local community-based groups and programs that promote social change.

-- Dr. Catherine D. DeAngelis, editor-in-chief of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, honored with the RMHC Medical Award of Excellence for her contributions in the areas of pediatric medicine and medical education.

-- Lionel Whitehead, McDonald's(R) owner/operator and dedicated philanthropist, honored with the Gerry Newman McTLC Award of Excellence for his legacy of leadership and commitment to RMHC that led to the establishment of the first Ronald McDonald House(R) in New Zealand.

"We are honored to recognize these extraordinary individuals for their ongoing contributions to improving the lives of children everywhere," said Marty Coyne, president and CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities. "Children around the world would not have a chance at a better life if it weren't for the dedication and commitment of people like the Ueberroths, Dr. DeAngelis and Lionel Whitehead."

An Evening of Celebration

As part of their recognition, Peter and Virginia Ueberroth and Dr. Catherine D. DeAngelis were each awarded a $100,000 grant that will be donated to The Ueberroth Foundation and the Child Life Program at John Hopkins Children's Center, respectively. Lionel Whitehead received a $50,000 grant that will be given to RMHC New Zealand.

In addition to honoring the four remarkable individuals, the 2008 Awards of Excellence celebration included dinner, entertainment by Grammy award winning artist Richard Marx and country music star Kenny Rogers and a live auction that took place throughout the evening. Attendees had the opportunity to bid on exclusive prizes, including two first-class round trip airline tickets anywhere in the U.S. from United Airlines; round-trip airline tickets and a six-night hotel stay in London; two tickets to the 2009 Super Bowl in Tampa, Fla. and a VIP weekend getaway to Las Vegas, including airfare and hotel stay at Mandalay Bay Casino.

Past RMHC Awards of Excellence Recipients

Past RMHC Awards of Excellence Recipients have included: actress and national outreach director for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Marlo Thomas (2007); NCAA championship basketball coach and youth mentor John Wooden (2006); the late actor Paul Newman on the behalf of the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps (2005); actor, director and humanitarian Danny Glover (2004); renowned pediatric surgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson (2003); Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan (2002); tennis star Andrea Jaeger (2001); performer and humanitarian Harry Belafonte (2000); Joan Kroc, wife of McDonald's Corporation founder Ray A. Kroc (1999); former First Lady Betty Ford (1998); Retired U.S. Army General Colin Powell (1997); acclaimed theologian Henri J. M. Nouwen (1996); former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Antonia Novello (1995); former First Lady Barbara Bush (1994); the late Fred Rogers (1993); children's health and disability advocate Eunice Kennedy Shriver (1992); former U.S. President Jimmy Carter (1991); and "The Muppets" creator Jim Henson (1990), among others.

About RMHC(R)

Ronald McDonald House Charities, a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) corporation, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children. Its programs are grassroots-driven to enable the Charity to offer help where children need it most -- right in their own communities. RMHC(R) makes an immediate, positive impact on children's lives through its global network of local Chapters in 52 countries and its three core programs: the Ronald McDonald House(R), Ronald McDonald Family Room(R) and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile(R). These programs provide a bridge to accessible health care and allow families more time together, which help in the healing process. RMHC and its global network of local Chapters also have awarded more than $460 million in grants and program services to children's programs around the world. For more information, visit http://www.rmhc.org.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081103/AQM087)

(C)2008 McDonald's

For more information, contact:

Elizabeth Keating, RMHC

(630) 623-3799 or elizabeth.keating@us.mcd.com

Lauren Sloan, GolinHarris

(312) 729-4226 or lsloan@golinharris.com


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SOURCE Ronald McDonald House Charities
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