Tuesday, November 22, 2016

NASCAR Stars Lend a Helping Hand to Unveil Ronald McDonald House Renovation

Left to right: Ronald McDonald House Executive Director Nancy Roach, Michael Waltrip, Phoenix Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber, William Byron, Erik Jones and designer Daniel Germani all celebrate the grand opening of the Ronald McDonald House renovation in Downtown Phoenix.
Recently, Phoenix Raceway, through Phoenix Raceway Charities, oversaw a $500,000 renovation and of the main building of the Ronald McDonald House in Phoenix. Originating from Phoenix Raceway’s 50th Anniversary celebration, the project was unveiled just in time for the Can-Am 500, the semi-final race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship on Sunday, Nov. 13 at Phoenix Raceway.

Representatives from the track and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Phoenix (RMHC), as well as current and former NASCAR drivers, were on hand for the grand reopening and dedication of the project.

"Tonight, is a very special night for us at Phoenix Raceway. About two and a half years ago during our 50th anniversary celebration, our staff came together and thought about what the 50th could mean beyond 2014,” said PIR President Bryan R. Sperber. “Could we have a lasting impact in this community that would truly be meaningful?

“That set us down a path with Phoenix Raceway Charities to raise money, to raise friends, to raise allies in an opportunity to truly create an impact. Nancy [Roach – CPA Executive Director, Ronald McDonald House] and I had the opportunity to meet several years earlier at a community-organized function through a YPO that was connecting business leaders with charitable leaders. We had a great time, but we never thought that we would do something like this at the time. Sure enough, 2014 really changed our lives and put us back together. I do believe in karma. Good things happened for a reason. That year brought us back together to really light off what you see tonight. Tonight is a dedication and culmination of two and a half years of really, really hard work.”

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Phoenix provides temporary housing for families who travel to Phoenix to get medical care for their children. Families stay anywhere from one week to a year at the house.

The playroom was renovated for families staying at Ronald McDonald House.
With the support received from Phoenix Raceway donors and partners to make the project possible, the renovation consisted of a playroom, dining area and kitchen for the families that stay at the Roanoke House. A very special thanks to designer Daniel Germani, WESCO Distribution, UHAUL, John Toliver, Toliver's Carpet One and Pro Source, Waste Management, Kellogg Remodeling, AZ Pro, Lavidge, Subzero/Wolf, Aline Architecture, Cosentino, Reyes Remodeling and Repair, Utility Construction Company, Acuity Brands, bluemedia, Blade-Creative, Western Windows, Clyde Hardware, Sherwin Williams, The Fortoul Brothers, Cities West Publishing (Phoenix Magazine AND Phoenix Home and Garden), Diamond Iron, LLC, K&K Custom Window Installation, Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens, Red Shoe Society and The NASCAR Foundation.

“This is their kitchen,” said Nancy Roach. “I think all of you would probably agree that your kitchen is the heart of your house. This is the heart of the house. This is where the families get together at night. They come home for a warm-cooked meal and they talk to each other and they gain inspiration, strength and all kinds of encouragement from each other. That's what happens in this kitchen. We're so thrilled to have this kitchen for them. I'll tell you, when we were doing this project, it was like Christmas every single day. We'd come in here and there would be something new or something exciting. I can't thank you all enough. I think Helen Keller said, 'Alone we can do a little, together we can do a lot.' I think that's perfect for tonight.”

In addition to NASCAR XFINITY Series driver and championship runner-up Erik Jones and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver and seven-time series race winner William Byron, current FOX broadcaster, two-time Daytona 500 winner and “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Michael Waltrip was in attendance to help celebrate the special occasion.

"First of all I appreciate being here tonight and thank you so much for the wonderful support,” said Waltrip. “This such a great project. I walked in and I was just so thankful that people cared like they do so that projects like this can come together. The two young men that are racing for championships this weekend, William Byron and Erik Jones, both of their families are the reason why they're here today. So you don't think that these two won't walk away from here tonight and want to give, and want to help more, because they've been so fortunate and so blessed to do what they want to do. As you can tell, it makes me emotional because this is who we are.

"Everything that's right about NASCAR is at PIR,” Waltrip said. We couldn’t agree more!

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