Creating a Legacy of Love: The Ronald McDonald House® of Cleveland Founders’ Story

Forty years ago, the Ronald McDonald House® of Cleveland opened its doors, providing a welcoming and supportive place to stay for families whose children receive treatment at area medical centers. It was a passionate group of parents, medical professionals and friends who worked tirelessly to bring the vision to life.

Through poignant stories, memories and photos, the House’s founding families share how their personal experiences, combined with community grass roots support, fueled the mission. “No family should go through this,” founder Michael Clegg recalls feeling during his four-year-old’s son struggle with cancer. Fellow families at the hospital were exhausted and unable to make critical decisions, emotionally and often financially stressed by their experiences. A Ronald McDonald House could make a huge difference, but it would take a committed group to make it happen.

“Our organization has always been a roll-up-your-sleeves type of organization. People were there because it meant something to them,” says founding trustee Ron Kahn. “It was a really big idea, and there were a lot of moving parts to getting it established,” adds his wife and founder Susan Kahn, “so it’s hugely gratifying to walk in and say, ‘wow, we did a good thing.’”

But it has always been more than just a place to stay, according to Nancy Kirchner, founder. “I don’t think there’s anyone’s life that hasn’t been touched by someone who has had a sick child. There’s no politics, there’s no religion, there’s nothing to separate you, only to bring you together as parents and as families. That’s the common bond.”

Because of the vision, passion and hard work of the founding families, the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland has been keeping families together and near the care their children need since 1979. This is their story: a legacy of love.

  • Executive Producer: Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland, Marketing and Outreach
    Producer
  • Producer: Kelley Hynds, Hyndsight Productions
    Producer
  • Kelley Hynds, Hyndsight Productions
    Director
  • Michael A. Clegg
    Key Cast
  • Ronald and Susan Kahn
    Key Cast
  • Albert and Nancy Kirchner
    Key Cast
  • Donald Smith
    Key Cast
  • Roberta Watson
    Key Cast
  • Ralph Miller
    Cinematographer
  • Mark Hamer
    Editors
  • Jason Rowland
    Editors
  • Jeanine Carroll, RMH Director of Marketing and Outreach
    Contributors
  • Colleen Cronin, RMH Marketing Manager
    Contributors
  • Nathan Enzerra, RMH Communications Manager
    Contributors
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes 31 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 21, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Ronald McDonald House 40th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Meeting
    Cleveland, Ohio
    United States
    June 6, 2019
  • Chagrin Documentary Film Festival
    Chagrin Falls, OH
    United States
    October 5, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Short. Sweet. Film Fest
    Cleveland
    United States
    March 1, 2020
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Kelley Hynds, Hyndsight Productions

Kelley Hynds is an entrepreneur and award-winning storyteller and journalist. Her company Hyndsight Productions has crafted compelling stories for non-profit and for-profit clients throughout the past decade that have helped those organizations raise money, reach new audiences and grow their businesses. She recently launched a new arm of the business that creates short explainer videos about social and civic issues that provide background not breaking news. She is an Emmy Award- and Telly Award-winning storyteller and an enthusiastic entrepreneur looking to make a meaningful impact with the stories she and her team create. Kelley has worked with Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland to create several videos since 2016.

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