GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Ronald McDonald House in Grand Rapids is expanding, which means more families who travel to the city for their child’s medical needs will have a free place to stay.
The Ronald McDonald House Charities of West Michigan is still shy of its $2.5 million goal, and efforts by Mayweather Boxing and Fitness Gym will get the charity a few thousand dollars closer.
About 75 of the members formed different teams to do extra workouts and make donations.
“We started a March Madness competition with eight different teams to start. Each team is led by a trainer and kept track of each participant’s points,” head instructor Hannah Schmidt said.
“Each participant had to do different exercises per week to get points, come to class, post on their social media, and then obviously donate to Ronald McDonald House of West Michigan,” she added.
The fundraiser started just before the charity announced last week they needed help from the community to add eight more apartments and other amenities to the house.
So far, the gym has raised nearly $5,000.
The campaign is personal for some members and workers like the gym’s assistant manager Laura Dunlap who lives in the Grand Rapids area.
Her son was 11 months old when she says he had half his brain removed at a Detroit hospital due to uncontrollable seizures.
Dunlap, her husband and 3-year-old child spent three weeks in the Ronald McDonald house while her youngest son recovered.
“The Ronald McDonald house really saved us. They kept us together,” Dunlap said. “I know how much need there is for the Ronald McDonald house. A lot of people come to Grand Rapids for Devos Children’s Hospital, so there’s a need there. If we can help be part of that, we’re excited to do that.”
The gym’s owner will match a portion of the overall funds raised. Gym staff encourages other businesses to think of ways they can contribute to the campaign.
“I think it’s important for local businesses to get involved with their local charity,” Dunlap said.
The gym will complete its fundraising challenge on Sunday.