Thank You

2022 Gratitude Report

Our Mission

A place that feels like home....

Since 1983, Ronald McDonald House Charities Wichita as been providing vital resources and compassionate care to children and their families being served by community health care providers.

Families are stronger when they are together. While we cannot make medicine taste better or take away painful treatments, we can help lessen the burden and ensure families have the stability and resources to get and keep their child healthy and happy.

"We were so grateful to have the support of Ronald McDonald House."

-Kimberly, Chase's Mom

Our Programs

Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House allows families to stay close by their hospitalized child. Our House is built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on healing their child - not where they can afford to stay, where they will get their next meal or where they will lay their head at night to rest. By staying at a Ronald McDonald House, parents also can better communicate with their child's medical team and keep up with complicated treatment plans when needed. They can just focus on the health of their child.

Ronald McDonald Family Room

The Ronald McDonald Family Room is a place of respite and is just steps away from your child's hospital bed. In the Family Room, families will find a comfortable place to relax, food, personal care items and laundry facilities. Private showers and a quiet room are located nearby. Watch TV, read a book, work on a puzzle, or just relax. There is no fee to visit the Family Room.

Letter from Leadership

A very rewarding part of my job is getting to see first-hand the generosity of our community in support of the mission of RMHC Wichita. In 2022, Ronald McDonald House Charities provided comfort, care and kindness for thousands of families when they needed it most. I am proud to say that with the support of our donors, volunteers, and advocates we served an unprecedented 696 families in 2022, which is 243 more than 2021 - a 53.6% increase. Together, we have made a powerful impact in the lives of children and families in need. Our work would not be possible without each and every one of you.

In addition to providing a place of respite at our Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Room, here are some other highlights of our program. We provide warm meals, baked goods and snacks, basic necessities like toothbrushes to ensure families have what they need, handmade blankets, and fun items like toys and games to bring a smile to a child’s face, and much more!

In our annual report, you will see how your donations have made a difference in the lives of children and families served by Ronald McDonald House Charities Wichita. As we look to a new year, we look forward to continuing to share our mission with you. Know that your generous gifts are already at work supporting the brave and resilient families we have with us today. You are making an incredible impact and I am so grateful for your continued support.

With Gratitude,

Susan Smythe

Susan Smythe CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities Wichita

Our Family

The Bensons

“We found out we were expecting Chase and we had been waiting a long time to get pregnant.
We live about 3 hours from Wichita. Since I am a diabetic, I was considered a high-risk pregnancy so I was already driving back and forth to Wesley Hospital. When I was in my third trimester of pregnancy I developed preeclampsia. On July 2, I was life-flighted to Wesley because my blood pressure was at stroke level. It was averaging 180/120 I think.
They put me on blood pressure medications and kept me in the bed. The next morning the doctor came in and said ‘Well it doesn’t look like you’re leaving this time without a baby!’. I was in shock because Chase wasn’t supposed to be here until August 23. We thought, ‘Oh, okay. Here we go!”. The doctors decided to start induction at 33 weeks on the dot. We started that on July 5 he was born on the evening of July 6! Thankfully for us, when he was first born he was super healthy weighing 7lbs 5oz, so he was huge.

On July 7, Chase developed SVT (Superventricular Tachycardia). His heart rate was above 300 beats per minute for over 6 hours and they didn’t know how high his heart rate was because the monitor stops reading at 300. They depleted Wesley Children’s Hospital of all the medication they could give him to slow his heart rate down and none of it was working. They were only supposed to give him about a few doses but nothing would drop it and so they used all of the medicine. We weren’t allowed back there with him for the longest time because they were working on him and trying to help him. They started to offer the option of comfort care with us so we were just terrified and breaking down.

Finally, our doctors connected with doctors at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City. They decided to try shocking his heart back into rhythm. While they did that, they asked me to leave Chase’s bedside. Luckily, that dropped his heart rate and it set it back into rhythm. It was a terrifying night and we don’t know exactly what caused that to happen.

So Chase is better, I’m still in the hospital, we have gone through all the trauma of me being life-flighted, labor, the birth of a NICU baby, and the possible loss of our child and now we are trying to figure out where we are going to go and what we are going to do. We really had no money, we have a car, we don’t know where we are going to stay and we really don’t know what we are going to eat. Like, what do people do in this kind of situation? How do people do this?

One of the nurses pulled Evan aside and asked if we had talked to the Ronald McDonald House across the street. Evan said ‘No, I don’t know anything about this.’. So we got in touch, the nurses took Evan over, and they were able to get us enrolled for a room. Evan was so excited when he came back. He came over and wheeled me over to see where he would be staying. I just cried. That was the first time I really cried through the whole experience with my son. We were so grateful to have the support of Ronald McDonald House.

We were at the Ronald McDonald House until he was released on July 23rd and we were able to come home. Chase is doing really well. We had a check-up for him recently (April 2022) and he’s now 22lbs and 29 inches long, so he is growing! We are all doing well

2022 in numbers


Families in our Ronald McDonald House


People served by the Ronald McDonald House


Nightly stays


Families served by Ronald McDonald Family Room


Saved by families in lodging and meal costs


People served by the Hospitality Cart

Financial Highlights

2022 in numbers - unaudited







Golf Tournament









Fall Event






Board of Directors

Scott Marko - President
Brian Johnson - Vice President

Nicole Castleberry
Vanessa Combs
Carrie Cox
Shubika D'Souza, MD
Bryce Dougherty
Kerri Jo George
Chris Hurst
Travis Brock
Joe Lane

Patrick Lowrance - Treasurer
Janet Shurtz - Secretary

Robert Lane
Mackenzie Baxter

Joel Rodell
Kathy Rukes
Trevor Stahl
Jennifer Waltner
John Exline
Joy Laing
AJ Worthington
Blake Yakel

Thank you to all of our supporters for a fantastic year!