Ready, set, build! RMHCA breaks ground on 3-story addition

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day to hold our groundbreaking ceremony!

The sun was shining on our House as we officially kicked off construction of the 28,523-square-foot addition at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama.

RMHCA would like to thank our families, the leadership from our board of directors and capital campaign, and the teams from Brasfield & Gorrie and Williams Blackstock Architects for joining us on this day.

“It is with diligence, integrity and compassion that we aid and assist families in their efforts to find hope and happiness,” RMHCA CEO Katherine Estes Billmeier said. “You all are a part of that mission as you help us to keep families together when they need it most so thank you very much.”

It feels right that we broke ground on this project in spring, a time of new beginnings and renewal. The expansion project is so much more than bricks and mortar. It’s the embodiment of our commitment to keeping even more families together.

“Ronald McDonald House is more than just a room to sleep in. It’s families and staff sharing meals together, praying about each other’s struggles and just rejoicing in the smallest victories,” parent Amy May said.

The Mays are just one of the 41 families who stay with us each night at the House, which opened 10 years ago. As our current President of the Board of Directors Randy Nichols notes, the needs of families quickly outgrew the House.

“When you move in…you think, ‘Oh, wow, this is great this will last us for so long,'” Nichols said.

“But we now average 12 families on our wait list every night. We decided over the last couple of years that was not acceptable to us and our mission so we undertook efforts to expand,” Nichols added.

Wil Puckett, Vice President of our Board of Directors and co-chair of the Capital Campaign Steering Committee, announced today that those efforts and your support has surpassed our initial campaign goal to raise $7,585,107 for the expansion.

Puckett also had an important message for every supporter of RMHCA.

“But we are still raising money,” he said. “As most of you know that in a project of this scope, you uncover additional needs. We have identified some of those with a new and improved playground, an expanded interior playground and furnishings for the guest rooms.”

And there’s no time to waste!

“What does make it happen mean? In the next 10 months, we’ll complete the 28,000 square foot addition so that about a year from now, we’ll be back celebrating the grand opening,” Executive Vice President of Brasfield & Gorrie Jack Darnall said.

If you would like to learn more about our expansion or make a donation, please visit

Click here to see more photos of the groundbreaking on our Flickr.