Renovation for Ronald McDonald House

CAMDEN, N.J. - September 30, 2009 The project adds 3,800 square feet to the existing building and includes a completely renovated kitchen and a new recreation room, with a working model train set, inspired by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Paul Campise of Moorestown built the set for the 2005 Super Bowl and donated it to the Ronald McDonald House this year.

"I wanted to give it to somebody where kids could enjoy it and I managed to hook up with the Ronald McDonald House," Camprise said.

The project also had volunteers redecorate the bedrooms with age-appropriate themes including Dora the Explorer, Wizard of Oz, and Harry Potter.

It is, after all, all about those who come to the Ronald McDonald House.

Jenni Pappas and her 3-year-old daughter Elena, from Memphis, are staying at the Ronald McDonald House, while awaiting the birth of a new baby, who has a congenital diaphragmatic hernia and will need care for several months.

Andrew Pappas says his family is grateful to be here.

"For Jenni and the peace of mind that she has that we're all together in a safe place, you can't put a price on it," Andrew said.

The Weaver family from Mississippi is staying at the House with their 3-year-old and an infant son, while his twin is treated for congenital heart disease next door at Cooper Hospital.

"So when you think about them coming from all over the world to get the best medical treatment for their children, affordability is really an issue, but more than affordability, it's that support system and this house accomplishes both," Denise Viola-Monahan of the Ronald McDonald House said.

For the Ehwakkad family it's a return visit, all the way from Egypt.

Doctors in Cairo told 14-year-old Ahmed, who broke his spinal column playing soccer, he'd never walk again, but surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania has him back on his feet, and equating his visits, with a summer vacation; a vacation with a renovation that may be worth more than $2-million for those who come to visit.

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