RENO, NV - Nearly 450 people attended this year's Red Shoe Gala at the Atlantis Friday night. Proceeds benefit the Reno Ronald McDonald House.
"It started three years ago for our 25th anniversary and it was so successful we said, let's keep doing it," Executive Director Marty Ozer said.
Thousands of families have stayed at the house since it was built in 1987.
"We have 12 bedrooms and people that have a child in the hospital from out of town can stay there and not have to stay in a hotel," Ozer said. "It can be overnight or for four or five months, as long as they need."
Families are responsible for a ten dollar donation at the house. Community contributions help cover the rest. Reno businessman Tom Dolan is this years inductee into the Red Shoe Circle. He's been supporting the charity for the last two decades.
"These people come here from all over and they have nowhere to stay, their children are sick, it's a great cause and I got behind it a long time ago," Dolan said. "We have people come there from our dealerships and they fix lunch or dinner, help clean up and it's just neat to be around those kids, it's amazing."
More than 200 volunteers donate their time at the house and at the family room at Renown hospital.
"It's such a wonderful thing to have for these people," volunteer Jaci Jones said. "These people are stressed and this is a place they can go to relax. They love what we do for them, they're so grateful and it just makes you feel good."
The charity also offers scholarships to local students.
"This year we will have given away more than one million dollars since the year 2000 to Northern Nevada students," Ozer said.
The kitchen at the house is under renovation so volunteers have been bringing in meals for the families who stay there. Once the kitchen is back up and running, volunteers are welcome to come cook for the people staying there.
For more information on donating or volunteering you can visit http://rmhc-reno.org/html/howhelp.html