Program to benefit Ronald McDonald House

More than 65 schools in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia are set to participate in the Southern Appalachian Ronald McDonald House (SARMH) "Hearts for the House" fund-raising program beginning Jan. 25.
   This annual effort is designed to raise money to help the "home-away-from-home" continue to provide services for families of those children being treated in area hospitals such as The Children's Hospital located in Johnson City Medical Center.
   "This is a great way for students to learn about philanthropy and giving back to the community," said Minton Williams, this year's Chairperson for the SARMH Board of Directors. "Plus, participating schools can either use the program as a community service project or keep half of the money raised for their own needs."
   Students from area schools will be selling paper hearts for $1 from Jan. 25 through Feb. 14. The children participating in the "Hearts for the House" program are not asked to go door-to-door, but rather to offer the hearts in honor of a special individual or in memory of a loved one to family, friends and neighbors.
   Teachers at participating schools will collect money each day, and the hearts will be filled out for display at the school. Rewards for participation include: McDonald's gift certificates; refreshments for class; a plaque to the "winning" school in each district; and, prizes of $75, $50 and $25 for first, second and third place prizes in each district for the students who sell the most hearts.
   Money raised by students participating in the "Hearts for the House" program will be used to help with the operating expenses of the Southern Appalachian Ronald McDonald House. In addition to the schools, McDonald's restaurants throughout this region will again be offering "Hearts for the House" to their patrons. Last year, the McDonald's restaurants and participants raised more than $43,000 during the "Hearts for the House" promotion.
   For more information, contact Rowena Bailey, executive director, SARMH, at 975-KIDS.