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$5 million grant means Ronald McDonald House can begin building new facility in Baltimore

Ronald McDonald House Charities Baltimore will break ground on new facility this spring.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Baltimore has received a $5 million grant that will allow the organization to break ground this spring on a new house where sick children can stay with their families while getting medical care.

The organizations is in the midst of the a $30 million capital campaign to raise funds to build the house. The award granted by the The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation puts the total raised at $27.2 million. The campaign began more than three years ago.

The new house to be opened on Aisquith Street in the Jonestown neighborhood of Baltimore will replace its existing House on Lexington Street. The 60,000 square foot facility will have 55 rooms and accommodate 2,200 families a year, more than double the capacity of the current house. It will also have a floor with suites dedicated to serving families of oncology patients and will include a teen room, a classroom, a rooftop outdoor space and a two-story underground garage.

"The magnitude of the Weinberg Foundation gift is overwhelming and transformative in every way," Sandy Pagnotti, president and CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities Baltimore, said in a statement. "Because of this $5 million capital grant we can now bring this long dream to reality,"

Pagnotti hopes the new facility will help spur future development in the neighborhood.

The Ronald McDonald House works with six Baltimore-area hospitals including the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Kennedy Krieger Institute, University of Maryland Medical Center, University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, The Rubin Institute at Sinai Hospital and Mt.Washington Pediatric Hospital.

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