JOPLIN, MO – In today’s dose of good news… An area celebrity has received a facelift, and some body work.
The statue of Ronald McDonald is finally back at the house that bared his name in Joplin.
He was removed several months ago and received a makeover from Steve’s Frame and Body Shop.
He was put back in place this morning, just in time for the non-profit’s 23rd anniversary.
The initial idea for the house came from hall of famer, and Commerce, Oklahoma-native Mickey Mantle.
He approached a man by the name of Bob Jennings with the idea.
At the time, Jennings owned all of the Joplin area McDonald’s restaurants.
But it wasn’t until the construction of the NICU at Freeman Health System that the idea became reality.
“And Mr. Jennings went back to Ronald McDonald House International Team and once again asked, and those figures once combined with our St. John’s Mercy family and our Freeman family for zero to eighteen year old’s did meet the criteria.” Says Annette Thurston, Exec. Dir., Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Four States.
The first time Jennings proposed the idea, the international group said there weren’t enough pediatric patients being treated in Joplin to justify the construction of a house.
He passed away a short time after ground was broken on the project in 1997.