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The Ronald McDonald House of Dallas Gets a New Home

Explorer C

While Southwest Airlines definitely knows how to throw a party, the tables were recently turned when the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas threw a party to honor Southwest.  My heart was literally bursting with LUV for both sides of the party since I am an 11+ year Employee of Southwest Airlines, and sit on the Board of Directors for the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas.  With tremendous admiration and awe, I have watched Dallas build a much needed, much larger house during one of the worst economic times in recent history.  And with great pride, I also helped Southwest raise money over the past three years at our annual Dallas LUV Classic golf tournaments to support this new house.  In fact, it felt very much like my own house unveiling when we recently attended their party!  

The Ronald McDonald House invited all Southwest Employees to get a sneak peek at the almost fully completed 60,000 square foot, 60-room house opening next week.  Yummy Mexican food was served in the new gargantuan kitchen (which is the size equivalent of FOUR commercial kitchens),  and will be a fancy change for the next Southwest Employee cooking group and their monthly dinners.  We also got to see the handiwork and artistry of some Southwest Employees--who donated time and resources to make a few rooms extra special. 

The two play/game rooms off the dining areas are painted in the legendary “Canyon Blue” color with hidden animal-shaped clouds hand-painted by a Southwest Employee, and posters hang on the walls of all of our “specialty” plane--including Shamu One! A few seats from an old 737 are even positioned in front of the TVs.  A talented group from Maintenance also used some other pieces of one of our beloved 737s to create a beautiful “frame” that shows pictures of former residents beaming out the windows of the plane.  In addition, there is a wall of LUV dedicated to the house that includes hearts and sentimental decorations--all donated and hung with LUV by our own Employees.

The folks from the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas really outdid themselves as a "thank you" to all our volunteers and supporters, but they had a very special surprise in mind for two very special volunteers.  Barbara McDermott, Executive Director of the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, dedicated the front street to Herb Kelleher and Colleen Barrett for their LUV and support through all the years.  “Herb and Colleen Way” leads from the street, right up to the front door of the House.  You could definitely see that both were actually surprised (and that is hard to do!) and visibly moved by the heartfelt gesture.  Barbara then introduced the band who sang a sweet song called, “The House That Love Built,” written especially for the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas by Wade Kilgore.  You can hear an excerpt of the song on the podcast on Red Belly Radio.


The Ronald McDonald House has been Southwest’s most beloved charity for almost 25 years!  I speak for all Southwest Employees when I say we couldn’t have been more proud to be there to celebrate this exciting new and beautiful “home away from home” for families with seriously ill children.

To listen to a podcast of the event (complete with song!) check out our Red Belly Radio.

Explorer C
The house is beautiful and the party was amazing. It is such an honor to be part of this festive time for Dallas RMH as they unveil the new house which will allow them to help so many more people. I know they have a special place in their heart for Southwest, and we certainly have a special place in ours for them. Thank you for sharing, Michele.
Explorer C
That is a beautiful story! Because Southwest has been such an inspiration to me, I will be attending a volunteer orientation with my sister at the Sacramento Ronald McDonald House next week! Julie Vessigault
Adventurer B
That "fateful" day almost 28 years ago when I took my first flight on WN, I somehow knew that I'd made the right choice. Although I couldn't put my finger on it at the time, I now know why. Having been a recipient (in a roundabout way) of the boundless LUV of the staff of RMH in SLC some years ago, it truly warms my heart to read about stories like this. Thank you to all of my "family" at WN for being so kind, caring, and supportive of worthy causes like RMH. And to Herb & Colleen, thank you for encouraging your employees to do so. If any of you are ever near the NGP/NWL area of CRP, the coffee's always on here :-) Happy Holidays, Paul, W5PDA, In CRP
Explorer C
Ronald McDonald House and RMCC has always been my favorite charity ever since I worked for McDonald's way back in the mid-90's. And now as a SWA employee, I feel very proud of all the good work that is voluntarily done especially for Ronald McDonald House. I wish I could have been there but thank you for sharing the pictures and the Red Belly Radio-cast; I need a box of Kleenex now~!!!