16 Jul First-Ever Ronald McDonald Family Retreat Opens in Lake George
LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (July 16, 2021) — After nearly 40 years spent serving children and families facing major health challenges, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region (RMHC-CR) has opened the first of its kind Ronald McDonald Family Retreat at Krantz Cottage in Lake George, NY. This unique program provides a peaceful, supportive setting for families experiencing serious childhood illness to enjoy being together, making lasting memories.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony, sponsored by Steven Bouchey and his team at Bouchey Financial Group along with Kingsbury Printing, was held at noon on Wednesday, July 14. Representatives from RMHC-CR and the Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau were joined by Lake George Mayor Robert Blais, the family of late local attorney Howard Krantz, current and former RMHC-CR guest families and community supporters to celebrate the completion of the Family Retreat before the first guest family is welcomed this weekend.
Watch the entire ribbon cutting ceremony, featuring remarks from Dr. David Jacobsen, CEO of RMHC-CR; Martin Shields, President-Elect of the RMHC-CR Board of Directors; Elyse Krantz & Gayla Langlois, daughters of the late Howard Krantz; Lake George Mayor Robert Blais; Rachel Seeber, Chairwoman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors; Adele O’Connell, President of the RMHC-CR Board of Directors; and Rabbi Johanan Bickhardt.
The new Family Retreat is located at 161 Ottawa Street in the Village of Lake George, site of the former law office of Howard Krantz. The Krantz family and Mayor Robert Blais worked hand-in-hand with RMHC-CR to make the project a reality, with many individuals and local businesses giving of their time, talent and treasure to help. The two-story cottage, which houses an apartment on each floor, has been completely renovated to accommodate guest families year-round in an idyllic, Adirondack-themed setting. It sits just steps away from village attractions and minutes away from the beach.
Families can now apply to enjoy a five-day, four-night stay at the Family Retreat during the summer/fall season of 2021. Thanks to generous community support, each guest family’s stay will include individually-organized outings to local restaurants and attractions — all at absolutely no cost. A program committee will select families to stay at the retreat based on eligibility and availability, with first priority given to those caring for a child with a terminal illness or going through long-term, intensive treatment, as well as families grieving the loss of a child. RMHC-CR hopes to serve at least a dozen families at the retreat this year, with the capacity to serve approximately 40 families annually in the years to come.
The Family Retreat will welcome its first guests — 11-year-old Anna LaBella and her family — this weekend. Anna was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma two years ago, and has traveled frequently from her home in Ilion, NY to Albany Med for treatment. During Anna’s stays in Albany, the LaBellas have found a home away from home at the Ronald McDonald House just around the corner. Now, they’ll be the first to experience the comfort and serenity of the Ronald McDonald Family Retreat at Krantz Cottage. At the ribbon cutting on Wednesday, the LaBellas got their first tour of the cottage, where a painting created by Anna for RMHC-CR hangs in one of the beautifully decorated guestrooms. The family’s five-day getaway will begin on Saturday.
Eligible families interested in a future stay at the Ronald McDonald Family Retreat at Krantz Cottage can download the program application form here. To support the Family Retreat and all of the programs and services provided by RMHC of the Capital Region, donate online or contact Sue Nigra, Director of Development, at (518) 438-2655.