Adopted Nonprofit Program

Each year the Women’s Business Council (WBC) partners with a nonprofit organization to help raise awareness about issues that are impacting our communities. The WBC also provides a platform for sharing information, making valuable connections, and accessing resources.

The 2024 Adopted Nonprofit is Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region’s Community Impact

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region draws on the compassion of our community to deliver and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and families.

The idea to open a Ronald McDonald House in Albany started with Dr. William Cromie, who came to Albany Medical Center as head of Pediatric Urology in 1979. Dr. Cromie served at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital from 1975-1979 — the formative years of the first Ronald McDonald House. During his tenure in Philadelphia, he witnessed firsthand how the Ronald McDonald House helped families coping with the illness of a child.

In June 1980, Dr. Cromie, Albany Medical Center officials, McDonald’s owner/operators, members of the Albany Junior League and other concerned citizens met in a boardroom at Albany Medical Center. It was at this meeting that the seed for the Albany Ronald McDonald House was planted.

For the next two years, hundreds of volunteers worked shoulder-to-shoulder, logging endless hours to ensure that the dream of a Ronald McDonald House in Albany became a reality. Their efforts paid off, and on June 30, 1982, the Albany Ronald McDonald House opened its doors to its very first guests, becoming the 35th Ronald McDonald House in the world.

Five years later, in 1987, it became apparent that the facilities at 139 S. Lake Avenue were inadequate to meet the overwhelming need of families. The Board of Directors voted to purchase a second house next door at 137 S. Lake Avenue. Over the course of two years of renovations that required tremendous community support, the two houses were turned into one.  By June of 1989, the capacity of the Albany Ronald McDonald House had doubled, with 16 bedrooms now available for families in need.

By 1992, the 10th anniversary, the Albany Ronald McDonald House counted more than 5,000 guests served at the “House That Love Built.” In 1996, Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities merged to form RMHC of the Capital Region and our programs began to expand even further.

In August of 2000, the Ronald McDonald Family Room opened inside the children’s hospital at Albany Medical Center. For the first time, the comforts of the Ronald McDonald House were made available to families just steps away from their child’s bedside. In June of 2006, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile debuted in partnership with St. Peters Health Care Services. Now, in addition to supporting family-centered access to quality health care, we could deliver free, comprehensive dental care to children most in need.

On the 30th anniversary in 2012, RMHC launched a fundraising campaign to add a third house to the original two established in the ’80s. The $2 million project was completed in 2015, adding nine guest rooms and allowing the Albany Ronald McDonald House to serve up to 25 families at once.

Today, more than 23,000 families have called the Albany Ronald McDonald House “home” and even more have benefited from the programs and services of the Ronald McDonald Family Room and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile. In January 2020, the RMHC Comfort Cart program (formerly known as the Hospitality Cart) at the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Med was launched, extending resources and support even further for families with children in the hospital. And in July 2021, the first-of-its-kind Ronald McDonald Family Retreat at Krantz Cottage in Lake George was opened.

To donate, volunteer and learn more about RMHC visit

For more information about the partnership, click here. To see a list of previous Adopted Nonprofits, click here.

At WBC events, the Adopted Nonprofit will have opportunities to raise awareness and raise funds through member donations.

For additional information, contact Jennifer Sims at 518.431.1418.


“On behalf of our Board of Directors and Staff, I extend my deepest appreciation to the Women’s Business Council of the Capital Region Chamber for selecting the Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York as your 2019 Adopted Non-Profit. We have had such an amazing year working with all of you! We had several goals as we entered this partnership including increasing awareness of epilepsy, putting a face to epilepsy by introducing local women, professionals in our community, who are living with epilepsy personally, or caring for a family member with epilepsy, and finally teaching everyone to recognize seizures and provide appropriate first aid. We accomplished all of this, and so much more! We made new friendships and connections, and we raised money to support local programs for people in our community affected by epilepsy. The Epilepsy Foundation could not have the impact that we do without the incredible support of the business community. Thank you for making 2019 a special year for the Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York.”
– Jeannine S. Garab, Executive Director, Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York, Inc., 2019 Adopted Nonprofit

“We are so thankful to the Women’s Business Council for selecting Whitney Young Health as 2017’s Adopted Nonprofit. This past year demonstrated the whole-hearted support the business community has for our patients and our mission. This year-long adoption allowed WYH to enlist scores of new ambassadors for the organization as we continue to meet our mission. The success of this partnership exceeded even our most lofty expectations, enabling us to continue to provide the best care possible to our patients — the very people who benefit from this program. We couldn’t be prouder of the relationships that have been forged as a result of this partnership, or the ability to continue our mission of providing quality care to the community members who need it, regardless of income.”
– David Shippee, President and CEO, Whitney Young Health, Jr. Health Center, 2017 Adopted Nonprofit

As the 2015 Adopted Non-Profit, the WBC membership mobilized behind the St. Paul’s Center mission in many impactful ways. The monthly raffles and the holiday party were effective in raising funds – but really, the benefits go beyond that. The longer-lasting impact came by way of Board member recruitment, ongoing committee participation, and increasing awareness. Speaking at each WBC program and participation in shelter activities brought to life the impact of homelessness. And most importantly, each member understands the impact one person can make in changing the life of a homeless family.
– Tracy Pitcher, Executive Director, St. Paul’s Center, 2015 Adopted Nonprofit