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$6.4 MILLION RAISED AT RMCC FUNDRAISING DINNER

 $6.4 MILLION RAISED AT RMCC FUNDRAISING DINNER
 CHICAGO, Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Ronald McDonald Children's


Charities (RMCC) raised more than $6.4 million tonight at its annual Awards of Excellence fundraising dinner, including a $5 million contribution from Joan Kroc, widow of McDonald's founder Ray Kroc and honorary chairman of RMCC.
 Mrs. Kroc's contribution will go toward creating a national teenage suicide prevention program to be administered by RMCC.
 ''Teenage suicide is the equivalent of a psychological epidemic, corroding away at the youth who comprise the future of this country,'' Mrs. Kroc said. ''This contribution is intended to begin the creation of role model suicide prevention centers throughout the U.S.''
 Grammy-winner Michael Bolton performed at the dinner, contributing his services in support of child abuse prevention, one of the main focus areas of RMCC.
 ''What I've learned is that we must focus our efforts on prevention to spare the hurt and to save lives,'' said Bolton at the dinner. ''That's why I'm here. And I'm pleased the National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse is working together with RMCC on Healthy Families America, a proven program which does prevent child abuse before it occurs.''
 Beyond the $5 million from Mrs. Kroc, RMCC raised $1.4 million through ticket sales, a raffle and an auction.
 ''Thanks to the support of all of our friends of RMCC, along with the huge generosity of Joan Kroc, we raised more money last night than at any other Awards of Excellence dinner in RMCC's history,'' said Ed Rensi, chairman of the board of RMCC.
 The Awards of Excellence Dinner honored Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of Special Olympics International, and Dr. Donald A. Henderson, who directed the global effort that eradicated smallpox. Each recipient received $100,000 to donate to charity.
 Also presented at the dinner was the Gerry Newman McTLC Award, named in honor of the former president of RMCC and chief accounting officer of McDonald's who died earlier this month. The $25,000 award, which is bestowed on the McDonald's Owner/Operator who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to children and the community, went to the McDonald's Operators' Association of Southern California (MOASC). During the L.A. riots in April, not a single McDonald's restaurant was destroyed, a testament to the depth of the MOASC's commitment to the community during the past 12 years.
 In addition to the $25,000, RMCC awarded a $175,000 grant to MOASC which will be donated to the Challenger's Boys and Girls Club in Los Angeles.
 RMCC's Board of Trustees created the Awards of Excellence in 1986 to honor dedicated individuals whose pioneering work has made an outstanding contribution to the lives of children. Each year, two awards are given: one to a generalist in children's work, and one to a physician. The $100,000 award is to be donated to the children's charity of the recipient's choice.
 Since 1984, RMCC has awarded more than $60 million to more than 1,600 organizations serving children. Established in memory of Ray Kroc, Ronald McDonald Children's Charities helps young people lead healthier, happier and more productive lives by funding programs in the areas of health care and medical research, including Ronald McDonald House, education and the arts, and social and civic service.
 -0- 10/31/92
 /CONTACT: Brian Davis, Saturday, Sunday, (home), 312-327-2585; Weekdays, 312-836-7177, for RMCC/ CO: Ronald McDonald Children's Charities ST: Illinois IN: FOD SU:


JP -- NYSA001 -- 7431 10/31/92 08:13 EST
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Date:Oct 31, 1992
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