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Family donates land for Ronald McDonald House expansion near Children's Hospital

The Richard and Mimi Gunner family has agreed to donate nearly eight acres next to Children’s Hospital Central California for an expansion of the Ronald McDonald House, which provides overnight accommodations for families whose critically ill children are hospitalized.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Central Valley Inc. is expected to formally announce the donation and the expansion plans at a news conference at 8 a.m. Thursday morning during the home’s 25th anniversary open house.

Phase 1 of the expansion would more than double the 18-family capacity of the Ronald McDonald House, according to the charity. The charity said it turns away as many as 140 families a month because no rooms are available.

Charities spokeswoman Hannah Johnson declined to say specifically how many units would be added. Details will be unveiled at the news conference, she said. She also said completion of the units will depend on fund-raising efforts.

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