As the sun set over West Bay, hundreds of wonderful people gathered to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Ronald McDonald House of Galveston.

It was an opportunity for us to honor and recognize the incredible support of the hundreds of volunteers and donors who continue to make the house a home.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as 21-year-old Eduardo Andrade thanked everyone for their support of the house. A very generous donor made it possible for Eduardo to fly in from interior Mexico, so he could personally thank everyone on behalf of the thousands of children who have been guests at the house.

As a young child, Eduardo touched a live electrical wire and suffered massive injuries. His long journey from extreme burn injuries to recovery has been nothing short of miraculous thanks to the care he received in Galveston’s medical community.

We would like to believe that the love of the Ronald McDonald House helped along the way.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years since a small group of forward-thinking and passionate Galvestonians had an idea that’s now the legacy of what the house is today. Our mission of providing a home away from home — when families need it the most — is present in the spirit of our house.

To date, we’ve provided over 150,000 guest nights. With your continuing help, we will serve many more. If it has been a while, or if you have never had a chance to visit the house, please call us and arrange to do so. The children will light up your heart.

On behalf of our fellow board members, the staff, families and, most importantly, the children at the house, thank you for making a difference, because making a difference is what life is all about.

Maryellen LeDuc is president of the board of directors of Ronald McDonald House in Galveston.

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