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Joan Kroc Bequeaths $60 Million to Ronald McDonald House Charities®

Dec 10, 2003

The late Joan Kroc, philanthropist and wife of McDonald's founder Ray Kroc, left a gift of more than $60 million to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), the Charity founded in memory of her husband. The funds will benefit the 233 Ronald McDonald Houses and their programs in 24 countries around the world.

The bequest is the largest single gift by Mrs. Kroc to the Charity, and one of many donations the philanthropist made to RMHC throughout her life totaling more than $180 million. Mrs. Kroc designated her gift to help the Ronald McDonald House program continue its mission of providing comfort and care to the families of critically ill children being treated at nearby hospitals.

"Ronald McDonald House Charities is very grateful to Joan Kroc and her family for this gift," said Ken Barun, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Charity. "Our Ronald McDonald House program will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2004, and this generous donation will help us continue the great work we do for families and children all over the world for many years to come."

Mrs. Kroc, who died October 12, 2003 at the age of 75, was a St. Paul, Minnesota native and married Ray Kroc in 1969. She was passionate about continuing Ray's legacy of "giving back" after the McDonald's founder's death in 1984.

"After Ray died, Joan honored him through her ongoing and relentless commitment to helping those in need, especially children," said Paul Schrage, Chairman of the Board of Ronald McDonald House Charities. "She was an incredible human being and her spirit will always be honored at RMHC as well as through the many other charities and organizations she supported."

Mrs. Kroc served as honorary chairwoman of RMHC and was given the Ronald McDonald House Charities Award of Excellence in 1999. She will be honored for her dedication to the Charity at the RMHC Board of Trustees meeting held today in Chicago.

Mrs. Kroc is survived by her sister, Gloria Chadima, her daughter Linda Smith Kliber, a trustee of RMHC, four granddaughters and four great- grandchildren.

"My mother cared about many causes, but Ronald McDonald House Charities was near and dear to her heart," said Kliber. "Our family helped to establish RMHC in memory of Ray, and we were proud to watch it grow to become one of the best and most respected charities in the world. "

Ronald McDonald House Charities, a non-profit, 501(c)3, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well being of children through its network of 179 local Chapters currently serving in 46 countries. The Charity makes grants to not-for-profit organizations and provides support to Ronald McDonald Houses and Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles worldwide. To date, Ronald McDonald House Charities' national body and global network of local Chapters have awarded more than $380 million in grants to children's programs.

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SOURCE: Ronald McDonald House Charities

CONTACT: Kevin Dietz of Golin-Harris, +1-312-729-4281, or Joanne Jacobs
of McDonald's, +1-630-623-7943

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