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HPS Mechanical Funds Ronald McDonald House at Memorial Hospital

Donations poured in Thursday to the Bakersfield Ronald McDonald House, which is under construction on the campus of Bakersfield Memorial Hospital.

When complete, relatives of sick kids receiving care at Memorial may stay overnight or take a breather while little ones receive medical care. Work may be done by late spring.

Les DenHerder, owner of plumbing company HPS Mechanical, gave a $100,000 gift. The family-owned business marks its 50th anniversary in 2009. To celebrate, DenHerder said the company and its 240 employees want to give back to the community.

And that’s not all: The firm offered to provide the plumbing and labor at the house.

The charity also received:

$50,000 from the Golden Empire McDonald’s Co-operative.
$23,325 from the Bakersfield Condors.
$16,000 from the Volkslauf Committee of the Marine Corps League.
The 1,200-square-foot building donated by Bakersfield Memorial Bakersfield, is the sixth Ronald McDonald House in the Southern California region, and the 285th in the world.

It will feature a kitchen, laundry facilities and computer stations. Kern’s McDonald’s owner-operators helped make the house a reality.

“McDonald’s is the best friend that any charity could possibly have,” said Vince Bryson, executive director of the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House. Of Bakersfield, he said: “I have never quite seen a community like this — so caring, so giving and with no expectations in return.”

Relatives would pay $15 per night to stay at the house, and local Rotary Clubs would cover those costs if a family could not. Bakersfield Fire Capt. Quincy Sloan knows firsthand the comfort a Ronald McDonald House offers. He and his family stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Los Angeles when his son Evann needed care.

“When it’s your child, it can be devastating,” he said. “Families are going to come through here and they will all have the same feeling. They will say what I’m to say to you: thank you.”