40 From Our 40: Laurie & Elizabeth Henry
One of the great things about a Ronald McDonald House (RMH) is that multiple generations of family often stay with us to support each other and the hospitalized child. And sometimes, multiple generations of family members also support the House. Meet Elizabeth Henry and Laurie Henry – Bradley, a mother and daughter duo that have long ties to McDonald’s and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Indiana.
Elizabeth operated the McDonald’s inside of Riley Children’s Health from the late 90s until 2013. That is how she initially got involved with the central Indiana RMH chapter. “It was our pleasure to bring a bit of normalcy, in the form of the Golden Arches, to families staying in the hospital. Parents would come down once their child was asleep to grab something to eat or even buy treats like ice cream or French fries for their children.”
Laurie learned a lot from her mother about managing a business and supporting your community. Both women have generously shared their time, talent, and treasure with RMHCCIN over the years. They have both proudly served on the board of directors, both supported the House by attending our many events and both are leadership level donors. “I love what the House does. It means so much to the families,” says Laurie. “I try to find ways to give day-to-day to others that are having a hard time. My financial gift is a gift of comfort.”
Their heart-felt belief in the power of family is reflected in their management style. Both women focus on creating a supportive family atmosphere in their restaurants. The general manager at their airport location has been with the team 43 years! “Don’t give up on people,” says Elizabeth. Laurie adds, “We all know there will be hills to climb, but you need to give people the opportunity and support them to get over each hill.”
Elizabeth retired earlier this year and Laurie assumed ownership of the three restaurants. She continues to serve McDonald’s sandwiches a couple times a month at the first floor Family Room inside Riley . Both are committed to the success of RMHCCIN and envision a day when every need is met, no one is hungry, and everyone has a place to lay their head.