Ronald McDonald House Charities
Possessing more than 20 years of experience working in business development, sales, and human resources, Gary Rixson is a business development consultant at Lockton Companies of Kansas City, Missouri. Dedicated to helping others, Gary Rixson supports several philanthropic endeavors, one of which includes the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). He ran the 2012 Chicago Marathon to benefit this charity.
Established in 1974, RMHC helps families by offering them a place to rest and recharge close to hospitals where their children are receiving care. Each year, the organization helps more than six million children and their families around the world.
In 2006, Bob Marshall put a team together to run the Chicago Marathon to raise money for RMHC. During that first year, 32 runners raised $39,000. Since then, Team RMHC has raised more than $5 million dollars, including $1.18 in 2015 alone. For the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 9, Team RMHC seeks to raise $1.5 million with the help of almost 1,000 racers. Members of the RMHC team receive entry into the marathon, which is $185 for US citizens and $210 for international participants, and a Team RMHC running shirt. On race weekend, they receive a pre-race pasta dinner the night before the race, and access to the Team RMHC hospitality tent with pre- and post-race snacks as well as massages on race day.
A consultant with Lockton Companies, Gary Rixson specializes in planning and executing employee benefit communication strategies for major organizations. Outside of his professional work, Gary Rixson supports a number of charities, including the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).
Founded in 2003 by a group of veterans in Virginia, WWP currently counts more than 76,000 alumni and expects to have served 100,000 people by 2017. Focused on helping veterans injured as a result of their military service on or after September 11, 2001, WWP is dedicated to raising public awareness of the needs of injured service members, connecting wounded warriors with people who have had similar experiences, and meeting their needs with a number of programs.
WWP offers two programs for long-term support: the Long-Term Support Trust and the Independence Program. Addressing veterans who lose their long-term caregivers and who may otherwise be placed in an institution, the Trust provides funds for services including home-care transportation, case management, and life-skills training.
Created to help veterans who require family or caregiver assistance as the result of moderate to severe neurological injuries, the Independence Program concentrates on crafting a customized plan for each recipient. If a veteran needs assistance to pursue his or her education or volunteer work, for example, the program works with the veteran and his or her support group to make the goal a reality. It also supports recovery goals ranging from general wellness to recreational and social recovery.
An MBA graduate of Baker University, Gary Rixson has served as a consultant with Lockton Companies since 2013. Gary Rixson also contributes to a number of nonprofits, including the United Way and Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC).
Dedicated to helping children with critical health needs and their families, Ronald McDonald House Charities is guided by the core values of accountability, child-focused care, diversity, and heritage. Founded in 1974, RMHC offers scholarships and grants in addition to its programs to provide accommodations like care mobiles and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms in more than 60 countries. With financial support and volunteers mainly from McDonald’s restaurants, the RMHC is able to fund and expand its programs, including what is perhaps its best-known program, the Ronald McDonald Houses.
Currently, the organization hosts more than 300 Houses throughout the world. Each location allows families to be near their children during medical treatment for little or no cost. Staffed by trained volunteers, they take the day-to-day burden of cleaning and meal-planning off of family members so they can focus on the medical needs of their child. Every Ronald McDonald House provides private bedrooms and play areas, home-cooked meals; while some of them also make educational, recreational, and support services available.
Gary Rixson, a consultant with Lockton Companies’ Benefit Communication Insourcing team since 2013, is a business development professional with more than 16 years of experience. An active runner for local charities, Gary Rixson has lent his support to various health-related organizations, such as the American Heart Association (AHA).
Heart failure plays a role in one out of nine deaths nationwide, and in light of a recent study predicting that the rate of new diagnoses will nearly double over the next 15 years, the AHA announced Rise Above Heart Failure, a national initiative to raise awareness of the potentially deadly condition and reduce hospitalizations by 10 percent in the next five years. With more than 870,000 new cases each year, heart failure is one of the most common heart-related diseases in the nation, and although there are ways to manage it, about half of those with heart failure die within five years of diagnosis.
Participating is as simple as pledging to add one heart-healthy change to one’s daily routine, capturing a photo of an individual or group forming a heart with their hands (aka a “heartie”), and sharing a post on social media with the tags #MyChangeofHeart and #RiseAboveHF.
For more tools and tips on preventing and living with heart failure, visit RiseAboveHF.org.
After spending 12 years with AT&T, Gary Rixson joined Lockton Companies in a consulting role. Beyond his work with the Benefit Communication Insourcing Division, Gary Rixson supports charitable organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).
During each of the last five years, WWP has reached out to more than 21,000 members to compile the WWP Alumni Survey. The information gathered as part of the survey helps the organization to tailor its existing programs to better serve veterans while also establishing new WWP initiatives.
The survey covers topics ranging from common issues veterans of war face when returning home to the diverse assortment of injuries Wounded Warriors often live with. WWP began gathering information for its sixth annual WWP Alumni Survey in March. As a testament to how valuable past editions have been to the organization, survey coordinators have included incentives in hopes of encouraging more members to fill out this year’s survey.
As a member of the Lockton Companies Benefit Communication Insourcing team, Gary Rixson develops strategies to effectively communicate the details of large firms’ employee benefit packages. Outside of the office, the Kansas City professional enjoys cheering on local sports teams such as the Chiefs and the Royals. Gary Rixson also dedicates his free time to a number of charitable organizations, including the United Way.
Nearly 145,000 residents of Kansas City, Missouri are unable to read. United Way of Kansas City aims to reduce this statistic to zero with a multifaceted literacy initiative that comprises a variety of educational programs and services. The organization works to improve youth literacy via its sponsorship of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which provides free monthly books to children in financially disadvantaged households throughout the greater Kansas City area.
United Way also sponsors Born Learning KC, an interactive online resource aimed at helping parents foster early childhood literacy through enriching daily activities. Additionally, United Way’s educational resource centers provide a safe, nurturing environment to help prepare young children to be successful in school.
With its comprehensive literacy initiative, United Way has aided the literacy development of over 2,500 preschoolers. Its educational services have assisted more than 900 local parents in fostering their children’s reading and writing skills, and have encouraged over 300 students to pursue post-secondary or professional certification programs.
Gary Rixson joined the Lockton Companies in December 2013 as a consultant for its benefit communication insourcing team. Before joining the Kansas City, Missouri, insurance broker, he worked as a client business manager for premier business accounts at AT&T, also in Kansas City. As someone involved in philanthropy, Gary Rixson regularly contributes to the Wounded Warrior Project.
The Wounded Warrior Project raises awareness for the need to assist injured service members. Its core values lie in five aspects that stand for FILIS: fun, integrity, loyalty, innovation, and service. According to the organization, by 2017, it will help 100,000 warriors and their families, provide $96 million in benefit entitlements, and help 10,000 combat veterans and their caregivers to secure employment.
The nonprofit organization reaches out to the public for tax-deductible donations for these injured service members. As the number of wounded individuals increases, so does the need for financial assistance to help them and their families. Donors can opt for a one-time gift or a monthly giving program, and they can do so through the Wounded Warrior website or by mail. They can also contribute funds in honor or in memory of a loved one.