Two days before the first ever "Red Thursday," the Chiefs Community Caring Team hosted a lunch for the families of the Ronald McDonald House to give them a chance to kick off the festivities leading into the season opener.
The families were treated to lunch served by the Red Coaters and had a chance to interact with the Chiefs Cheerleaders, Ambassadors and K.C. Wolf while signing autographs.
"The Chiefs are a generous supporter of Ronald McDonald House charities," said Tami Greenberg, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City. "There are several ways that they support the families we serve and one of them is, of course, through 'Red Thursday.'"
The Kansas City Chiefs visit the Ronald McDonald House to visit with families and guests.
The tradition of "Red Friday," being celebrated this year as "Red Thursday," was started by Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt more than two decades ago to both celebrate the start of the Chiefs season and to raise funds for local charities. This year's proceeds will again benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City (RMHCKC).
"There's a lot going on this week," said Jon McGraw, Chiefs Ambassador and former Chiefs safety. "We're getting ready for the season home opener but then also bringing awareness to this partnership that the Chiefs have had for a long time with the Ronald McDonald House, and exposing a lot of the great work they're doing here."
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City is committed to helping families with seriously ill children by providing a "home away from home" and making an effort to keep families together through their time of hardship. The House provides home-cooked meals, comfortable lodging and a familiar feel to patients receiving treatment in the area and their families.
According to the RMHCKC website, the organization can serve 87 families on any given night and helped more than 4,500 families last year.
"I've participated here at the Ronald McDonald House a number of times," McGraw said. "You come in here thinking you're going to help them and you end up walking away the beneficiary. These kids do so much for you when you see their eyes light up. It really warms your heart. In every way it's an exciting week, and it's something I'm very proud to be a part of."
The 2015 Chiefs Kingdom flags will be on sale at Kansas City McDonald's on the morning of "Red Thursday" from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. All proceeds will benefit the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House.
Last year alone, flag sales resulted in a donation of $135,000 to RMHCKC, the largest "Red Friday" donation in the history of the event.
"We are super excited about 'Red Thursday,'" Greenberg said. "It's exciting to see our team take on and defeat the Broncos and support charity all at the same time."
If you're interested in donating or becoming involved with RMHCKC, visit here.