Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities (ARMHC) announces its Hearts and Hands Gala at 7pm on Saturday, October 24, at the World of Coca-Cola.

Atlanta`s own Ryan Seacrest of “American Idol” will serve as host of the sold out black-tie dinner which will feature a special performance by “American Idol” season six finalist Melinda Doolittle and a silent auction. The Coca-Cola Company is the event`s presenting sponsor. The Event Chair is Javier Goizueta, Vice President, The Coca-Cola Company and President of the McDonald`s Division Worldwide. Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company is Honorary Chair.

“The Ronald McDonald House is a cause that is very dear to the hearts of us at The Coca-Cola Company. We are committed to supporting the mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities, as we strive to help improve the health and well-being of children and families in need,” says Javier Goizueta.

Proceeds from the Hearts and Hands Gala will support operations of Atlanta`s two Ronald McDonald Houses.

“We are grateful for the generosity and ongoing support of The Coca-Cola Company. And we are thrilled Coca-Cola`s longtime ambassador, Ryan Seacrest, will host the evening. Despite a tough economy, we expect this inaugural event will be successful in raising funds to support families in need at our two local Ronald McDonald Houses. This year marks our 30th anniversary and this new event is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness for Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities and the organization’s important work throughout the area,” says Linda M. Morris, President/CEO of Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Increased demand led to the recent expansion of the local Ronald McDonald House programs. Last year, Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities opened a new state-of-the-art 50-bedroom $15.7 million Ronald McDonald House near Emory University and Children`s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston to meet the growing need. An 11-bedroom Ronald McDonald House on Peachtree Dunwoody Road continues to operate at full capacity to serve families of children receiving medical treatment at Children`s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. Combined, the two local Houses serve more than 2,000 families a year.

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