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Sixers players lead Read for Ronald award ceremony - 4/15/2010

By: Jeremy Field

A record crowd turned out at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House on Thursday to make the 16th Annual Read for Ronald Awards for Excellence Reception the best attended yet. Sixers players Samuel Dalembert and Marreese Speights, Radio Play-by-Play Announcer Tom McGinnis, Hip-Hop and of course Ronald McDonald himself were in attendance for the festivities.

McGinnis called the participants up to the front of the room one by one to join Speights and Dalembert to be recognized for their outstanding fundraising achievements. The students present at the ceremony were top readers chosen to represent their schools.

"By reading, you can really expand your mind and take your imagination to an amazing place,” said Dalembert. “You can find a whole new world. I think it’s really cool what these kids are doing by raising money for the House. I really congratulate all of them."

Forward Marreese Speights stressed similar feelings. “It’s great to come out to the Ronald McDonald House to support all the kids. Supporting the Ronald McDonald House is really important to me.” The elementary and middle school students were sponsored by their friends and family to read over a million minutes throughout the month of February. Through the donations, the children raised over $73,000 to help the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House provide a “home away from home” for families who have seriously ill children in area hospitals. 21-year old Joseph Feeley delivered remarks for the event, explaining to those in attendance how much the Ronald McDonald House has helped his family during his recovery from illness and thanked the students for their efforts to help the place that has helped him so much.

In addition to benefiting the Ronald McDonald house, 10% of the funds raised went back to the schools to use for furthering education.