The Vogelpohl Family

Ronald McDonald House Charities Dayton

“This HOME was NOT a hotel and WAS a Godsend for us!


Vogelpohl’sThe Vogelpohl family traveled to RMHC Dayton from Minnesota to train with their new Autism Assistance Dog provided by our program partner, 4 Paws for Ability. One of their five sons, Behr, has special needs and often elopes (the urge to leave protected and safe surroundings without notifying anyone).

Though grateful to be receiving an assistance dog that
will help Behr’s family track him in a case of elopement, the Vogelpohl’s were worried about traveling with their large family. They also had concerns about lodging. For the Vogelpohl’s, hotel stays are stressful and often meant noise complaints and barricading themselves in their room to keep Behr safe.

“Needless to say, our family does not vacation,” said mom, Kelly Vogelpohl. “Besides it being difficult in general with five little boys (and one with special needs who elopes!) it always tends to feel stressful instead of fun. I have dread in my heart just thinking about such a long stay at a hotel with my family.”

Expecting a difficult and stressful two-week training, image5including noise complaints, the Vogelpohl’s were truly surprised with their experience at the Ronald McDonald House.

“At the Ronald McDonald House, we did not have to stay confined to our small room and try to keep Behr and the rest of the kids quiet,” said Kelly. “They have an indoor and outdoor play area which encourages kids to be kids and get their energy out! They could play and be loud and not disturb anyone. We had an entire kitchen and didn’t have to try and eat every meal in our room because our son is intolerant of many public spaces, like restaurants. This HOME was NOT a hotel and WAS a Godsend for us!”

With craft nights, movie nights, mini therapy horses, a 6th birthday party for Behr, and Nerf gun wars in the halls, the House made the Vogelpohl’s stay truly memorable.

“Even with all the training keeping us busy, our stay at the Ronald McDonald House ended up feeling like our first successful family vacation!”