Why We Serve – Creating a Legacy of Gratitude

Video of Brad Lyman’s acceptance speech, celebrating 15 years of raising funds for families with sick kids. 

For more than a decade, Brad Lyman has served RMHC Bay Area. As a board member, advisor, donor, and Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser, he has seen the organization transform from a 47-bedroom House to a regional Chapter providing 36,000 nights of housing, 190,000 meals, and 3,000 hours of psychosocial support annually to families with sick children across the Bay Area.  He says, that’s why he was sure RMHC Bay Area would quickly and effectively adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and evolving needs of families.

“Nothing about what the House does ever surprises me,” said Brad, who has had a direct hand in raising $47 million to support Ronald McDonald House families. “They’ve just rolled up their sleeves and there isn’t anything that they can’t or won’t do.”

Man and Woman standing for a photo smiling. Woman is wearing a colorful floral dress, the man is wearing a white shirt with a gray sport coat. As vice president of RMHC Bay Area’s board of directors, Brad had a front row seat to the organization’s response to a health crisis that has significantly impacted the children and families we serve.

“No question, we all wish COVID had never happened,” Brad said. “But what Ronald McDonald House has done for families during this time has been a bright light. When we needed help, the community responded. The board responded. The staff responded and kept families housed and fed and safe while risking their own health. And amazingly, we even launched our first program in Oakland because more families needed us. It’s been a really positive thing to watch everyone come together.”

In addition to leading the Chapter’s Annual Golf Invitational for 12 years, Brad played a key role in the expansion of the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford, which grew from 47 to 123 bedrooms in 2017, making the region home to one of the largest Ronald McDonald Houses in the world.

“Everyone knew when they saw me coming I was going to talk to them about golf and the House,” said Brad, a real estate expert who played a central role in the capital campaign’s success, fundraising and helping secure the land needed to more than double the House’s capacity to serve families. Watch Brad’s speech to hear him thank fellow RMHC Bay Area supporters, Patty Sue Mozart, Margaret Jimenez, and John Arrillaga, his wife, Twinkie, and his family for making his impact possible.

“Nothing about what the House does ever surprises me,” Brad said. “They've just rolled up their sleeves and there isn't anything that they can't or won't do.”

“To those that think we’re a hotel…it goes so far beyond that as far as what we do for families. (RMHC Bay Area) offers families a home-away-from-home and a community of other families in the same situation they are in. There’s the opportunity for them to have that closeness and comfort through shared circumstances.”

Prior to joining the board of directors, Brad was heavily involved in children’s sports, spending time coaching kids and serving on the boards of both Little League and the YMCA. “From there, (my family) decided to focus our efforts on helping kids and families, particularly those who are underprivileged.”

For the Lymans, giving back is a family affair. Brad, his wife, Twinkie, and eldest son, Chase, have been involved with the organization’s annual golf tournament for years, dedicating countless hours of service to the Chapter’s signature fundraising event. When Brad decided that 2018 would be his last golf tournament as the event’s chair, he was in for a surprise when Chase approached him at the reception and said, “Dad, do you want me to take this over?”

“I never thought of nor mentioned a thing about it to him – this was 100% his idea,” Brad said of Chase volunteering to chair the event he’d built up for more than a decade. “I’m sure that you can all imagine as a parent what that meant to me. He paid attention to what I had been doing all these years and said, ‘Hey I want to do that too.’ How can it get any better than that?”

Through service to RMHC Bay Area, the Lyman family has found community and a shared purpose for their philanthropy. “While the House is not my family, it is a conglomeration of other families who have the same values,” Brad said.

“I’ve been fortunate to have a healthy family,” Brad explained. “If you've had that good fortune, you should pass it along.”

Ultimately, Brad would like everyone to have the opportunity to witness the magic of RMHC Bay Area firsthand. “Until you’ve visited the Houses and you’ve seen how it all works, I don’t think you’ll understand it. My wish would be that everyone out in the community could come to the Houses and see what they’re all about.”

Until that day comes, Brad is intent on paying it forward in any way he can. He is proud to represent the organization and

advocate for families he says have been put in a position they couldn’t have prepared for: caring for a sick child. “I’ve been fortunate to have a healthy family,” Brad explained. “If you’ve had that good fortune, you should pass it along.”

a group of donors including Brad are smiling at an event

About our Board of Directors

We have an incredible volunteer board of directors made up of individuals who take a personal interest in their community and those in it. Read more about who they are and why they choose to serve families with sick children.

Photo of  Cecilia Aviles, member of the RMHC Bay Area Board of Directors, with daughters Alexandra (far left) and Anneliese.

For over a decade, Brad Lyman has served RMHC Bay Area. As a board member, advisor, donor, and Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser, he has  seen the organization transform from a 47-bedroom House to a regional Chapter providing 36,000 nights of housing, 190,000 meals, and 3,000 hours of psychosocial support to families with sick children across the Bay Area.  That’s why he was sure we would quickly and effectively adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and evolving needs of families.

“Nothing about what the House does ever surprises me,” Brad said. “They’ve just rolled up their sleeves and there isn’t anything that they can’t or won’t do.”

Man and Woman standing for a photo smiling. Woman is wearing a colorful floral dress, the man is wearing a white shirt with a gray sport coat. As vice president of RMHC Bay Area’s board of directors, Brad had a front row seat to the organization’s resilient response to a health crisis that has so significantly impacted the children and families we serve. While there is still work to be done and the pandemic lingers, Brad is part of a dedicated group of volunteers who will stop at nothing to support more families in need. “The board has responded. We’re all committed to making this work going forward for as long as it takes,” he explained.

Brad has served RMHC families for a total of seven years, serving as board president for three years. In addition to leading the Chapter’s Annual Golf Invitational for 12 years, Brad played a key role in the expansion of the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford, which grew from 47 to 123 bedrooms in 2017, making the region home to one of the largest Ronald McDonald Houses in the world. He played a central role in the capital campaign’s success, fundraising and helping secure the land needed to more than double the House’s capacity to serve families.

“Nothing about what the House does ever surprises me,” Brad said. “They've just rolled up their sleeves and there isn't anything that they can't or won't do.”

“To those that think we’re a hotel…it goes so far beyond that as far as what we do for families. (RMHC Bay Area) offers families a home-away-from-home and a community of other families in the same situation they are in. There’s the opportunity for them to have that closeness and comfort through shared circumstances.”

Prior to joining the board of directors, Brad was heavily involved in children’s sports, spending time coaching kids and serving on the boards of both Little League and the YMCA. “From there, (my family) decided to focus our efforts on helping kids and families, particularly those who are underprivileged.”

For the Lymans, giving back is a family affair. Brad, his wife, Twinkie, and eldest son, Chase, have been involved with the organization’s annual golf tournament for years, dedicating countless hours of service to the Chapter’s signature fundraising event. Through service to RMHC Bay Area, the Lyman family has found community and a shared purpose for their philanthropy. “While the House is not my family, it is a conglomeration of other families who have the same values,” Brad said.

“I’ve been fortunate to have a healthy family,” Brad explained. “If you've had that good fortune, you should pass it along.”

Ultimately, Brad would like everyone to have the opportunity to witness the magic of RMHC Bay Area firsthand. “Until you’ve visited the Houses and you’ve seen how it all works, I don’t think you’ll understand it. My wish would be that everyone out in the community could come to the Houses and see what they’re all about.”

Until that day comes, Brad is intent on paying it forward in any way he can. He is proud to represent the organization and advocate for families he says have been put in a position they couldn’t have prepared for: caring for a sick child. “I’ve been fortunate to have a healthy family,” Brad explained. “If you’ve had that good fortune, you should pass it along.”

a group of donors including Brad are smiling at an event

About our Board of Directors

We have an incredible volunteer board of directors made up of individuals who take a personal interest in their community and those in it. Read more about who they are and why they choose to serve families with sick children.