35 Years of Hope: Ron and Elise Magers

Ron and Elise Magers

“Many years ago a dear friend introduced me to Sr. Connie and Sr. Therese and the work they were doing in Woodlawn,” says Emmy award-winning news anchor Ron Magers, “As a recovering alcoholic myself, I was particularly interested.”

Ron grew up in Cordova, Alaska, and Ellensburg, Washington, and began his television career in 1965 as a reporter for KEZI, the ABC affiliate in Eugene, Oregon. He later anchored for KGW, the NBC affiliate in Portland, Oregon; KPIX, the CBS-owned station in San Francisco, and KSTP, the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis-Saint Paul. In 1981 he came to Chicago to join NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5, where his co-anchors included Max Robinson, Deborah Norville, Linda Yu and St. Martin de Porres House of Hope’s supporter Carol Marin. In 1998, Magers joined ABC 7, where he remained until he retired in 2016.

His work as a television reporter and news anchor allowed Ron to see countless programs and institutions in Chicago, but St. Martin de Porres particularly impressed him. “I saw it as literally a house built on hope, for at the time it appeared that hope was the only thing holding up the walls. I visited the facility in person only once. That was enough. Their dedication was immediately evident and inspiring.”

“This is a program where the staff and volunteers look another person in the eye and raise the possibility of changing a life. I see it as literally life giving,” says Ron. “My wife, Elise, and I have been contributors and supporters for nearly two decades, and are grateful to all those who continue to provide the hope.”