McHappy Day supports region children and youth

Local McDonald’s restaurants have once again partnered with Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) to raise funds to bring much needed services for children in Simcoe Muskoka closer to home as well as supporting Ronald McDonald House Toronto.

“McHappy Day is about the power of community,” says Jason O’Neill, Barrie owner/operator. “Every year, McDonald’s restaurants work passionately with their employees, guests, supplier partners and the community to rally together and support children and families in need. People in the Barrie area believe in organizations like RVH and charities like the Ronald McDonald Houses, which provide a home-away-from-home for families while their child is being treated in hospital.  More than 118 families from the Barrie and surrounding area used Ronald McDonald House Toronto this past year, equating to 2,300 family nights. Both RVH and Ronald McDonald House Charities provide compassion and care for our most precious treasures – our children.”

This is the 25th McHappy Day, a McDonald’s Canada’s national fundraising event. As part of the one-day fundraising initiative, more than 1,400 McDonald’s restaurants across the country raise money to support local children’s charities such as Ronald McDonald House and local organizations like RVH. Since McHappy Day started 1977, more than $66 million has been raised to help Canadian children. The event has gained such popularity over the years that it has grown from a bi-annual event to an annual one.

“Over the last four years, local McDonald’s restaurants have raised more than $100,000 through McHappy Day, supporting the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Child and Youth Mental Health Program at RVH,” says Glenn McKee, Barrie owner/operator. “At McDonald’s we are committed to giving back to the communities we serve.”

The newly opened child and youth mental health program at RVH features an eight- bed inpatient unit, crisis services and, starting this fall, a new day program, which will include an onsite teacher to ensure students do not fall behind academically. Having child and youth mental health services now available at RVH means children will no longer have to travel outside North Simcoe Muskoka for care.

Now with the program well underway, McHappy Day funds this year will help the most vulnerable of patients at RVH – the infants who must spend time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Funds will support specialized equipment for the unit while plans are in the works to renovate and redevelop the program.

In Barrie, one dollar from the sale of every Big Mac sandwich, Happy Meal, and hot McCafé beverage sold will be donated to RVH’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Ronald McDonald House Toronto. Additionally, many restaurants have held fundraising events leading up to McHappy Day.

“We can’t thank the McKees and the O’Neills enough for their support of RVH,” says Janice Skot, RVH president and CEO. “They were among the first to help us raise awareness and funds for child and youth mental health and we are so grateful that they will now be among the first to support a long needed redevelopment of our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.”

Photo: Local McDonald’s restaurants partnered with Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) to raise funds for RVH’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Ronald McDonald House Toronto on McHappy Day. Celebrating the national fundraising event are (from the left) Janice Skot, RVH president and CEO; Mary Webb, RVH child and youth mental health manager; Dr. Jeff Tyberg, RVH chief of staff; David McCullough, RVH Foundation Hearts & Minds campaign chair; Jason O’Neill, McDonald’s owner/operator; John McCullough of Scotiabank and Jennifer O’Neill, McDonald’s owner/operator.

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