TORONTO, May 8, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, McDonald's Canada and its franchisees are celebrating McHappy Day, a unique fundraising event where $1 from every Big Mac® sandwich, Happy Meal® and hot McCafé® beverage sold will be donated to Ronald McDonald Houses and other local children's charities across Canada.
This year marks the 20th McHappy Day, which has raised more than $38 million for children's charities since its inception in 1977. As part of the day's celebrations, McDonald's Canada franchise owners and employees will be joined by a variety of special guests. Rolling up their sleeves and going behind the counters, sports and media personalities, local dignitaries and entertainers will greet and serve customers to raise money and help children in need across the country.
"Each McHappy Day has brought us together to help children and their families when they need it most," said John Betts , President and CEO of McDonald's Canada. "We are extremely proud to celebrate the 20th McHappy Day and are just as committed to giving back to the communities we serve as we were in the beginning."
First celebrated in Canada and conceived of by George Cohon , founder of McDonald's Canada, McHappy Day is now a renowned world-wide fundraising event bringing McDonald's restaurants together to support children in need.
"McHappy Day represents a dream come to life," said Cohon. "This special day began as a vision of people coming together for an important cause. It is remarkable to see what has been achieved since 1977 and how local children's charities, the kids in need and their families alike have really benefited."
McDonald's Canada's community involvement efforts are year-round. Since 2004, the company has raised more than $40 million for Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) Canada by donating 10 cents from the sale of every Happy Meal. Ronald McDonald Houses are a warm and welcoming "home away from home" for the families of sick children being treated at nearby hospitals, while Ronald McDonald Family Rooms provide an oasis of calm right within the walls of the hospital.
"McDonald's is truly committed to being there for Canadian families when their children are sick and need extra support," said Cathy Loblaw , President and Chief Executive Officer, Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada. "From founding the first Ronald McDonald House in 1981, to providing everlasting support through unique programs, McDonald's has helped over 200,000 Canadian families heal better together when their child is sick. Our Houses and Family Rooms help ensure that families are not alone when they are facing some of life's most difficult times."
Today, 14 Ronald McDonald Houses currently serve over 10,000 families each year. By 2014 that support will grow to serving over 20,000 families in Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada. Completing the circle of support for Canadian families are eight Ronald McDonald Family Rooms, which provide an oasis of calm and support right inside the walls of the Hospital, as well as the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile® program in Calgary, Alberta.
RMHC Canada is the national organization that supports Ronald McDonald Houses and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms across the country, which provides families of sick children a home-away-from-home or a place of peace and calm within a hospital. McDonald's Canada covers all of RMHC Canada's administrative and operating costs, making it possible for 100 per cent of every directly donated dollar to go to Ronald McDonald Houses and their programs. For more information on RMHC Canada, visit: www.rmhc.ca.
McDonald's is the leading foodservice company in the world. McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited and its Canadian franchisees own and operate more than 1,400 restaurants and employ more than 80,000 Canadians coast-to-coast. Approximately 80 per cent of McDonald's Canadian restaurants are locally owned and operated by independent entrepreneurs. For more information about McDonald's Canada, visit www.mcdonalds.ca or follow us on Twitter (@McD_Canada and Facebook Facebook.com/McDonaldscanada) for updates on our business, promotions and menu items.
SOURCE McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited