Local children and their families will benefit from $10,000 brought in on McHappy Day Wednesday at the Fort St. John and Dawson Creek McDonalds.
Over the course of the day, one dollar from every Big Mac, Happy Meal and hot beverage sold was channeled into children’s charities. Public donations were also accepted, and proceeds from McDonald’s merchandise sold also supported the cause.
This year, franchise owner Brian Boresky, who owns both the Fort St. John and Dawson Creek locations, decided half of the proceeds will go towards the Ronald McDonald House BC and Yukon, with the other half going to the Dawson Creek and Fort St. John Child Development Centres.
“A lot of people don’t know much about Ronald McDonald House, and a lot of people think, well, you know, I’d like to support a local charity. But we are the people that use it (the Ronald McDonald House),” Boresky said.
The Ronald McDonald House is a home away from home for seriously ill children and their families who need a place to stay while receiving major medical treatment in Vancouver. It saves families the hassle and cost of hotel accommodations while their child receives the medical care he or she needs.
Yvett Lang and her five-year-old daughter Trinity returned from Vancouver’s Ronald McDonald House on Wednesday, and were at the Fort St. John location promoting McHappy Day alongside Boresky and other community members, including Alaska Highway News Publisher William Julian and Dawson Creek Mirror Associate Publisher Nicole Palfy.
“We didn’t know about Ronald McDonald until last year, and that’s the biggest thing, that’s why I want to be a part of this awareness,” Lang said.
“Because even us, being in the medical part of Trinity’s life, we didn’t even know about it,” Lang said.
They’ve been travelling for Trinity’s medical needs since she was just seven months old, when she started having seizures. Doctors still don’t know what’s causing them, but they’re trying to find out.
Last year alone the family made nine trips to the south of the province for Trinity.
“It’s very expensive. You’re talking about thousands of dollars,” Lang said.
They learned about the Ronald McDonald House last year, and just wrapped up their second stay at Vancouver’s Ronald McDonald House.
“The people there, they are so amazing,” Lang said.
“You can talk to somebody that is going through exactly what you are, and sometimes it’s hard because you can have friends, but they don’t understand to that certain level. So it’s nice to be around people that (are going through the same thing). You can comfort each other.”
The Langs are one of 45 families from Fort St. John and Dawson Creek that stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in 2015.
The Vancouver house, located on the grounds of the BC Children’s Hospital, is comprised of four buildings, and has 73 units for families. Almost 2,000 families stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver in 2015.
Since McHappy Day was introduced in 1977, more than $50 million has been raised for children’s charities.