Residents and community representatives put their aprons on and worked at McDonald’s for the annual McHappy Day fundraiser held Wednesday, May 4.
The event is a day to raise funds for any number of charities that each restaurant chooses, in Ponoka’s case, for the Ronald McDonald House in Red Deer.
Rhanda Bonet-Graham, the development manager at the Ronald McDonald House for Central Alberta, said she is excited when McHappy Day comes around as the money helps families with children who have medical needs. The house supports them with food and a place to stay.
If people live outside of Red Deer, they can access the services at the house for overnight, and during the day if they live in Red Deer, said Bonet-Graham. The $3,300 raised on McHappy Day in Ponoka will go directly to the Ronald McDonald House.
Franchise owner Tony Hoffmann, who has stores in Red Deer and Lacombe, said all of his stores supported the Ronald McDonald House charity.
“It’s just a wonderful sense for the community to come together in support of Ronald McDonald House,” said Hoffmann.
He suggested the volunteers who came in such as Ponoka firefighters, RCMP officers, teachers and other dignitaries, and the customers who support McHappy Day, recognize the need to help kids who are sick.
Being able to serve customers also gives them a chance to see the inner workings of McDonald’s operations.
General manager Melissa Manalo was excited for the day. She said staff members have a great time working with volunteers.
One dollar from every Big Mac, Happy Meal and McCafe beverage purchased went to Ronald McDonald House. There were also opportunities for residents to donate money on top of their purchase.
Bonet-Graham said the demand is strong at Red Deer’s Ronald McDonald House. In 2015, there were 385 families who stayed at the house and 426 within Red Deer accessed it for day use.