Ronald McDonald House Central Alberta was helping get Central Albertans in the Westerner Days spirit when they hosted their Barnyard Breakfast.
Jason Evanson, CEO Ronald McDonald House Charities Alberta, was happy to be able to tell the story of Ronald McDonald House to the community.
“We work with families who have children being treated at the hospital next door. We provide them with a place to stay and provide them with all the necessities of life while their child is getting better.
“We are, I think, an important part of the community and want to have folks out, have a bite to eat and get to know us a bit.”
The event was not a fundraiser, but Evanson said the Ronald McDonald House is always open to donations from the community
“Ronald McDonald House works really closely with the community to fund everything that we do here,” he said. “This is not a fundraiser — it is just an opportunity to come down and get to know our organization.
“Don’t get me wrong, if someone wanted to make a donation, we would certainly welcome that. They can do that here or online.”
As part of the day’s festivities, FortisAlberta donated $10,000 to the Ronald McDonald House which in part, according to Evanson, helps keep the lights on in the building.
“Fortis Alberta has been part of Ronald McDonald House ever since the capital campaign started out for this particular facility,” Evanson said. “They have generously supported us financially and equally as important, they volunteer and come out month-to-month. They come out and cook dinners for the families.”
Todd Dettling, vice president of customer service for FortisAlberta, said the donation was part of the House’s House Heroes program and that Fortis is excited to expand their relationship with Ronald McDonald House.
“One of the things that is really special about this relationship for us is that it really started with our staff that is local to Red Deer,” Dettling said. “They really got us interested in the program and we are always looking for different ways to contribute to the communities we serve.
“When we find alignment with organizations our staff are volunteering with, that is where we like to spend our dollars.”
Dettling added that the House serves many rural communities which is a huge part of Fortis’ service area.
“We are happy to help the families out that need to be with their children,” he said.
A donation by the Alberta Professional Chuckwagon And Chariot Association of $1,070 was also made towards the House’s operations, which is another great example of organizations supporting the mission of Ronald McDonald House, according to Evanson.
“The donations that we receive everyday go towards supporting families. It helps to keep the facility running, it covers off the expenses of providing these families a place to stay when they need our organization the most,” he said.
He added, “We can’t thank the public enough for coming down and checking us out.”