One million dollar pledge achieved to support families of ill children

Northern Ontario McDonald's restaurants gift serves area families staying at Ronald McDonald House Toronto

TORONTO, Oct. 31, 2013 /CNW/ - All 16 McDonald's franchisees and company restaurants located in northern parts of Ontario have raised $1 million for Ronald McDonald House Toronto's larger, recently-built facility located on McCaul Street in downtown Toronto.

"We are deeply moved by this phenomenal donation from northern Ontario McDonald's restaurants," says Jane Marco, Chief Executive Officer of Ronald McDonald House Toronto. "A large percentage of families who stay at the House come from cities and small towns in this part of the province. It is heartwarming to see this outpouring of support for families who have no choice but travel to Toronto to access life-saving medical treatment for their child."

More than 80 per cent of families of seriously ill children who stay at the House while their child receives medical care at nearby paediatric hospitals in Toronto --- come from Ontario. Of these families, more than one-third hail from Northern communities within the vicinity of a McDonald's franchisee who is part of the $1 million dollar donation. They include:  Angus, Alliston, Barrie, Beaverton, Bracebridge, Bradford, Chelmsford, Collingwood, Dryden, Elliot Lake, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, Kapuskasing, Kenora, Keswick, Kirkland Lake, Midland, New Liskeard, North Bay, Orangeville, Orillia, Parry Sound, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Timmins and Val Caron. Since November 2011, the House has had more than 600 family visits from Northern communities.

"The incredible collaboration and effort extended by each and every franchisee involved in this commitment has been simply amazing to witness," says J.P. Aubé, owner of McDonald's Restaurants in Timmins, ON, and lead franchisee spokesperson for the initiative. "We are exceptionally proud as individuals and as a team to be able to make a meaningful difference in the lives of families who come from our communities, and who are struggling to cope with their child's serious medical diagnosis."

The funds will support Ronald McDonald House Toronto, a "home away from home" for families of seriously ill children to heal better together. In 2011, the new House opened on McCaul Street in downtown Toronto to serve 81 families a night, tripling its previous capacity. The House provides affordable accommodation, the basic comforts of home, and specially-designed programs and support services to help families cope during the most difficult time of their lives.

About Ronald McDonald House Toronto For more than 30 years Ronald McDonald House Toronto has been fulfilling its mission to provide a "home away from home" for seriously ill children and their families to heal better together. Ronald McDonald House Toronto offers a place for sleeping, schooling, working, cooking and playing. It also provides vital therapeutic programs that help sick children, their siblings and their parents get to a better place emotionally. For more information visit www.rmhtoronto.org.

SOURCE: Ronald McDonald House Toronto

For further information:

Lianne Castelino, Communications Officer
Ronald McDonald House Toronto
lcastelino@rmhtoronto.org (416) 977-0458 ext 269

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