RBC announces $500,000 commitment to Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada

Canada's largest financial institution continues its focus on the mental health and wellness of children and families

TORONTO, July 24, 2013 /CNW/ - RBC Foundation today announced a $500,000 two-year commitment to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Canada, the official charity partner for the 2013 RBC Canadian Open.

"We are proud to partner with Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada to support the mental health and well-being of the families of seriously ill children," said Dave McKay, Group Head, Personal and Commercial Banking, RBC. "For more than 20 years, we have worked with Ronald McDonald Houses across the country and today's announcement will help provide the resources and support families need physically, emotionally and mentally when they are facing the most challenging time in their lives."

The donation will be used to advance the support, resources and knowledge around the mental health and well-being of the thousands of families with seriously ill children that stay at the 14 Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada each year.

"We are truly grateful for the support this grant provides to Ronald McDonald Houses and the families we serve across the country," said Cathy Loblaw, President and CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada.  "The Houses support the well-being of the families of sick children simply by being there for them at this most challenging time in their lives. As pioneers of family-centred care, this grant will allow Ronald McDonald Houses to continue to advance and evolve their knowledge, support and expertise in the care of families, with an enhanced understanding of their mental health and well-being."

Research shows that the families go through intense stress and anxiety when their child is hospitalized for a serious illness. Often, the siblings of the sick child also experience stress and feelings of neglect due to the parent's increased focus on the sick child, which can result in symptoms of depression. By providing a home away from home for these families, Ronald McDonald Houses help ease their emotional burden during these difficult times.

RBC Foundation has been a longstanding supporter of Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada for more than 20 years, having committed over $1.3 million to help children and families of sick kids. This donation is a further demonstration of RBC's commitment and leadership role in the advancement of children's health and well-being. The RBC Children's Mental Health Project has provided more than $16 million to hundreds of organizations dedicated to providing early intervention, increasing public awareness and reducing the stigma of mental illness.

The first Canadian Ronald McDonald House opened in Toronto in 1981 to help families of seriously ill children stay close to their child while undergoing treatment at the hospital. The Ronald McDonald House network has now grown to 14 Houses and will serve approximately 20,000 families annually by 2014. The Houses allow families to stay together and lean on each other for emotional support during this difficult time, as well as providing family essentials such as a temporary home away from home, meals, laundry facilities and even school support.

In 1982, Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada was founded to be the everlasting organization of support for Ronald McDonald Houses and their programs in Canada. Ronald McDonald Houses provide a home away from home for out of town families with sick children being treated at a nearby hospital. Today, 14 Ronald McDonald Houses serve more than 10,000 families each year, and will be serving 20,000 families across Canada by 2014. Completing our circle of support for Canadians is the Ronald McDonald Family Room® program providing an oasis of calm and support right inside the walls of the Hospital. Today there are nine Family Rooms across Canada as well as the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile™ program. For more information, visit www.rmhc.ca.

RBC proudly supports golf around the world through high profile relationships with the PGA TOUR and Golf Canada. RBC is the Official Banking and Financial Services partner of touring professionals Luke Donald, Brandt Snedeker, Graeme McDowell, Hunter Mahan, Matt Kuchar, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Mike Weir, Stephen Ames, and Morgan Pressel. As the title sponsor of both the RBC Heritage and the RBC Canadian Open, RBC also supports emerging Canadian golfers through Golf Canada's grassroots developmental programming, their Canadian Amateur Golf Championships and high performance national team. RBC is one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies and among the largest banks in the world, as measured by market capitalization.


For further information:

Media Contacts:
Jackie Braden
Director, Brand & Sponsorship Communications
(t) 416.974.1724 (e) jackie.braden@rbc.com

Roxanna Kassam Kara
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada
(t) 416.446.3448 (e) Roxanna.Kassamkara@ca.mcd.com

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