A year and a half ago at the Côte Saint-Luc Winter Carnival, Pierre Brunet approached me about McHappy Day.
Pierre, of course, is the franchisee of the McDonald’s restaurants on Côte Saint-Luc Road and at Quartier Cavendish (soon to close). He also runs more than a dozen other locations in the city.
Every year, McDonald’s Canada franchisees and crew across the country celebrate McHappy Day , an annual day of community giving in support of Ronald McDonald Houses and other local children’s charities. On Wednesday May 2, for every Big Mac®, Happy Meal® or hot McCafé® beverage purchased, $1 will be donated to RMHC® and children’s charities across Canada
Pierre always adds a local twist for his restaurants and he wanted my advice for any program that might benefit children. I immediately scheduled a meeting with Harold Cammy from our Parks and Recreation Department and we began to brainstorm. What we came up with was the Pierre Brunet Parks and Recreation Bursary Fund. Monies raised would be used for assistance to local families who may be experiencing financial difficulties in registering their children in our programs, for families with special needs children requiring additional support at our programs and for parks equipment intended for children with disabilities. From last year’s McHappy Day and other funds raised from donors and most notably our CSL Men’s Club, $8,549 has already been raised.
I took part in this year’s McHappy Day. We await totals, but we will clearly surpass the $10,000 mark. Some bursaries have already been handed out and we will have more to announce at our CSL Golf Classic July 5.
Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, members of council and many of our dedicated staff were at McDonald’s to support the cause. Parks and Recreation Director Cornelia Ziga and her team were selling McDonald’s sock for $5, with proceeds going to the Fund.
As for me, I went into the kitchen and helped prepare orders with City Manager Tanya Abramovitch. Wow, Tanya was a real pro while I found the entire process very challenging. I gained a whole new appreciation for what these employees do and how fast they must work behind the scenes. Tanya then confided in me that she had worked at McDonald’s in her late teens. Thanks to John and some of the other staffers who guided us. We saw the orders on the big screen. Buns had to be toasted, the different toppings applied and then the main item - be it a burger, chicken or filet of fish- put on. This is hard work and after an hour I was completely beat. Tanya did a three hour shift and the energetic mom of two year old twins probably could have kept on going if she did not have a meeting to attend.
Thanks to everyone who made this day a success. We will have printed material regarding the scholarship fund available online soon.