24th annual McHappy Day serves up plenty of smiles and Big Macs

By Vanessa Ybarra
May 3, 2017 - 5:26pm Updated: May 4, 2017 - 9:19am

KAMLOOPS — Today is McHappy Day.

Every year the event raises millions of dollars across the country for various Ronald McDonald charities.

Proceeds in Kamloops go towards the Ronald McDonald house in Vancouver.

A third of all families that stay at the Ronald McDonald house come from the Interior and the need is greater than ever.

Today dozens of volunteers and local dignitaries volunteered their time at McDonald's locations around town to help ensure the 24th annual McHappy day is a success.

Blazers Head Coach Don Hay and Kamloops RCMP Constable Sofie Winkles were among the volunteers on hand helping out in the drive-thru and counter. 

"It's fun to see the shocked look on peoples faces when a police officer is serving them their breakfast," said Winkles.

As part of Wednesday's event, a dollar from every Big Mac, Happy Meal, or McCafe drink goes directly towards the Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver.

Every year hundreds of families throughout B.C stay at the house that serves as a home-away-from-home for sick kids and their families.

"Four of five years ago they bought a piece of land on the childrens' hospital grounds and they built 73 rooms," said Kamloops McDonalds Owner Alan Gozda. "Right from day one all 73 rooms filled up and it's been filled every day since. Of that number, 111 families came from Kamloops and 14 of those families came from Merritt."

Last year Kamloops and Merritt restaurants raised $70-thousand to go towards Ronald McDonald charities.

They hope to reach close to the same amount this year.

"It's really hard to pick a charity but from what we can see, this one has one of the biggest impacts out there," added Gozda. 

Based on Wednesday's Big Mac demand, reaching that number shouldn't be a problem.

"Today we probably sold close to 500 Big Macs," said Manager Riley Clow. "Last year we had about 2,500 to 2,700 people come through our restaurant alone, so it's just great to see the support for such a good cause." 

Big Macs making a 'big' difference for kids in need.



McHappy Day raises more than $62,000 locally