Brad Hilgers rarely misses a McHappy Day.
Rock 94’s afternoon drive guy on Wednesday was behind the McDonald’s counter once again, serving up coffee and beverages, all in support of two very worthy charities, Ronald McDonald House and Easter Seals.
“It helps families here in Thunder Bay if they have to go out of town for medical needs,” Hilgers said. “A dollar from every Big Mac, every Happy Meal and the McCafe hot beverage goes to them. Plus you can make other donations.
“It’s obviously a great cause and the money does stay locally here in Thunder Bay.”
Gord Merko was around for the first McHappy Day in 1977.
As one of the pioneers for the international burger franchise in the city, Merko started as a trainee and worked his way up to area supervisor, eventually working for the corporation itself. Retired for three years, he wouldn’t miss a McHappy Day.
“This has been one of the most fun days I’ve ever experienced. You get to see people who you don’t see every day coming into McDonald’s. Seventy per cent of our customers are repeat customers, but there are 25 to 30 per cent who are new customers. So you get to meet a whole bunch of different new people and customers who are coming in to support Ronald McDonald House,” Merko said.
“The crew are all hopped up about it. I get excited. Everybody’s happy. It’s probably our best fun day, working in the stores.”
Kathy Bukovy is an assistant manager with McDonald’s in Thunder Bay and said the fundraiser has raised $30-million nationwide in its first 19 years.
She’s hoping the 20th anniversary edition will be record-setting too.
“It’s a day when VIPs get together with local celebrities and customers and our staff, who are so excited to join in and raise some money for great charities.”
Bukovy said it’s all about the young ones on McHappy Day.
“Easter Seals and Ronald McDonald House go so well together. They blend. It’s dealing with kids. You never know when your child will be sick. Right now we have a couple of families from Thunder Bay utilizing the house in Toronto, so today is very special and important.”
This year’s goal in Thunder Bay is $10,000.
“So come on a help us out,” Bukovy said.
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