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McHappy Day Cape Breton raises $74,000 to renovate Pediatrics toy room and more

In May, McDonald’s hosted McHappy Day across the country. Locally, McDonald’s restaurants earmarked a portion of funds raised for the Cape Breton Regional Hospital’s Pediatric Unit, which supports more than 200 children each year.

On May 10, thousands of Cape Bretoners lined McDonald’s drive-throughs to support the annual fundraiser. A portion of proceeds from all menu items, paired with donations from generous guests, helped to raise more than $74,000.

Funds raised will support the purchase of equipment such as specialized pediatric wheelchairs, beds, and vitals monitors for the unit; day-to-day necessities such as pediatric johnny shirts and bottle warmers; televisions for patient rooms; and, a toy room renovation to include sensory toys for children with autism and other special needs.

“This gift will significantly impact the care we are able to provide to our young patients and their families,” says Tara Baker, Clinical Nurse Lead, Pediatrics, Cape Breton Regional Hospital. The new equipment will help with the flow of patient care, the TVs will help calm and distract patients and families during what is often a stressful time, and the playroom and sensory toys will help promote a safe and exploratory environment, allowing health care providers to interact with our patients in creative ways.”

On top of the financial gift, McDonald’s restaurants have been rallying physical donations of sleepers, clothing, and other baby necessities to provide to the unit.

“We are proud to say that this year, our McHappy Day efforts here in Cape Breton broke records,” says Wayne Kennerknecht, owner/operator of McDonald’s in Cape Breton. “Our Sydney River location came third in the country for most funds raised, and our Cape Breton market as a whole came fourth. This wouldn’t have been possible without a team effort by everyone. We all worked together, in unity – the generosity of Cape Bretoners is second-to-none!”

In the past, McHappy Day Cape Breton has helped to fund equipment for the Intensive Care Unit, including sleeper chairs and a device used in cases of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, as well as contributing to the Pediatrics TLC fund, which directly supports patients and their families by covering medications, purchasing personal health care equipment, and fund travel-related costs.

This past April, The Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation awarded local McDonald’s teams with a special Service Award for their remarkable dedication to supporting health care in Cape Breton for over 10 years.

“McDonald’s has been an outstanding community partner and friend of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation over the past decade,” says Caitlyn MacDonald, Manager of Philanthropy, Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation. “McHappy Day is such a feel-good community initiative, and to-date, the event has raised over $442,000 for priority health care needs on our island. We are incredibly grateful for their continued support and enthusiasm.”

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