Massacure makes $1 million by a hair

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McHappy Day makes a burger into an act of charity

Tammy MacDonald had long held onto the hope that the Hair Massacure would one day reach $1 million in donations.

Last year the charity event brought in approximately $800,000 with the help of more than 1,300 people. The director of the organization aimed for the major milestone for this year’s eighth annual edition of the event and she got especially high-spirited when it seemed early on like this would finally be the year. But then pledges started to slow down and it seemed like they would fall just short of the mark by the April 30 deadline.

That was until a surprise cheque for $1,600 came in with four hours to spare, putting the total over the goal and also putting MacDonald at rest. She announced the good news to a crowd of students at Neil M. Ross Catholic School yesterday. The school won a free lunchtime concert by Canadian country band Doc Walker for raising the most amount of money ($74,000) out of any of the schools that participated in this year’s Massacure.

She thanked the kids before the music started.

“[Ross is] a very young school so it does surprise me how ignited they are for their age group. When we go in for presentations, the energy level is like crazy … the kids are screaming, they’re totally into [it]. They almost knocked my bear down,” she laughed, referring to the Kali Bear mascot that accompanies her for the presentations. When it comes down to it, she can’t help praising everyone that participated. “It blows my mind. It surprises me every year, the growth. There’s not enough words to describe it.”

All of the funds raised by the event go to support the Stollery Children’s Hospital and the Make-a-Wish Foundation. This year’s figure brings the eight-year total to more than $5.5 million that have been raised for these two causes. For more information, please visit www.hairmassacure.com.

Local McHappy Day for a great cause

The McDonald’s location in Tudor Glen had its two busiest hours ever on Wednesday, doubtless in large part to the restaurant’s participation in the nationwide McHappy Day, a charity event that saw portions of sales from some menu items donated to children’s charities across Canada.

This year, the fundraising went to support Ronald McDonald House (RMH), a temporary lodge for families getting treatment for their severely ill children.

Manager Carola Cameron said that one of those families talked with her about their experiences at the Edmonton location of RMH. One man had to donate a kidney to his son and needed full-time care. The father even had to quit his job.

“He said that if it weren’t for the house, he wouldn’t know what to do.”

Cameron feels strongly about the cause and thanked the community for showing its support.

“It was very successful,” she stated, referring to the $3,150 raised at her location alone. “It’s a passion of mine. I tell everybody that young children don’t ask to be sick. If it’s not for us helping them, who’s going to?”

Last year the event raised more than $2.8 million across Canada, averaging approximately $2,000 per restaurant.

To learn more about McHappy Day, please visit www.mcdonalds.ca and click on ‘Community Commitment.’

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Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.