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Family FUN-draiser returns to support Ronald McDonald House

This is the second year for the family fundraiser.
Bryn Felteau-McInnis is bringing back their Family FUN-draiser to support the Ronald McDonald House.

One good turn deserves another, which is why Bryn Felteau-McInnis is bringing back their Family FUN-draiser for its second annual outing in support of the Ronald McDonald House (RMH).

The first event held last year put a lot of smiles on people’s faces, they said.

“It went really well last year,” Bryn said. “We were very pleased with the success of the fundraiser.”

“We were overwhelmed with everyone's generosity, and we had so much positive feedback from the families that were there, that they really enjoyed having the crafts all prepared for them,” said Kim Felteau, Bryn’s mom.

“It was something that parents or caregivers could come and just do and relax with their kids. Everything was set out. It was really smooth. It was just a nice time for families to be together, which is what Ronald McDonald House is about, too.”

Ronald McDonald House offers low-cost accommodations to families who need to receive extended care at a hospital. Approximately 70 per cent of Canadian families live outside of communities that have children’s hospitals, however, and even the bills from inexpensive hotels can quickly add up beyond many people’s budgets.

Staff organize community groups to come in and provide free food and meals. They offer shuttle service, laundry facilities, and organize other health and well-being services like yoga and hair salons.

There are four RMH locations in Alberta, and together they host more than 1,200 families annually with nearly 26,000 nights provided. The closest one is in Edmonton, four hours away from Jasper. There, the average family’s stay is 25 nights. In Calgary, it’s 33.

In their past stays, Bryn really liked the Magic Room: a room filled with new toys for play therapy. The toys are always there for the kids who are having bad days. When they leave, they get to keep one of the toys. They organized other fundraisers in previous years, the culmination of which was approximately $2,500 worth of toys donated for the Magic Room.

The Felteau-McInnis family have stayed at the house for more than 100 nights in total. Helping the charity that helped them is close to their heart, Bryn said.

“Having seen all the amazing things they do for families and how caring everybody is at the house, it really was impactful,” they said.

Kim Felteau was struck by how many participants at last year’s fundraiser event had their own Ronald McDonald House story.

“Some of them had use the House over 20 or 25 years ago when their babies were born, but everybody knew somebody who had stayed there, and I didn't expect that,” she said.

“It really is an important service for people coming from rural communities. We hope that no one else from Jasper ever needs it, but it’s there if you do. It's such a safe place.”

She emphasized that attendance at the fundraiser is open even if you can't donate. Come on out and spend some time with your family doing something fun, she said.

The fundraiser returns on Saturday, May 25 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the McCready Centre. Entry is by donation and there will be door prizes plus free snacks.

The fun includes four craft tables with different crafts, plus a play area and a scavenger hunt around the room.

All the proceeds go to support the charity.

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