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Ronald McDonald House(R) BC & Yukon Opens $31 million New House

Big Day for Families in BC also sees RMH BC open new Family Room at Surrey Memorial Hospital

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/16/14 -- Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the Canadian Press picture wire via Marketwired.

Today, Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon (RMH BC) reached a milestone seven years in the making, with the grand opening of the brand new Ronald McDonald House on the grounds of BC Children's Hospital.

"This is a momentous day for seriously ill children and their families in British Columbia," said Richard Pass, CEO, Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon. "We are extremely grateful to each and every person who made this new House possible - from our donors, to the public to the Province of BC and McDonald's® Canada. With the new Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon, over 2,500 families each year will have a home-away-from-home while their child is receiving medical care in Vancouver."

Each year, BC Children's Hospital provides expert care for more than 78,000 children - with 67 per cent of its patients coming from areas outside the City of Vancouver.1 Often families have no place to stay, or cannot afford a hotel, while their child is receiving treatment. Today, the mean total out-of-pocket cost to a family within the first three months of a child being diagnosed with pediatric cancer is $28,475.2 That's where RMH BC comes in, providing a home environment for families with sick children - right on hospital grounds - so parents can focus on what matters most: healing their sick child.

The original RMH BC, located in Shaughnessy, accommodated 13 families at a time, and 400 families a year. Due to the demand, unfortunately, it often had to turn away dozens of families each month. The brand new House can now accommodate 73 families at once, and serve over 2,500 families annually.

"On behalf of the Province of British Columbia, I want to thank all those involved in the opening of the new Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon," said BC Health Minister Terry Lake. "This facility will offer a home-like environment along with a support system for families going through extremely difficult circumstances."

Designed by renowned Vancouver architect Michael Green, Principal, Michael Green Architecture Inc., the new House is now the second largest in Canada, and in the top-ten globally. Almost half of the House's $31 million construction budget came from the Province of British Columbia, at $13.375 million. The balance of the funds were raised by the House through its ongoing capital fundraising campaign, via public, private and corporate donors, including:

--  McDonald's Canada & Ronald McDonald House Charities® Canada (RMHC®)
--  Variety - The Children's Charity
--  ITC Construction
--  The Chan Family Foundation

"The new RMH BC campus is another step towards our goal of serving 20,000 families annually, beginning in 2014, across the Ronald McDonald House network of programs," said Cathy Loblaw, President and CEO, RMHC. "Coast-to-coast, the 14 Ronald McDonald Houses serve one-third of the families with children facing a serious illness in our country. As pioneers in the family-centered approach to healing, Ronald McDonald Houses play a critical role in improving medical outcomes for sick children; helping children heal faster and better with their families nearby."

Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada, its founding and forever partner, McDonald's Canada, McDonald's corporate and franchised restaurants in BC and their generous customers contributed over $5.7 million combined to the new BC House. Of that total, BC franchised and corporate restaurants and their customers contributed $1.2 million through past McHappy Day® funds and in-restaurant coin boxes.

Continuing this tradition of helping families in need, RMH BC also announced the opening of the new Ronald McDonald Family Room®, located within the new critical care tower of Surrey Memorial Hospital. At over 2,000 square feet, the Family Room will contain four bedrooms - including private washrooms and shower - and space for parents and siblings to rest or sleep, just steps away from where their child receives care at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

New Ronald McDonald House BC Features:

--  Room for up to 73 families at a time; 2,500 families annually
--  Accommodation for the entire family in spacious private guestrooms, each
    with their own 5-piece bathroom
--  Four professionally equipped kitchens and tastefully decorated dining
--  Playground, sports court, game rooms, arts & crafts studio and a teens-
    only lounge
--  Indoor fitness centre and Wi-Fi zones with computer stations

Breakdown of Where Families Who Stay at RMH BC Are From:

--  42% - Interior BC
--  31% - Vancouver Island
--  18% - Northern BC
--  4% - Kootenays
--  2% - Greater Vancouver
--  2% - Rest of Canada
--  1% - Fraser Valley

About Ronald McDonald House® BC & Yukon

Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon (RMH BC) is a home-away-from-home for children requiring medical treatment at BC Children's Hospital and for their families. 'The house that love built®' creates a safe, secure environment where out-of-town families with seriously ill children can stay while their children receive medical treatment. For more information, please visit www.rmhbc.ca.

About McDonald's® Canada

McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited is the founding and forever partner of Ronald McDonald House Charities® Canada (RMHC®) since the first Ronald McDonald House® opened in Canada in 1981 - and continues to support the 14 Houses across Canada. McDonald's Canada's support is enabled by RMHC annually through funds raised via the 10-cent Happy Meal® program. McDonald's restaurants support their local Ronald McDonald House through the generous customer contributions made via in-restaurant coin boxes, and many restaurants provide additional support by donating funds raised on McHappy Day® to their local House. For more information on Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada, please visit www.rmhc.ca. For more information about McDonald's Canada, visit www.mcdonalds.ca.

1 BC Children's Hospital

2 Tsmimicalis A. (2010) Costs Incurred by Families of Children Newly Diagnosed with Cancer in Ontario. Thesis: Doctor of Philosophy Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing University of Toronto

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