NEW GLASGOW – Ronald McDonald House Charities has named the Graham family of New Glasgow one of the first official “Community Champions.”
Drew and Kaitlin Graham have been long-time supporters of Ronald McDonald House® after it became their home-away-from-home when their son Oliver became ill.
The new Community Champions initiative has been created to bring together community leaders from across the Maritimes to raise much-needed funds and awareness in support of the organization.
Oliver Graham was only three years old when he passed away after his battle with cancer. During Oliver’s treatment, he and his family spent months between the IWK Health Centre and SickKids in Toronto. Oliver, his parents and older brother Jax used the facilities and services offered by RMHC Atlantic to help them through their battle.
“We can never pay back the kindness that was shown to us,” says Kait and Drew.
“We can, however, pay it forward,”
To honour Oliver’s memory, the family started an annual fundraising hockey tournament called “The Oliver Hudson Graham Memorial Cancer Sucks Cup” that raises funds for Ronald McDonald House and the IWK.
“The Cup is a symbol, it’s not a game,” says Kaitlin Graham.
“We want to honour those who’ve helped us when we needed it, those who’ve passed away and those who are currently fighting.”
“Ronald McDonald House Charities Atlantic has launched the Community Champions initiative as a way to celebrate organizations, teams and individuals who commit to doing something extra special in support of the cause. It’s also an opportunity to share the story of Ronald McDonald House so that others know we are there to help,” says RMHC Atlantic CEO Shauna MacLennan.
The goal will be to raise $100,000 in 2019 by expanding the program to 10 Community Champions throughout the Maritimes, with each Champion raising up to $10,000. The funds will be used to help RMHC Atlantic expand its programs to support even more Maritime families with sick children.
About Ronald McDonald House Charities
• RMHC® Atlantic helps keep families close to each other, and the care they need, when they need it most.
• Programs include Ronald McDonald House®, a home-away-from-home for out of town families with sick children, and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms®, an oasis of calm and support inside the walls of the hospital.
• In 2017, we served more than 2,200 families from across the Maritimes.