MONTREAL – From July 21 to July 27, 2014, some of the top-ranked PGA Tour players will visit Montreal for the 2014 RBC Canadian Open at The Royal Montreal Golf Club in Île-Bizard. They will be doing more than just competing: they will also take time to support Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Canada, the tournament’s official charity partner for the second consecutive year.
The RBC Foundation announced last year a two-year commitment to RMHC Canada by designating it as the official charity partner for the 2013 and 2014 editions of the RBC Canadian Open. The $500,000 donation is being used to increase the support, resources and knowledge related to the mental health and well-being of the thousands of families with seriously ill children that stay at the 14 Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada each year.
It is now well-documented that the families of sick children experience substantial levels of stress and anxiety following their child’s diagnosis and hospitalization. Thanks to this generous donation, a pilot test is in progress at two Ronald McDonald Houses, in Toronto and Montreal, to explore and evaluate activities and resources that will support the emotional health and healing of families, as well as an education program for staff and volunteers. The new program will be finalized and rolled-out nationally to all Ronald McDonald Houses in 2015.
“We sincerely appreciate the support RBC provides through the RBC Canadian Open. Last year, the tournament was a resounding success, and we are confident this year’s event in Montreal will be just as exciting,” said Cathy Loblaw, President and CEO of RMHC Canada. “RBC’s contribution will help us fulfill our mission to offer a home away from home for out of town families with sick children being treated at a nearby hospital. Oftentimes these families must travel a long way from home for treatments. Research clearly suggests that sick children recover faster when they are with their families, and it is therefore even more important that parents be able to spend time with their children.”
“I work in the business sector, and I am used to receiving requests for donations, but I never thought I would once need that help. We stayed three times at the House in the last months for my daughter Lauri-Pier’s treatments, and each time I have been amazed by the positive energy in the House. It offers affordable housing, but beyond the cost, the most precious thing is the comfort we get from other families and the fact that we are literally a few minutes from the hospital,” said Frédéric Brière, who stayed at the Montreal Ronald McDonald House when his twelve year-old daughter Lauri-Pier had an ulcerative colitis.
Activities planned in support of RMHC
On-site at the Royal Montreal Golf Course for a minimum donation of $5, golf fans will have priority access (first come first served) to enjoy bleacher seating at holes 16, 17 and 18 by purchasing a special RMHC access tag. The RMHC access tag will also give the chance to attendees to win random prizes and other special incentives. RMHC coin collection boxes will also be available throughout the site.
RBC will also assist with RMHC fundraising, with the sale of unique water carriers that can be filled from on-site water stations. Finally, the Wives of the PGA Tour Association are also working closely with RMHC, RBC and Golf Canada, and will coordinate and host a picnic for the families of the Ronald McDonald House in Montreal during the week of the Open.
Ronald McDonald Houses in Quebec
There are two Ronald McDonald Houses in Quebec: one in Montreal, located next to the CHU Ste-Justine, and one in Quebec City, located close to the Centre mère-enfant du CHUQ à Québec. Over the years, both Houses were forced to turn away more than 1,000 families, because they were filled to capacity every night. In 2010, the Quebec City House was renovated and expanded from 19 to 32 rooms. The following year, the Montreal House was rebuilt to increase its capacity from 35 to 50 rooms.
Click here to listen to the June 18th press conference from The Royal Montreal Golf Club.