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Guest Blogger

Rebecca Smillie, Development Office at Ronald McDonald House® Northern Alberta

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We're Turning Whyte 2 Red this Christmas Season

Monday November 24 , 2014

This year Ronald McDonald House® Northern Alberta is thrilled to be working with the Old Strathcona district on the first ever Whyte 2 Red. Businesses and customers alike have banned together to raise awareness for the 855 families that stay at the House every year.  So what is this partnership exactly? Is it called Whyte 2 Red and it aims to turn Whyte Avenue red for the holiday season while raising $25,000 in support of families at Ronald McDonald House® Northern Alberta (RMHNA). When that goal is met, this $25,000 will help us meet the $3.2 million dollar operating budget.

Ronald McDonald House® Northern Alberta (RMHNA), works to provide a home away from home for families with critically ill or injured children. The House is located just 5 blocks south of Whyte Avenue, and is strongly supported by the local community. Families donate $12.00 a night to stay at RMHNA. The average stay is 12 days and the longest stay is well over 2 years! The House provides affordable accommodations for 855 families every year. While affordable accommodations is one of our goals, RMHNA strives to resume normalcy for the families that are in the midst of a medical crisis though things like family meal time, movie nights, and various other types of programing. 

The Whyte 2 Red campaign is channeled through businesses across the Old Strathcona district. At the point of sale (the till), patrons are asked by the business if they would like to purchase $2.00 tags in support of Ronald McDonald House Northern Alberta.  Restaurants are also supporting the campaign, and are asking their guests the same question when the bill is paid. The donated tags are then placed in the Varscona Hotel on the community Christmas tree. The tree is covered in White lights, our goal being cover all the white lights with the red tags. (Thus turning the tree from white to red).

Want to learn more about the House, how about through the eyes of a child staying at RMHNA?

If you have are interested in learning more about Whyte 2 Red, or even just learning more about Ronald McDonald House® Northern Alberta, please reach out to Rebecca Smillie, Development Officer at or 780-439-5437 ext.206

And find a list of all of the participating businesses HERE!