Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon hits 40 years with no plans of slowing down

The charity has plans to expand into a second house

The 19th annual A Night to Dream Gala, held in support of Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon last Saturday, was about as fancy as events get. A lovely three-course meal, silent and live auctions, everyone dressed to the 10s—I was almost a little surprised that the Joker didn’t burst into the Westin Bayshore and proclaim that he was “tonight’s entertainment.”

The key difference, of course, is that the Gala wasn’t exactly a meeting of the holier-than-thou Gotham fat cats that the Joker so loathes. Proceeds from the night went to supporting the Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon, which has been helping provide families with seriously ill children the accommodation near treatment that they need since October 4, 1983.

As the organization comes up on its 40th anniversary, there is a very pertinent goal on its mind: more beds. The need for space was articulated beautifully by Dallas Smith, president and chair of the Nanwakolas Council, who travelled with his family from Duncan to Vancouver when his daughter was sick.

The five-member family was able to secure a stay at the 73-bedroom house while Smith’s daughter got treatment for cancer. It hammered home the challenge that families face when they need treatment that isn’t available where they live.

To that end, the foundation announced that it has plans to open a second long-term stay house in Vancouver, as well as a second family room in Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital. The current house continues to turn away over 500 families a year.

“Together, we can ensure that all families have the space, resources, and support they need while their child receives care for serious illnesses,” said Richard Pass, CEO of RMH BC & Yukon.

The gala itself, presented by Beedie and supported by dozens of sponsors, raised a reported $640,000 for the organization. Safe to say that it put a smile on the audience’s faces.