Snow and frigid temperatures kept participants moving as they took part in the annual Hustle for the House walk and run event in Calgary.
The event, which benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities in southern and central Alberta, drew hundreds of participants to the Market Mall on Sunday.
“This event is tremendously important. Not only does it raise money for the House but it raises critical awareness about our cause,” said Ronald McDonald House Alberta CEO Jason Evanson.
Ronald MacDonald House provides families from out of town with a place to stay, eat and talk about the issues and challenges they’re facing when a child is sick and in hospital.
Mark Horne and Michael Knipe’s 18-month-old son Joshua was born premature. Soon after his birth, Joshua’s parents learned that their preemie suffered from a rare genetic breathing disorder called central hyperventilation syndrome.
“For that reason, he needed to get a tracheostomy. That was done here in Calgary, and during that time we stayed at Ronald McDonald (House),” explained Horne.
The couple from Lethbridge spent nearly half a year living away from home while their son received critical treatment.
“It was incredible. We would not have got through. It was five months, and we were two months in Vancouver and three months here. If we didn’t have that level of help, it would just have been impossible,” said Knipe.
Funds raised from the event will benefit Ronald McDonald Houses in both Calgary and Red Deer.
“Today will raise over $100,000 for the Ronald McDonald House, and it costs us about $170 a night to look after families. That’s per family so this money is going to go a long way toward ensuring the House continues to operate and we can serve every family that crosses our doorstep,” said Evanson.