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Todd and Marcia Finlayson

2018 Stouffville Honouree

As owner-operators of McDonald’s Restaurants in York Region (Finlayson Hospitality Partners), Todd and Marcia’s contributions have been focused around charities and projects helping children and families.

While attending the University of Western Ontario, Todd initiated a Hallowe’en party for the kids supported by London’s Children’s Services, which ultimately became an annual event. After graduating, he got involved with Junior Achievement and Big Brothers; and to this day, Todd and his little brother share a special bond.

During Todd’s career he received the General Foods President’s Medal, recognizing his generous community contributions. And while working with Nestle, he spearheaded an annual Kid’s Help Phone Campaign generating in excess of one million dollars over the years.

During the first McHappy Day in 1977, Marcia was a McDonald’s crew person in London, Ontario, when “cause marketing” was relatively new. McHappy Day founder, George Cohon’s concept was to bring together McDonald’s restaurants with local VIPs, to raise funds and awareness for local children’s charities. Forty years later, tens of millions of dollars have been raised by McDonald’s for this purpose.

“Make Fun Matter” is Todd and Marcia’s philosophy; and it’s also the name of the fundraising website of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada. They make fun matter through local events such as McHappy Day. In 2017, $90,000 was raised, and in 2018 the aim is $120,000, which would keep the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Markham Stouffville Hospital operating for an entire year.

Todd and Marcia have recently joined forces with the Fabulous 15, a group of likeminded local leaders who share their passion and vision for community. Aligning and working together with McDonald’s in support of McHappy Day ultimately produced an unexpected reward. Last year, over 100 local VIPs worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the McDonald’s crew. . . Amazing!

The first Ronald McDonald House opened in 1974 in Philadelphia; today there are 366 such houses worldwide, with fifteen houses across Canada and sixteen Ronald McDonald Family Rooms including at Markham Stouffville Hospital. Since opening in 2013, the Ronald McDonald Family Room at MSH has received over 50,000 visits from families caring for their seriously ill child. The mandate is to keep families close, so they can heal together. As the need for a home-away-from-home grows, Todd and Marcia remain steadfastly committed to the future of this worthwhile endeavour.

The key to reassessing an organization’s social impact is always found among its employees and customers. It’s vital to invite people to become involved, and to encourage their volunteer efforts. Todd and Marcia make the work enjoyable and let people know how much they are appreciated and valued for their contribution.


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