For local Owner/Operators Dale and Sandy Bartlett, the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Scarborough Health Network is a very special place.

McDonald’s Owner/Operators Dale and Sandy Bartlett own eight restaurants in northeast Scarborough and Markham, where they’ve been a fixture in the community since opening their first restaurant 13 years ago.

As business grew, so did Dale and Sandy’s commitment to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Toronto – McDonald’s signature charity. For Dale, the motivation to give came from his own belief in giving back and his commitment to the cause.

“When we were just starting out,” says Dale, “George Cohon [Founder of McDonald’s Canada/RMHC Canada and McDonald’s Russia] told me that if you give back to the community where you work it will give back to you, and I have always found that to be true. As Owner/Operators, we are embedded in the community, and we work to lift our communities up.”

When RMHC Toronto opened the Family Room at Scarborough Health Network in 2015, Dale and Sandy – along with fellow Owner/Operators Terri Toms, Deborah Feaver, and Terry Brazill – were significantly involved in the planning and the funding of the room.

“For us it just made sense to be involved. Giving back to the community is so important to us and the Family Room is right here in our community. Here in Scarborough and in Markham, people are very motivated by their commitment to their family, and RMHC Toronto’s mission to keep families together is strongly relatable.”

Dale and Sandy’s commitment to the Family Room recently became personal, when their newest grandchild Logan was born 10 weeks premature, right before Christmas. Logan’s mother had serious complications during birth, and the family used the Family Room during long days at the hospital.

To ensure the Family Room would always be available to families like theirs, Dale launched a personal campaign to recruit volunteers to staff the room, ensuring that we met our total number of volunteers required to keep the room operational.

“Being one of the initial pioneers bringing the Family Room to the hospital four years ago, I never thought that my family would one day rely on it, as well as on the emotional and loving support of our volunteers. We have a very special place that we need to have available to the thousands of families in our situation. It was a very long six weeks in NICU. Thanks to the amazing staff and volunteers of SHN and our Family Room.”

Above: Parents Bethany and Michael with their son, Logan.

Today, Logan is healthy and “doing amazing,” weighing in at eight pounds and counting.

During National Volunteer Week – and every week – we want to recognize the incredible contribution of McDonald’s Owner/Operators like Dale and Sandy, whose leadership and commitment, both from their restaurants and personally, help us keep our doors open every day. Thank you, Dale and Sandy, for helping to keep families together.