Help the Idols Build a House

CTV and McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited announced today an exclusive partnership in support of Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Canada (RMHC®). Starting today, and continuing throughout the series’ summer broadcast on CTV, Canadian Idol will embark on a charity venture to help build North America’s first Ronald McDonald® Family Retreat on Vancouver Island’s Bear Mountain Resort. It is the first time Canada’s most-watched summer series has formally become involved in a charitable initiative.

The “Help the Idols Build a House” campaign will feature opportunities throughout the summer for Canadians to donate to the cause, including an online auction which launched today.

“Canadian Idol not only has the power to inspire, but also to heal,” said Susanne Boyce, CTV President of Programming and Chair of the CTV Media Group. “Through this great partnership with McDonald’s Canada, Canadian Idol can help leave a lasting legacy for sick children and their families.”

“We’re thrilled to be teaming up with CTV and the cast of Canadian Idol to carry on our tradition of helping kids and supporting families,” said Louie Mele, President of McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited and Member of the Board, RMHC. “The Ronald McDonald Family Retreat is an entirely new concept for McDonald’s and RMHC in Canada that will really help families with sick kids focus on their emotional needs following particularly difficult times.”

In tonight’s episode of Canadian Idol, host Ben Mulroney and former Canadian Idol champion Melissa O’Neil introduced viewers to the “Help the Idols Build a House” campaign. Thanks to a generous donation of a two-acre plot of land from Bear Mountain Resort in British Columbia, the Ronald McDonald Family Retreat will offer families who have stayed at one of the 12 Ronald McDonald Houses in Canada the opportunity to spend time together, free of charge, in a setting where they can focus solely on each other and begin to get their lives back on track.

The first of many opportunities for Canadians to get involved and “Help the Idols Build a House” is an online auction that launched today at Canadian Idol’s official website, idol.ctv.ca. Viewers can bid online for a series of exclusive experiences including backstage passes to meet the 2007 Canadian Idol finalists, a romantic weekend for two in Quebec City, a ride in the CTV helicopter and a behind the scenes experience with TSN during a CFL game. Also up for bid is a soccer ball autographed by Rod Stewart, a signed and framed NASCAR flag and autographed jerseys by Tomas Kaberle, Ryan Smyth, Dany Heatley and Dion Phaneuf, to name a few. All items can be viewed at idol.ctv.ca and all bids must be in by Wednesday, July 18 at midnight. A second online auction will be held later this summer.

The 12 Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada, which are independently owned and operated by not-for-profit organizations, provide a home-away-from-home for out-of-town families of children undergoing treatment at nearby hospitals. They rely on the support from many donors in their communities and receive financial and in-kind support from Ronald McDonald House Charities. The introduction of the Retreat concept is a natural extension of RMHC’s mission, whose administrative and operating costs are covered entirely by McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited, which ensures that 100 per cent of every dollar donated to the charity goes directly towards helping children in need and their families.

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