The cooler temperatures and periods of drizzle weren't enough to dampen the spirits of the volunteers behind Free Fry Day.

The event saw McCain Foods join forces with Homestead Co-op to help families with sick children across the Central Plains. The drive-thru event was held throughout the day in the Portage la Prairie Mall parking lot and attracted a steady stream of vehicle traffic. Donations were accepted on behalf of Ronald McDonald House Charities Manitoba and vehicles left with goodie bags with merchandise from both McCain and Co-op.

"Portage - you stepped up to the challenge," says McCain Foods Plant Manager, Dean Melnic. "People are coming here and they just want to be a part of today. Some of them are actually just saying 'thank you' and they're just giving a donation and they're very grateful for us to give them extra. But at the same time, they just want to be together and it's everybody uniting for a great cause."

RMHC is currently in the process of expanding its 14-bedroom house in Winnipeg to a 40 bedroom facility and Melnic says it's great to see such support for the cause.

"We can only be there for families because we have community partners like McCain, like Co-op. We do what we do to support families because we have these strong partnerships. We are a safe haven for families. A home away from home when they're displaced from their community to come to Winnipeg to receive the critical care that their child needs," says Wendy Galagan, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities Manitoba. "And we know that during that time families need to be together, so we provide that all essential services, that home away from home, that compassion and care that they need so they can focus on their child."