Big Mary sandwiches bring in big donations
Airdrie residents sandwiched themselves in the lineup at Mary Brown’s Famous Chicken & Taters July 11 to help raise money for children.
For every Big Mary’s sandwich sold July 11 across Canada, a toonie was donated to the Children’s Wish Foundation and the Special Olympics.
“They need our support, special kids and Special Olympics,” said Yousuf Khan, manager and owner of Mary Brown’s in Airdrie.
The new Mary Brown’s Famous Chicken & Taters Airdrie location took part in this year’s third annual Big Mary Day.
“We just opened last year,” Khan said.
Airdrie’s location is one of 89 restaurants throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Alberta that partook in the annual fundraising day.
The restaurant chain had an overall goal of raising $75,000 this year, and Khan said he expected Airdrie’s location to be busy.
On average, Khan said the restaurant sells two to three dozen Big Mary’s per day and he expected five dozen to be sold on Big Mary Day.
Mary Brown’s was decorated with balloons and Children’s Wish Foundation representatives visited to speak with customers.
“It helps kids, they’re so innocent,” said Angela Windsor, advertising coordinator for Mary Brown’s.
The Children’s Wish Foundation grants a wish to Canadian children with life-threatening illnesses.
“I know it’s pretty expensive for just one wish, this definitely helps with at least one or more wishes,” Windsor said.
Mary Brown’s has been a strong supporter of the Children’s Wish Foundation, but this year they’ve added the Special Olympics, an organization using sports to support children, youth and adults with an intellectual disability.
“(Special Olympic athletes) have a soft spot in our hearts, they’re such hard working individuals,” Windsor said.
“The Special Olympics would like to thank Mary Brown’s for taking part in such a worth cause,” said Sue Farkas-Fillatre, Special Olympics Airdrie media relations coordinator.
“We basically rely on just donations now. We used to get a lot more funding,” she said.
She said funds raised on Big Mary Day will be distributed throughout Alberta.
“Airdrie is getting its share as well,” said Farkas-Fillatre.
Airdrie has four sports with approximately 35 athletes.
“We have floor hockey, softball, bowling and swimming,” Farkas-Fillatre said.
Mary Brown’s has contributed approximately $200,000 in cash and in-kind donations to organizations throughout Canada since 1969.
The amount of Big Mary’s sandwiches sold and money raised for the Children’s Wish Foundation and the Special Olympics was not available before press time.