Nine-year-old Alberta boy devoted to fundraising awarded with sweet surprise
It was a sweet surprise on Sunday for nine-year-old Haylen Astalos, who has been actively fundraising for Ronald McDonald House Alberta for three years.
Haylen has been running an ice cream stand from his driveway in Grand Prairie since 2016 ever since he turned five.
To date, he has raised more than $30,000 for the charity.
Haylen’s family travelled to Calgary to get some help from McDonald’s Canada to reach his next fundraising goal.
On Sunday, he was surprised with a McFlurry truck. Haylen handed out ice cream at Stanley Beach Park in southwest Calgary, while collecting donations for Ronald McDonald House Alberta.
“I like doing it, I like selling ice cream, it’s fun for me and it helps people,” said Haylen.
Haylen started fundraising after his fifth birthday party, where guests were asked to bring two five dollar bills.
“I would get to keep five dollars and would donate the other five to whatever charity I like,” he explains.
“I asked him what he wanted to do with the money he raises,” said Tabitha Astalos, Haylen’s mother. “He wanted to help all the sick kids in the world and he wanted to fill up his bucket over and over and keep donating to the house.”
Ronald McDonald Houses provide out-of-town families a home to stay while their children are being treated at a nearby hospital.
“Without amazing fundraises like Haylen and his family we couldn’t do what we do every day and support the families, so it’s incredible,” said Stephanie Bateman, with Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada.
Sunday, 27 families will stay at the Calgary Ronald McDonald House.
Earlier this summer, McDonald's held an online contest to give Canadians the chance to bring a McFlurry truck to a unique event. RMHC said as part of a winning stop in Alberta, it was a chance to surprise Haylen also.
Haylen set a new fundraising milestone, $12,023, which is a combination of former Calgary Flames player Jarome Iginla and current player Sean Monahan’s numbers.
“I like to set goals and hit them."