McBowl goes national

May 17, 2017
Ed Sousa is proud of McBowl's incredible success
Ronald McDonald high-fiving a bowler

“When you have a personal connection, you put more of your heart into it.”

Ed Sousa has put his whole heart and a great deal of his time into launching McBowl, a fundraising event for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Toronto. The second annual event was held this past Saturday at Classic Bowl in Mississauga. Because the first year was such an incredible success, raising $22,000 for RMHC Toronto, dozens of bowling centres across Canada are holding McBowl events of their own throughout the month of May.

“With the assistance of our Trade Association, Bowl Canada, McBowl has become a national campaign,” says Ed. “We have centres participating in every province, raising needed awareness for a great cause.”

RMHC Toronto is a cause Ed has held close to his heart for the last 30 years. In 1987, Ed’s 12-year-old nephew was diagnosed with leukemia. He was treated in Toronto on and off for five years until he passed away in 1992. During that time, Ed’s family stayed at RMHC Toronto.

“The House was a great benefit to our entire family,” says Ed. In particular, he saw the impact it had on his nephew.

“When children are sick, they feel different. The House does a great job of making sure a child feels like he or she is still just a regular child. That’s a value that sometimes goes understated.”

Ed Sousa and Ronald McDonald with a family

Ed always knew that he would give back to RMHC Toronto someday, and last year the time was right. He had ambitious plans for McBowl, developing a branded apparel line and booking classic bands The Spoons and Honeymoon Suite to perform live.

“I always shoot for the moon and if I fall short, I fall amongst the stars. I remember that slogan from my daughter’s gymnastics class.”

His ambition paid off and McBowl has become an incredible success. The Spoons and Honeymoon Suite returned this year and Saturday’s event had a sold-out crowd of 800 people. “We literally had to turn people away at the door,” says Ed. Face painting, an exotic car show and a bowling tournament made it an exciting day for the whole family.

Branded McBowl apparel

McBowl festivities continue at Classic Bowl for the rest of May. Bowlers can purchase branded apparel – including customized red shoes with yellow laces – or can make a donation to RMHC Toronto. Other McBowl events are taking place across the country, benefitting the Ronald McDonald House chapters supporting their communities.

“As an example, Nativity Bowl in Cornwall just hosted one on May 6,” says Ed. “They are a 12-lane five-pin bowling centre and in one day they raised $10,244. That’s unheard of.”

Ed is extremely proud to see the engagement across Canada and hopes this year’s McBowl events will cumulatively raise “over six figures.” He knows firsthand that money will be well spent.

“There’s nothing greater than a child needing their mom or dad during the most desperate time of their life. Ronald McDonald Houses bring heartfelt warmth to families when they need it most.”

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