Thousands of people know Ray Finn, either in his role as Board Member of the Ronald McDonald House Charities or through the many McDonald’s restaurants he ran in the Hills.
On the Queen’s Birthday, another title was added to the name of the much-loved grandfather of eight, an OAM. The OAM was for service to the community. Ronald McDonald House Charities.
“It is very humbling,” he said. He had only been licensee of the original McDonald’s in Castle Hill for three months when he was asked to join the Board of the Ronald McDonald House Charities 27 years ago. It’s been his passion ever since. He joined the board of RMHC at Camperdown in 1993 as a McDonald’s Licensees representative and he was part of the committee which saw the relocation of the first RMHC from Camperdown to the new Westmead Children’s Hospital.
This committee set about setting up the original Ronald McDonald House at Westmead to serve the families of children being treated at The Children’s Hospital next door.
“We needed $2.4 million to build it,” he said. The house opened in 1995 and had 18 rooms. In 2018 he was chairing another building committee to build a new 60- room Ronald McDonald House.
“I gave over 200 talks to organisations to try and get people to assist. We raised $33 million in 30 months and we were given another $5.4 million in kind,” he said.
He said it took a lot of people and local businesses to make it happen but they did. The new Ronald McDonald House was officially opened by the Governor General on the February 14, 2018.
Ray has also been the driving force behind the charity’s annual golf day for 21 years raising over $1m during this time.
Belinda Woolford, CEOof RMHC said: “We are so happy to see our Board Director Ray Finn honoured with an Order of Australia, for his dedication to Ronald McDonald House Charities and extensive community work over the past 27 years.
Ray is both highly respected and warmly regarded throughout our organisation. This award is a testament to the enormity of his contribution and he is such a deserving recipient. The passion, time and heart he continues to give to our charity, cannot be matched.”
Ray and his wife Barbara are parents to Jacqui and Ian and have eight grandchildren. Ray is also a Life member of the Hills Little Athletics, Dolphins Swimming and has previously been a local Hills Bulls coach. He is a passionate Parramatta Eels supporter.