Colleen and Peter Buckley

Community Builders

Colleen and Peter Buckley own and operate four McDonald’s franchises in Sarnia and one in Strathroy. Colleen’s father, Mario De Anna, was also a McDonald’s owner/operator, and the Buckleys purchased his Christina Street and London Road locations when De Anna retired in 2004. “My dad was a member of the first board of directors who were responsible for establishing Ronald McDonald House in London,” shares Colleen. The house, located across from the Children's Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre, is a place where families with seriously ill children can stay for as long as they need. “We donate 10 cents from every Happy Meal and 5 cents from every Heart Cookie to support our Ronald McDonald House.”

Colleen and Peter Buckley

Volunteering has always been a part of Colleen’s life and upbringing. She volunteered at Ronald McDonald House in London while attending University of Western Ontario, and also sat on the House’s board of directors for nine years. “My mother Patricia is their longest-serving volunteer. She began in 1985 and continues to volunteer there once a week,” shares Colleen. Colleen was the chairperson of the committee that worked diligently for ten years to open the Ronald McDonald Family Room in the Children's Hospital. Peter was taught that charity starts at home, and his family welcomed anyone in need of a meal to their table. “My family didn’t volunteer because we were busy working on the farm,” explains Peter. “My exposure to the De Anna's and McDonald’s really changed the way I see my community and my role in it.”

McHappy Day is a Canadian tradition where McDonald's donates $1 from the sale of every Big Mac, hot McCafe beverage, and Happy Meal to Ronald McDonald House Charities® and a local children’s charity of the owner/operator’s choice. “I receive several requests every year, and I look for those organizations that are directly helping children and teenagers,” explains Colleen. The Loonies for Lunches back-to-school food drive, celebrating its 14th anniversary, is another annual tradition for the Buckleys. “This two-week campaign helps the Inn of the Good Shepherd stock their shelves with lunch items for local students,” shares Peter. “Every year we raise between $5,000 and $8,000, which ensures kids in our community have lunch and snack items.”

Colleen Buckley

The Buckleys have received both the Community Living Sarnia-Lambton Hero Award, which recognizes people who contribute to community inclusion for people with disabilities, and the City of Sarnia’s Accessibility Award, which recognizes local businesses and individuals that excel at promoting an inclusive environment and shopping experience for people with disabilities. They have also received McDonalds’ People Award and the Energizing Crew Management Award. The awards and recognition are nice, but it’s not why the Buckleys do what they do. “We have 400 employees counting on us, and we take that very seriously,” explains Peter. “We are passionate about our people and this community," shares Colleen. “We love what we do, and we love doing it together.”

Three editions of the Year of Local have been released. They are available for purchase at The Book Keeper. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the local Sarnia-Lambton charities featured in the books.