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Seattle McDonald's

Seattle agency heads battle it out in kilts for a good cause


By Doug Zanger, Americas Editor

April 6, 2016 | 3 min read

For the past five years, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Western Washington and Alaska have engaged in a successful fundraiser, kicking off on Tartan Day, a global Scottish heritage celebration. “Men in Kilts” brings together a wide range of Seattleites including agency leaders Shane Atchison, CEO of Possible Seattle and Cal McAllister, co-founder and CEO of Wexley School For Girls.

The competition benefits the work of RMHC in supporting seriously ill children and their families, including the Ronald McDonald House, which houses 400 families each year — all of whom travel farther than 45 miles to reach Seattle Children’s Hospital. The organization is also planning to open a new Ronald McDonald House in Anchorage in 2017.

On the "Men in Kilts" site, people choose who they feel wears the tartan best. Each vote on the site is $10 and three votes sponsors one night of housing for a family at the Ronald McDonald House. Seattle Sounders stars and representatives from the likes of The Gates Foundation, Alaska Airlines and Pacific Northwest Ballet are in this year’s competition — in addition to Les and Leslie Hastings, former Ronald McDonald House residents.

For their parts, both Atchison and McAllister are angling to not only raise a great deal of money for RMHC, but to be the Seattle ad community’s “Tartan King.”

“While I know Shane is just going to create some bot in Romania that artificially drives up his traffic, I know it’s all bum and parsley,” said a clearly confident, very Scottish McAllister. “For me, failing means you’re playing. Let’s get after it, and may the best chest win.”

“When Cal is backed into a corner he typically reverts to making fun of bots,” fired back the also-very-Scottish Atchison when he heard of McAllister’s unbridled confidence. “I figured in 2016 Artificial Intelligence, Vice and Possible would be his excuse. Making fun of Romanians is not cool.”

The Drum editor in chief, Gordon Young, undeniably Scottish, was unavailable for comment.

Good-natured smack-talk aside, the two men are deeply committed to the effort and the good work of RMHC. Voting started today and ends April 22nd.

As of press time, Atchison had a 90 vote lead and was sitting in third place overall.

But there’s still plenty of time to catch up, Cal.

Let the tartan battle for good commence.

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