In Loving Memory of Tooting House Governor, Kalpesh Patel
At the beginning of August, our Charity received very saddening news; after a period of ill health, our Tooting House Governor, Kalpesh Patel, passed away peacefully.
Kalpesh was a Franchisee with our corporate supporter McDonald’s. He had been with the business for 34 years; starting as part-time crew member, progressing to Business Manager in Croydon before gaining a Business Studies degree and then in 1999, he became a Franchisee, purchasing the same Clapham Junction restaurant in which he had started his McDonald’s journey.
He grew his organisation to 15 restaurants and raised tens of thousands of pounds for the Charity through his invaluable fundraising and passionate persona.
Tooting House Manager, Rachel, worked closely with Kalpesh and was so grateful for the support that he gave to the House, the team and the families.
“Kalpesh was indeed an amazing person. I felt the greatness of his support as Tooting House Manager, I always felt that he totally supported myself and the House.
“I had previously asked Kalpesh for his favourite memory of the House. He had said that hearing first-hand from a family that had previously stayed in the House and about how much it had helped them was his favourite. He had remembered every part of their story and was so grateful to be able to have met so many of the families that the House supported.
“In 2017, Kalpesh and his team raised £31,500 for the Charity, his response when I thanked him was ‘and next year, we will do more! The smile on his face beamed, as it always did!
“I’m very sad at this huge loss to the Tooting House team.”
Our Chief Executive, Jon Haward, had the pleasure of knowing Kalpesh and Clara for over 30 years.
“Kalpesh was always an exceptional talent in business, inspired by his father who was always extremely proud of his achievements.
“I was an early mentor to Kalpesh when I worked for McDonald’s, supporting him through the early years of his Franchisee growth. We would often reflect on the memory of his very first day as a Franchisee, when not one of his new staff showed up for work. He and I tried to run his new restaurant between the two of us!
“He was always a joy to work with; full of humour and mischief, but combined with a determination to be successful for himself and his family. He was a loving and devoted father of two young children.
“In recent years, Kalpesh became a passionate supporter of the Ronald McDonald House at Tooting.”
His fundraising included skydives, football tournaments and more. In the Tooting House, he sponsored a room for our families and his fantastic group of employees regularly volunteer at the Tooting House, supplying free tea and coffee for our families. He then also went on to sponsor a bedroom in each of the four London Houses.
“He really understood the importance of family togetherness.”
We are all devastated to have lost an important member of the Ronald McDonald House Charities family. Our hearts go out to his wife and two young children.