Burger Day 9 – How It All Began

It all started with 5 young men:

Matt Ricco, Steve Ioannou, Artem Genchanok, Ari Spector, and Jeff Takaki. It was originally just an idea, a thought to essentially “buy out” all of McDonald’s one-dollar Hamburgers. The very first Burger Day was with 10 or 15 people and eventually, after a couple years that number rose to hundreds of people composed of students from Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South. The prank was great. It totally took McDonald’s by surprise. They placed an order for 1500 hamburgers and see if they can actually put the “fast” in fast food… That was the main concept for Burger Days 1, 2, 3, and 4. But these 5 men decided they wanted to make a difference. They wanted more than a prank, they wanted to try to help out a charity and raise money.


Mr. Mark Freeman, the owner of the McDonald’s, and a member of the Ronald McDonald House Charity, contacted the 5 guys and made a proposition to them. Instead of having hundreds kids come to the McDonald’s and buy as many burgers as possible, because it is proven to be impossible to do so, why not donate all that money raised to the Ronald McDonald House Charity? What’s the catch? It wouldn’t be much of a “surprise” but it would still be a great day, they still get as many burgers as we order accept now its just going straight to charity. The idea was a little shaky at first and being seniors in high school it was a hard decision to make and then equally hard to organize it and for it to be a success.


From only 15 people at the first Burger Day to Burger Days 2, 3, and 4, attendance had increased throughout the years by hundreds. From ordering 100 burgers at Burger Day 1 to ordering 1500 hundred hamburgers at Burger Day 4. Matt, Steve, Artem, Ari, and Jeff decided they had to make this work. They decided to help the charity and that’s exactly what they did. They raised 5,700 dollars in total for the charity for Burger Day number five. At the end of the year however, Matt, Steve, Artem, and Ari all graduated from their respective schools. Was this the end of the Burger Day Era? The end to the tradition between Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South?

Since then it has been passed down by several generations of students at Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South High School. Josh Tolmatsky and Mike Kessler return from the Burger Day 8 team, welcoming six new team members. This year we are proud to announce the addition of Loyola Academy and New Trier High School to the Burger Day Team. This year Burger Day will be holding its 9th event, with a fundraising goal of $50,000.


What is burger day?

That is the question we all get asked the most. In reality, well, there are many answers. Some say it’s a day of epic proportions, others says it’s their favorite day of the year. Some say it’s unreal and crazy. To us, it’s a passion, a desire, a dream and a great time. But it’s not just one of those things; it’s all of them. We challenge you to go see for yourself. We ask you to help us reach our goal this year, $50,000 towards Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana and 3,000 burgers towards our stomachs.

With Love,
Josh Tolmatsky, Mike Kessler, Evan Marinis, Johnny Cowhey, John Friesen, Jordan Sacks, Jacobe Wolfe, and Brendan Hulseman

Your 2012 Burger Day Team