Over the course of just three weeks, three area McDonald’s locations raised $6,000 in donations toward the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund, exceeding their original goal of $5,000 and more than doubling last year’s donation of $2,800.
The fundraiser began on June 20 and ended on July 6. By selling paper window icons and generous donations from community members, McDonald’s presented the Hunter’s with the grand total and check on July 14.
The Portsmouth, Rosemount and Wheelersburg stores decided to compete against one another to see which store could gather the most donations. In the end, Ray Shonkwiler and his Portsmouth team pulled ahead, winning the travelling trophy presented by the Hunters.
“This has really brought the crews closer together, down to even the newest person, ” said Ray Shonkwiler, the Manager of Portsmouth McDonald’s. “The community really pulled together with us to make this happen, along with Bruce Parsley, our owner, who allows us to do these fabulous things in the community. It’s been a great time.”
The fundraiser came to a close on July 6, with the second annual superhero party, held at the Portsmouth location.
“Roughly 600 people came out to the superhero party,” said Shonkwiler. “Our parking lot was packed, the kids were loving it.”
Team members dressed as their favorite superheros and played games with area children, passed out coloring sheets and treat-bags, danced, painted faces and more.
“The money raised will provide 2,000 Power Packs, which is 8,000 weekend meals,” explained Mark Hunter. “Virgie and I really don’t have the words to express how grateful we are to McDonald’s and the community for doing this.”
Founded in 2006, the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund sets out to improve the lives of economically disadvantaged children in Scioto and surrounding counties by supplying basic needs and opportunities and fostering hope for their future. The primary focus is childhood hunger and it is addressed through Steven’s Power Pack Program, providing food for the weekend for elementary aged school children with financial needs.
“The Steven Hunter Hope fund does bring hope to our kids,” said Sandy Smith, the Elementary School Principal for South Webster. “We have a lot of kids that every weekend look forward to getting the meals. I’ve even had kids tell me that they won’t open them until Saturday. It’s something that is necessary. It helps make a difference in their world, and helps to ensure that their basic needs are met.”
Shonkwiler and his crew are enthusiastic about next year’s event, and hope that the growth continues.
“We’re all very competitive and I know it’s going to be even better next year. We’ve already started making plans,” said Shonkwiler.
For more information about the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund, you can visit their website at www.stevenshopefund.org or by searching their Facebook page “Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund.”
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-353-3101 ext. 1932, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara