*OAK BROOK, Ill. — McDonald’s USA today announced the 2012 McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour, a free summer concert series that featured multi-award winning gospel artist Fred Hammond, raised more than $46,000 this year to support local Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Chapters and the Charity’s important mission of helping improve the health and well being of children and families.
Currently in its sixth year, McDonald’s pioneered the annual gospel tour as a way to bring positive, uplifting messages and entertainment to communities nationwide and emphasize the importance of giving back. With Hammond as the 2012 headliner, the free, nine-city tour also featured contemporary and urban gospel artists Byron Cage, 21:03, Canton Jones, J Moss, Myron Butler and VaShawn Mitchell, in select cities.
“I am humbled that McDonald’s allowed me to headline this year’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour and join their initiative to give back to the community,” said Hammond, a 30-year gospel music veteran and former McDonald’s crew member. “It was a fulfilling experience meeting families who were staying at Ronald McDonald Houses. Seeing their warm smiles reinforced the importance of taking time to show others we’re there for them.”
Prior to kicking off of the tour, Hammond took time to visit families at Ronald McDonald Houses. He sat down with parents and ill children who benefit from the little-to-no-cost lodging the Charity provides through its housing program, which helped families nationwide save more than $257 million in hotel costs last year.
During each tour stop, concertgoers saw behind-the-scenes video footage from Hammond’s visit. Dedicated to RMHC, the video gave thousands of attendees an inside look at the hope and comfort Ronald McDonald Houses provide families while their children are treated in nearby hospitals. It also encouraged concertgoers to support their local chapter of RMHC by making a donation at a designated time during the show. Funds raised will be used to support RMHC local community programs.
“McDonald’s strives to enrich people’s lives and be good neighbors in ways that are relevant to the diverse communities we serve, and the Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour is just one way in which we give back to those communities,” said Rob Jackson, McDonald’s U.S. marketing director. “For the past three years, we have encouraged consumers to join us in strengthening their community by actively supporting their local RMHC Chapter. This is a banner year of fundraising for the tour, and McDonald’s is proud to provide an eminent platform that encourages positive entertainment and helping the communities around us.”
The 2012 McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour stopped in cities across the nation, including: Atlanta, Birmingham, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Ft. Washington, Md., Jackson, Newark and Philadelphia. McDonald’s launched Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour as an extension of its 365Black platform, which celebrates the pride, heritage and achievements of American-Americans year round. For nearly four decades, RMHC has helped improve the health and well being of children and families around the world.
McDonald’s USA, LLC, is the leading foodservice provider in the United States offering a variety of wholesome foods made from quality ingredients to more than 26 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at any of the 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald’s U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Twitter (@McDonalds) and Facebook (Facebook.com/McDonalds) for updates on our business, promotions and menu items.
About Ronald McDonald House Charities
Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®), a non-profit, 501©(3) corporation, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well being of children. Through its global network of local Chapters in 57 countries and regions, its three core programs, the Ronald McDonald House®, Ronald McDonald Family Room® and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®, and millions of dollars in grants to support children’s programs worldwide, RMHC provides stability and resources to families so they can get and keep their children healthy and happy. All RMHC-supported programs provide a bridge to quality health care and give children and families the time they need together to heal faster and cope better. For more information, visit www.rmhc.org, follow RMHC on Twitter (@RMHC) or like RMHC on Facebook (Facebook.com/RMHCGlobal).
Beletra Atwaters, McDonald’s USA
Paris Ivory, Burrell Communications