Oak Brook, IL–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–November 10, 2004–Stars of the entertainment and sports worlds are giving their hands in support of World Children’s Day at McDonald’s, a worldwide fundraiser that raises money for Ronald McDonald House Charities(R) (RMHC(R)) and other children’s causes. Yesterday’s activities at a Los Angeles McDonald’s restaurant kicked off the month-long initiative to build awareness for the annual fundraiser. This year, McDonald’s goal is to raise $20 million dollars.
Kick Off Event
To launch the 2004 World Children’s Day fundraising activities, Latin superstar Alejandro Fernández, music artist and actress sisters Hilary Duff and Haylie Duff, tennis champions Venus Williams and Serena Williams, multi-platinum recording artist Clay Aiken, Olympic track and field legend Carl Lewis, and famed American Idol judge Randy Jackson, will literally “Give A Hand” by creating and donating autographed handprints. The handprints will be auctioned on eBay (http://www.ebay.com) November 10-20, with proceeds benefiting RMHC. Handprints from Brooke Shields, Lara Flynn Boyle, Blair Underwood, Andy Dick, Peter Boyle, Nick Carter, Trista Rehn-Sutter and Kwame Jackson, among others, will also be available for bid.
As part of the day’s celebration, McDonald’s debuted the new World Children’s Day TV commercial featuring Latin superstar Alejandro Fernández and mega-star group Destiny’s Child, who will lend their support to the Charity’s ongoing efforts.
Throughout November, participating McDonald’s restaurants worldwide will offer two fundraising opportunities for World Children’s Day. “Give A Hand” invites customers to show their support by purchasing and personalizing paper cut-out hands for $1, then posting the hands in the restaurant. Participating restaurants also will make donations from select menu items to help children. In the U.S., from November 18-20, a portion of sales from Happy Meals(R), Mighty Kids Meals(R) and Extra Value Meals will be donated to RMHC and vital children’s causes.
“Ronald McDonald House Charities was founded more than 20 years ago in honor of our founder Ray Kroc because he believed that McDonald’s had a responsibility to give back to the community,” said Charlie Bell, McDonald’s CEO. “World Children’s Day embodies that spirit and demonstrates how Ray’s philosophy still remains an integral part of McDonald’s culture.”
Events Around the Globe
World Children’s Day is being celebrated in more than 100 countries around the globe. Additional local events include:
— In the U.S., a series of tennis exhibitions to benefit RMHC will be hosted by Venus Williams and Serena Williams in Chicago (November 17), Detroit (November 18) and Atlanta (December 2).
— In Canada, NBA Star Vince Carter will appear at a local Ronald McDonald House in Toronto, home to his team, the Toronto Raptors.
— In the United Kingdom, celebrities join McDonald’s employees and customers to create a Give A Hand Holiday Cards promotion.
— Hong Kong has prepared a Guinness World Record breaking event attempting to have the most people skipping rope simultaneously in an effort to combine World Children’s Day with McDonald’s Go Active!TM campaign.
— The Czech Republic will open its first Ronald McDonald House(R) on World Children’s Day.
— McDonald’s restaurants in Lebanon will be donating 10 percent of total Happy Meal sales from October 20—November 20 to RMHC and will assemble young, professional singers to perform the World Children’s Day song.
— In 2003, 64 institutions in Brazil benefited from World Children’s Day efforts. To increase funds raised for children, McDonald’s Brazil began a calendar of activities in August to launch its fundraising efforts. By the peak of the campaign in November, more than 30,000 volunteers will have participated in the program.
“Given the ever-increasing needs of children around the globe, McDonald’s has made a tremendous effort to increase awareness and funds for World Children’s Day by promoting many events throughout the world. Our goal is to raise $20 million this year,” said Ken Barun, president and CEO of RMHC. “We hope 2004 will be our most successful World Children’s Day yet, and through increased fundraising, RMHC will be able to improve the health and well-being of even more children worldwide.”
World Children’s Day 2002 raised $12 million. In 2003, the effort raised $15 million. Past celebrity support of World Children’s Day includes: Clay Aiken, Nick Carter, Celine Dion, David Foster, Josh Groban, Dustin Hoffman, Paul Newman, Jessica Simpson, Linda Thompson, and Justin Timberlake. Hundreds of children’s organizations worldwide have benefited from this global fundraiser.
McDonald’s is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than 30,000 restaurants serving nearly 47 million people in more than 120 countries each day. Approximately 80 percent of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent, local businessmen and women. For nutritional information, please visit http://www.mcdonalds.com.
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), a nonprofit, 501(c)3, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well being of children. Its programs are grassroots-driven to enable the Charity to offer help where children need it most; right in their own communities. RMHC fulfills its mission by creating programs that address targeted needs, and by supporting these programs through its global network of more than 180 local Chapters in nearly 50 countries. RMHC and its local Chapters have awarded more than $400 million in grants and program services to children’s programs around the world. For more information about Ronald McDonald House Charities its programs, visit http://www.rmhc.org.
For more information about World Children’s Day, please visit http://www.mcdonalds.com
(C) 2004 McDonald’s Corporation
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