LAS VEGAS, April 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — On November 20, 2002, McDonald’s 29,000 restaurants around the world will host an unprecedented simultaneous fundraiser for children in their communities. “World Children’s Day” at McDonald’s was announced by McDonald’s Chairman and CEO, Jack Greenberg, during the company’s worldwide franchisee convention in Las Vegas this week.*

“McDonald’s has a rich heritage and tradition of being a good community partner and neighbor,” said Greenberg. “As the needs of the world’s children have increased over time, so has the need for every company and every citizen to play a role in affecting positive change. We believe McDonald’s, with restaurants in 121 countries around the world, is in a unique position to empower people to come together and actively participate in improving the lives of children.”

Funds raised from World Children’s Day efforts will benefit local Ronald McDonald House Charities® Chapters and other children’s causes in communities worldwide. Specific fundraising activities will vary by country, market, and restaurant. Current plans include donations on product sales, community events such as car washes and walk-a-thons and other cause-related initiatives in the restaurants.

“By simply visiting their local McDonald’s restaurants on Wednesday, November 20, people everywhere can join this worldwide effort to help children,” said Ken Barun, President and CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities. “As a beneficiary of this fundraiser, Ronald McDonald House Charities can continue to grow its mission of directly improving the health and well being of children around the world.”

The World Children’s Day announcement and McDonald’s franchisee convention is the first in a series of high-profile activities by the company leading up to November 20th. Grammy-award winning producer and composer, David Foster and musical artist, Josh Groban, joined Greenberg for his convention announcement and will play an ongoing role in these World Children’s Day festivities. Actor, Justin Berfield, star of the Emmy-award winning FOX-TV show, “Malcolm in the Middle” and a Ronald McDonald House Charities youth Ambassador, will also lend his support.

“World Children’s Day is intended as a single moment in time for our franchisees, our suppliers, our employees and our customers to combine collective resources to help children in need around the world,” Greenberg said.

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