–McDonald’s chairman and CEO, Jack Greenberg, today announced the national kick-off of Founder’s Week 2000, McDonald’s annual celebration of company founder Ray Kroc’s birthday that focuses on giving back to local communities. Last year, McDonald’s employees nationwide totaled some 25,000 hours in community service.

“Founder’s Week 2000 is a week-long celebration of Ray’s birthday as well as an opportunity to put into action something that was very important to him—giving back to the communities that we serve,” said Greenberg speaking at Lincoln Park High School in downtown Chicago. “Activities began yesterday when hundreds of McDonald’s corporate employees throughout the United States left their offices to work shoulder-to-shoulder with restaurant managers and crew serving our customers.”

Jack Greenberg and other McDonald’s executives were joined at the school by Illinois Governor and Mrs. George Ryan; Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas; as well as other city and state officials. Lincoln Park High School, one of the oldest and largest in the city of Chicago, is one of many sites where McDonald’s employees are volunteering in the city.

“Founder’s Week is a wonderful way for McDonald’s employees and staff to honor Ray Kroc, McDonald’s founder and advocate for community service,” said Governor Ryan. “By giving of their time and labor, the McDonald’s Corporation and its employees are sending a great message to other businesses and the people of Illinois—that giving back to the community that supports them is a top priority.”

“Our volunteer activities continue today as many of our employees give their time and energy to help in neighborhood parks, community centers, and schools across the country tutoring children, re-shelving books in school libraries, painting classrooms, planting trees and shrubs, and more, in an effort to improve communities where we live, work and play,” added Greenberg. This week, McDonald’s employees, franchisees and suppliers across the country will volunteer their time, including:

* Painting and cleaning the Marklund Children’s Home in Glendale Heights, Ill.
* Tutoring children at elementary and middle schools in Milwaukee
* Supporting breast cancer research in the annual “Race for the Cure” event in Denver
* Constructing homes with Habitat for Humanity in Philadelphia
* Reading to patients at Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C.
* Assisting families and children at Ronald McDonald Houses across the country

McDonald’s National Store Day, the predecessor to Founder’s Week, began in 1976 with company employees donning caps and aprons to work in the restaurants with restaurant managers and crew. The annual celebration expanded from a one day per year event to a week-long event to include community volunteerism in 1999. During that year, McDonald’s employees volunteered more than 25,000 hours of community service throughout the U.S.


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