Halifax, Nova Scotia – Four local McDonald’s franchisees are stepping up to support the dreams and aspirations of youth in North Preston. The four owners collectively will be the named sponsor of the initiative that supports the refurbishment of the basketball court in North Preston to give youth – through basketball – the opportunity to continue their education.
On the weekend of October 19th – 21st, $1 from every Big Mac sold at participating restaurants in the Halifax Regional Municipality will go directly to the North Preston Basketball initiative.
McDonald’s has a long history of building stronger communities and recognizes the role that sport and education play in fostering development of individuals in the community.
This gift was inspired by the initiative of Shaquille Smith, who grew up in North Preston. Shaquille drove this project with the help of a $100,000 grant from Nova Scotia Communities, Culture and Heritage, $100,000 from the Halifax Regional Municipality and $10,000 from the community fund of local Councillor David Hendsbee.
“When we first met with Shaquille, his passion to make a difference in his community through basketball was something we wanted to support,” said Peter MacIsaac, local owner of McDonald’s. “Shaquille’s vision to help youth was built on his own experience. He got to attend university because of a basketball scholarship to Acadia University. By recognizing the importance of sport and education, we knew we could make a real impact for youth in the community.”
The McDonald’s North Preston basketball court will also provide education programs to better prepare youth for university or college. North Preston basketball alumni will play an important part of the education program.
“Although I am excited to bring a new basketball court to the community, this project is not just about basketball – it’s also about ensuring players who get to attend university or college are prepared for what’s to come. Finishing their degree is the goal,” said Shaquille Smith. “With the new basketball court, players from North Preston will have the same opportunities I did. With the addition of preparatory programs, we can help them be better positioned to finish their degrees.”
Smith added, “I want to thank the local McDonald’s owners for stepping up to build a stronger community in North Preston. I’m proud of their commitment to the community by fostering the development of youth.”
To recognize and acknowledge the best of community leadership, McDonald’s has invited Shaquille Smith to Atlanta for the 2019 McDonald’s All American in March. Shaquille will get to choose one high school player from North Preston to join him.
In 1967, Canadians welcomed the first McDonald’s restaurant to Richmond, British Columbia. Today, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited has become part of the Canadian fabric, serving close to three million guests every day. Together McDonald’s and our franchisees, proudly employ nearly 100,000 people from coast-to-coast and approximately 90 per cent of McDonald’s 1,400 Canadian restaurants are locally owned and operated by independent entrepreneurs. Of the almost $1 billion we spend on food, beverages and packaging, more than 85 per cent is purchased from over 100 suppliers in Canada.