By KENNETH BELLIVEAU
Mother Nature may have been unleashing the rain outside, but inside the kids were all smiles.
The McDonalds on Homer Watson Boulevard had its grand reopening on Sept. 23 with special guest Ronald McDonald. The McDonalds’ mascot was in the building to help cut the ribbon to officially reopen the restaurant and to help donate a cheque to KidsAbility.
McDonald kept the kids entertained while everyone waited patiently for Kitchener mayor Carl Zehr to show up to help with the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The mayor was unable to attend and so the ribbon-cutting went ahead without him.
The festivities were enjoyed by small children, and included a dance off, face painting and autographs from Ronald McDonald. McDonalds donated a cheque to KidsAbility worth $7,300 with the cheque being presented by the McDonald’s mascot and owner/operator Jason Heath and his family.
KidsAbility is a local charity in Waterloo Region that helps children with disabilities, including those with Down’s Syndrome and autism as well as children with speech difficulties.
Heath said the reopening went well and that he was happy with the money raised and the show that was put on.
“We had a great opportunity to donate some money to our local charity KidsAbility. I am very happy with the way this evening turned out. Ronald has put on a great show,” he said.
The restaurant was initially closed so that the interior could be redesigned to a more modern look. The store began its renovations over the summer and finished them in late August. The store now has a faux fireplace to make the place look more sophisticated.
Heath said McDonalds has been partnering with KidsAbility for six years now. Every year they have an event known as McHappy Day, where half of the proceeds go to KidsAbility and the other half goes to the Ronald McDonald House Charity.