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Local McDonald’s restaurants make record-breaking donations

Marble Falls McDonald’s restaurant staff with a giant check representing the $21,296 they helped raise, one customer at a time. The Round-up program asks customers to round up their bills to the nearest dollar. The money donated goes to the Ronald McDonald House endowment. With the Burnet location, the two restaurants owned by Maria Lim raised $39,816 — a record-breaking amount. Photo by Frank Shubert

McDonald’s Corp. is celebrating record-breaking donations to The Ronald McDonald House endowment by restaurants in Marble Falls and Burnet. The Marble Falls location raised $21,296 and the Burnet restaurant raised $18,520 for a total donation of $39,816.

Both restaurants are owned by Maria Lim, who explained that the money was raised by customers rounding up to the nearest dollar on their purchases. The money is donated directly to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas, which provides a place for out-of-town families to stay when a child is a patient at nearby Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin.

“We leave it totally up to the customer whether they want to give up their change,” Lim said. “We are thankful that we have generous customers who say yes.”

The money raised at the two McDonald’s locations is a new record and a remarkable increase over last year’s collection. In 2022, Marble Falls collected $3,147, while Burnet raised $7,315. The amount collected in 2021, only two years ago, was $1,209 in Marble Falls and $1,407 in Burnet.

“The Marble Falls and Burnet locations are the top stores by leaps and bounds,” said Lindsey Sanders, development director for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas. “Most of our restaurants average $150 to $200.”

Staff at the Burnet McDonald’s at 200 N. Water St. (U.S. 281) raised $18,520 in a round-up fundraiser for The Ronald McDonald House endowment. The record-breaking collection was topped only by the Marble Falls restaurant in the 83-restaurant Central Texas area. Photo by Frank Shubert

The Austin area includes 83 McDonald’s restaurants from Hayes County to Brazos, Bell, and Burnet counties.

Lim credits her team with the success of the Round-Up Program.

“It all starts with our leadership team,” she said. “The commitment of our staff is one of the primary reasons for this success. But, of course, the incredible generosity of our local community is the ultimate hero.”

The Ronald McDonald House Charities started in Philadelphia in 1974. Texas is home to 12 of the houses. The closest to the Highland Lakes area is the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas in Austin, which was founded in 1985. It has supported 17,000-plus families by providing them with 100,000-plus room nights at the Central Texas location.

Henry Knabb, who supervises the Burnet and Marble Falls restaurants, was once a resident at the Central Texas House when his son was rushed to Dell Children’s Medical Center for an emergency appendectomy. The Granite Shoals resident was able to be at his son’s bedside every day without having to make a three-hour round trip each day.

“Having the House being a few steps away from the hospital allowed me to spend almost every minute of my day to help him through the healing process,” Knabb said.

The local McDonald’s restaurants also support area school districts and churches, youth organizations, food drives, toy drives, and the local Hill Country 100 Club.

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