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Area students lend helping hands for World Children's Day

November 16, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WILLIAMSPORT - Area residents had donated nearly $500 to children's charities at a local McDonald's restaurant that hosted a World Children's Day event Wednesday.

The money was raised through the purchase of paper hands that will be available throughout the week, called "Give a Hand" for $1, said Cindy Levine Black, owner and operator of the McDonald's on East Potomac Street in Williamsport.

World Children's Day at McDonald's is an annual global fundraiser now in its fifth year for children in more than 100 countries. Funds raised benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities and other local children's organizations in communities around the world. Last year, McDonald's raised more than $23 million to children's causes worldwide, and nearly $75 million has been raised since the program's beginning in 2002, according to a written release.

The Williamsport High School step team was at the East Potomac Street McDonald's Wednesday to perform, and also was busy making posters that will be displayed in Ronald McDonald Houses in Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia.

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Shanikqua Simmons, 15, a Williamsport High School sophomore and step team member, said she wanted to draw a bright, sunny picture for the charity. The drawing she said might be a beach or a place that is "happy."

"I want them to think of their happy place," Shanikqua said. "I want to make them happy."

She said the drawings will be seen by sick children and their families.

Michelle Hose of Clear Spring came to the event with her 7-year-old daughter, Alyssa Hose. A step team member traced Alyssa's hand for her own drawing before Alyssa began drawing pink smiley faces on her own poster board.

"We want them to get a sense of being charitable and giving back and helping for a good cause," said Kenny Black, owner and operator of the Williamsport McDonald's.

Levine Black said McDonald's restaurants are constantly fundraising for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

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