Local McDonald’s owners Gary and Jill Stanberry presented Richmond Hill High School with a check for $10,000 Friday morning that will mean new lockers for the football and track teams.
The presentation took place on the football team’s practice field after a voluntary workout.
“We’ve been here since 1993 and it is a blessing to live and do business in Richmond Hill,” said Gary Stanberry. “Our basic philosophy is to give back to the community.”
Stanberry said he believes athletics goes along with academics in high school as a way to teach teamwork and leadership.
“McDonald’s is a global brand, but 95 percent of our stores are locally owned,” he told the players and pointed to the leadership team from his franchises who accompanied him. “These folks are leaders because they know how to work well with others and deal with difficult situations. That’s something you learn by playing sports in high school.”
Athletic Director Mickey Bayens said community support has been crucial in the gradual process of improving the athletic facilities at the high school. He also credited Coach Matt LeZotte for cultivating a relationship with the Stanberrys that led to the donation.
“Our motto of ‘Build the Hill’ wouldn’t be possible without community support,” LeZotte said. “This is all part of that process.”
The lockers will also be used by the track and field team, which Coach Levi Sybert said has about 100 members.
LeZotte said the lockers will be three feet tall, two feet wide and two feet deep and will come equipped with individual combination locks and multiple internal hooks. They will also have personalized name plates.
Bayens said they will be installed by Locker Pro, an Alabama company that specializes in high school and college locker rooms, and should be done in time for the Wildcats’ home opener against Brantley County on Sept. 1.