SOURCE: McDonald's

March 07, 2005 13:23 ET

San Diego to Host 2006 McDonald's All American High School Basketball Game™

Annual Game Benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities® to Be Played at Cox Arena on San Diego State University Campus

OAK BROOK, IL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 7, 2005 -- A charity-focused tradition of basketball excellence returns to the sun and the sand of the West coast as McDonald's Corporation today announced that the 2006 McDonald's All American High School Basketball Game will be played in San Diego, Calif. at Cox Arena, home of the San Diego State Aztecs.

The 29th annual Boys Game and fifth annual Girls Game will take place in spring 2006 at Cox Arena, which will allow for nearly 12,000 fans to attend and enjoy the event. The exact date has not been determined, but the Games are usually played in late March and will be nationally televised on ESPN.

"We are proud to award this prestigious event to the McDonald's owner/operators of San Diego and San Diego State University," said Mike Donahue, vice president, McDonald's U.S. Communications. "It has been 22 years since the McDonald's All American Game® was held on the West coast, and we couldn't think of a better fit for its return than San Diego, a city known for its sports-minded fans and terrific community support, creating the perfect birthplace for the basketball stars of tomorrow, and more importantly, raising money for Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego."

This is the first time in the history of the McDonald's All American Game that San Diego will host the event and the third time it has been played in the state of California (Oakland - 1980, Los Angeles - 1984). The announcement was made in conjunction with the San Diego International Sports Council, which submitted the bid proposal on behalf of area McDonald's owner/operators, the city of San Diego and San Diego State University.

"We are thrilled to be selected as hosts of the 2006 McDonald's All American Game. Our community is excited about the opportunity to bring this event to San Diego State University, and most importantly, to raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities," stated Philip Palumbo, president of the San Diego McDonald's Owner/Operators Association and chairman of the 2006 Game.

The McDonald's All American Game is nationally recognized as a showcase for the top high school basketball talent in the country. Annually, 24 boys and 24 girls are selected from a pool of more than 2,500 nominees nationwide. The final teams have the opportunity to become part of the long-standing tradition of the Game, while also raising money for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC®).

Throughout its history, the McDonald's All American Game's primary purpose as a fundraiser for RMHC has been fulfilled along side its ability to showcase high school's top basketball players. Proceeds from the 2006 Game will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego. Previous beneficiaries have included Sickle Cell Anemia Research, the United Negro College Fund and numerous local children's charities. Since the Game was first played in 1978, nearly $4 million has been raised for charity.

The Game selection committee, chaired by legendary coach Morgan Wootten, retired head coach of DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, and including renowned UCLA coach, John Wooden, selects the final team members in mid-February. Other notable alumni of the Game include current and former NBA stars Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James; NCAA men's stars Chris Paul, Charlie Villanueva, and Shannon Brown; and NCAA women's stars Ivory Latta, Shanna Zolman, Ann Strother and Katie Gearlds.

The 2005 McDonald's All American Game will be played Wednesday, March 30, at Notre Dame's Joyce Center in South Bend, Ind. The McDonald's All American Boys Game will be broadcast live on ESPN at 8 p.m. (EST) and the McDonald's All American Girls Game will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Thursday, March 31, at 5 p.m. (EST).

Please visit www.mcdonaldsallamerican.com and www.mcdonalds.com for more information on the McDonald's All American Game.

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) corporation, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well being of children. Its programs are grassroots-driven to enable the Charity to offer help where children need it most -- right in their own communities. RMHC makes an immediate, positive impact on children's lives through its global network of local Chapters in 48 countries and its three core programs: the Ronald McDonald House®, Ronald McDonald Family Room™ and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile™. RMHC and its local Chapters have awarded more than $400 million in grants and program services to children's programs around the world. For more information, visit www.rmhc.org. In San Diego, RMHC supports the San Diego Ronald McDonald House. There are plans to build a new Ronald McDonald House in 2006 that will triple the current capacity.

McDonald's is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than 30,000 restaurants serving nearly 48 million people in 119 countries each day. Approximately 80 percent of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent, local businessmen and women. Please visit www.mcdonalds.com for more information.

©2005 McDonald's Corporation and affiliates

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