McDonald's games about more than basketball

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BANGOR, Me (WAGM) - The McDonald's senior all-star games will be played in a few weeks and Rene Cloukey tells us why there's more to look forward to than just the games.

A lot of players who are playing in this game this week will also be playing in the McDonald's senior all star game in a couple of weeks. That money helps keep the Ronald McDonald houses in operation.

"This event is very important, last year we almost raised $43,000. It's one of the three largest fundraisers we do. All that money stays in Maine for our two houses. The one in Bangor and the one in Portland," said Gary Eckmann who owns and operates Bangor/Brewer McDonald's.

Peter Murray the President of the Maine Association of basketball coaches says that McDonald's all-star weekend is a great event for his organization.

"One of the primary purposes of the Maine Association of Basketball coaches is to promote the game of basketball in the state of Maine. We do that with recognition of student-athletes and coaches. We've been able to partner with Maine McDonald's owner/operators from the state of Maine for almost 30 years now," Murray said.

The event brings together basketball players from all over the state of Maine and gives them a chance to play with each other instead of against each other.

"Some of these kids have known each other for their whole lives but grew up in different communities. So now they find themselves on the same teams. To watch the dynamics of that is pretty special and fun to see. The kids really enjoy it and have a good time," Murray explained.

There are two Ronald McDonald houses in the state of Maine, they are very busy and very needed.

"Usage of the houses are measured in nights, so we call it how many nights was the house full. This year the number of nights is much higher, so that means there's a great need. There's more children and more families that need our help," Eckmann said.

So of course that second week in March a very busy week with all kinds of showcase games, and the big winner is the Ronald McDonald House. Reporting from the Cross Insurance Center, I'm Rene Cloukey news source sports.