By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: Restaurants | Issue: May 2013
Tim Rich, owner of the Owasso McDonald’s locations; Shannon McDonald, general manager; and Glenn Schwartz, director of operations, are ready to give away 500 youth bicycle helmets on Saturday, May 11 in a lot just west of the 76th Street North restaurant.
As a new business owner in 1995, Tim Rich was initiated into the spirit of the Owasso community when he was dumped onto a parking lot from the bed of a red Radio Flyer, ending up with a “strawberry on his leg” during the city’s annual Trail Days celebration.
Since that initiation, Tim and his wife, Patty, have become an integral part of their community. “From day one, we got involved in Owasso,” says Tim, who is the owner of three McDonald’s restaurants in Owasso.
As the 2013 Owasso Trail Days King and Queen, the Riches are being recognized for their commitment to the people, schools and organizations in the area that depend on the support of businesses and individuals like this couple who go above and beyond. “It’s an honor to be recognized,” Tim says. “We believe in giving back. We’re just trying to be good stewards of what God has given us.”
Since purchasing their first McDonald’s, the couple hasn’t changed their business philosophy: “Have the best people, work closely with schools, and be involved in the community.”
Education is the focus of their giving. “We believe in supporting our schools and teachers. If we have strong schools, then we have a better community,” said Tim. Through sponsoring McTeacher Nights at their restaurant, they annually donate around $40,000 to Owasso, Collinsville and Oologah schools.
The couple, also known for serving hundreds of people during their annual Community Christmas Breakfast, host educator breakfasts and pancake suppers, 5K runs, and health and job fairs.
According to Owasso Chamber President Gary Akin, “Undoubtedly, the spirit of this couple became known throughout America when they decided, two years ago, to literally tear down and rebuild their restaurant on 76th Street North. This 90-day project could have meant unemployment for 70 of their workers. However, they said ‘no – we’ll keep all of our employees on the payroll and serve our community at the same time.’”
Instead of leaving their employees jobless during the rebuilding, the couple sent them into the community to volunteer while still receiving their regular paychecks. Employees volunteered with organizations in Owasso including the Community Center, the Resource Center, Baptist Retirement Center and the Pregnancy Resource Center. “It’s important that you teach by example,” says Patty. “Some of our employees may never have the opportunity or realize what volunteering could add to their lives.”
The Riches are certainly adding to the lives of others through their generosity. On Saturday, May 11, as part of the annual Owasso Trail Days, they will be giving away 500 youth-size bicycle helmets in the lot next to their 76th Street store beginning at 3:30 p.m. Individuals from 360 Sports and the Owasso Fire Department will be on hand to help fit the kids with their helmets. Ronald McDonald will make an appearance at 4 p.m. to promote good health and exercise through his “Let’s Get Moving” presentation. “He’s always a good draw for the kids,” adds Tim. Last August, the couple gave away 500 free backpacks. “They were gone in less than 30 minutes,” he says. “We also invited the kids to donate canned goods.”
Area businesses and community and Owasso city employees brought their vehicles, including a fire truck, garbage truck, street sweeper and school bus. ONG and PSO, as well as businesses like Warren CAT, John Deere and Ditch Witch, brought their trucks. “Pre-school children were excited about touching the school bus while the city garbage truck was also a big hit,” says Tim, “and we collected 2,500 canned food items to donate.”
Owasso Trail Days will kick off on May 9 and end on May 12. A host of family-friendly activities are planned, including the Owasso Trail Days Expo, a Pet Fest, bicycle races, a parade and carnival as well as others. For more information about the week’s activities, go to www.owassotraildays.com.
After 30 years in public school education, Carol Round retired and moved from Grand Lake to Claremore, Oklahoma in 2005, where she writes a weekly faith-based column which runs in 14 Oklahoma newspapers as well as several national and international publications. Three volumes of her columns have been compiled into collections: A Matter of Faith, Faith Matters and by FAITH alone. She has also written Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God and a companion workbook, The 40-Day Challenge. This past year she has written three children’s books, a series called Nana’s 3 Jars, to teach children about the value of giving, saving and spending money. All of Carol’s books are available through Amazon. In addition to writing her weekly column, authoring books and speaking to women’s groups, she writes for Value News. She also blogs regularly at www.carolaround.com. When she is not writing or speaking, she loves spending time with her three grandchildren, working in her flowerbeds, shooting photos, volunteering at her church or going on mission trips overseas, and hiking. She is also an avid reader and loves working crosswords and trying to solve Sudoku puzzles.