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McDonald’s Gospel Tour comes to Taste of Soul
By Sentinel Staff Report
Published September 17, 2015

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McDonald’s is bringing its Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour to the 10th Annual Taste of Soul Family Festival on October 17. Southern California McDonald’s will join local gospel choirs with today’s biggest names in gospel music for a day of fellowship and fun during the community festival.

Hosting the tour is Stellar-nominated artist and radio personality Lonnie Hunter. Joining him on stage will be music director and songwriter Donald Lawrence, vocal powerhouse Yolanda Adams, the “Rose of Gospel” Dorinda Clark-Cole, the incomparable choral-master Ricky Dillard, urban inspirational artist DeWayne Woods, Stellar Award nominee and BET’s Sunday Best season six winner Tasha Page-Lockhart and Christian comedienne Small Fire.

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“In L.A. McDonald’s has a long history with gospel,” said McDonald’s franchise owner/operator Reggie Webb, former chair of the Southern California Black McDonald’s Owner/Operator Association and currently serves on the Board of Directors.

“We’ve put on a gospel fest for 19 consecutive years. Lindsay Hughes, an operator here, ran it for 19 years. And then, we started the Inspiration Gospel Celebration, [which] has grown every year.”

Back for its ninth year, McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour focuses on the importance of giving back to the community by supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). In recognition of the Charity’s 41st anniversary, this year concertgoers will have the opportunity to learn about RMHC and the important role it plays in helping families heal and thrive in their local community and worldwide.

“African Americans use all of the McDonald houses in Metropolitan Los Angeles to a greater percentage than we are a percentage of the population,” Webb explained.

“Our kids are more sick than the general population so more of our families are able to take advantage of the Ronald McDonald houses they can stay close to, to support their children while their children are being treated at children’s hospitals around the area for these very debilitating diseases…”

Attendees will also be encouraged to support Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Southern California by donating to help local families served by the Charity.

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“Southern California McDonald’s is overjoyed to bring a little lovin’ to the Crenshaw community through the 2015 Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour,” said Clay Paschen III, McDonald’s owner/operator and president of the McDonald’s Operators’ Association of Southern California (MOASC).

“The tour is just one way we are able to build on the support we provide to our local communities, as well as give back a little more lovin’ to our local Ronald McDonald House chapter.”

Locally, BMOA collectively and individually supports RMHCSC and its six Ronald McDonald Houses, the RMHC/African American Future Achievers Scholarship Program, and the community grants board – which has awarded funding to organizations like Sabriya’s Castle of Fun Foundation, Challenger’s Boys and Girls Club, and the Brotherhood Crusade get funding from RMHCSC’s community grants board.

“Our local owner/operators are passionate about being an integral part of the communities we serve,” said Kiana Webb-Severlough, president of Southern California’s Black McDonald’s Owner/Operator Association. “Being able to bring the Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour to the community is just one example of the commitment we have to impacting our customers 365 days of the year.”

Taste of Soul founder and creator Danny J. Bakewell Sr., said he is appreciative of that fact.

“We are pleased, proud and thankful to Reggie Webb and the McDonald’s Black Operators that they have recognized the magnitude and value of partnering with Taste of Soul to bring [in] the McDonald’s Gospel Tour,” he said.

“McDonald’s Black Operators are the linchpin to ensuring the Black community receives all the benefits of McDonald’s Corporation that reflect the kind of patronage that we give to [them]. Clearly, they are a force to be reckoned with and they are a force for us that can be relied on. I think their participation in this year’s Taste of Soul’s tenth anniversary is going to make it bigger and better than ever…”

(L-R) Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., founder/creator of the Taste of Soul Family Festival and Reggie Webb, McDonald’s franchise owner/operator and former Chairman of the Black McDonald’s Operators Association are pictured shaking hands in celebration of the historic partnership between the Taste of Soul Family Festival and the McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour. (Photo by Valerie Goodloe)

(L-R) Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., founder/creator of the Taste of Soul Family Festival and Reggie Webb, McDonald’s franchise owner/operator and former Chairman of the Black McDonald’s Operators Association are pictured shaking hands in celebration of the historic partnership between the Taste of Soul Family Festival and the McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour. (Photo by Valerie Goodloe)

This week, Reggie Webb met with Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. at the Bakewell Company office to discuss and celebrate the historic collaboration and partnership.

“It’s a partnership that not only includes us but it includes Pastor [Kelvin] Sauls and now Pastor Manny Brody from the Inland Empire as leading all of us from a spiritual sense,” said Webb. “And so, all three of us, our first objective is to praise God and to do things in such a way that would be pleasing in His sight.

“The thing that I love about it [Taste of Soul], its not just that it’s a community celebration and a big one and a well organized and a well run one, and that’s very important, but that it brings the business element within the African American community together and allows all of us in our community to focus on the businesses that can and should be providing for our needs,” said Webb.
“Because really, the more we get each dollar to turn over in our community, the stronger our community can become. And so, we think linking the faith-based community, which has the greatest long-term success in our community, with the businesses in our community, is nothing that can be described as anything but positive. And the more the dollar turns over in our community, the more families are going to be in the middle class.

“What we know is the children of middle class African American families compete with anybody. It’s the children of lower class and very poor African Americans that are not doing well. So, if we can get more families into the middle class, we can get more of their children to compete with others.

To learn more about the tour and the 365Black initiative, visit www.365Black.com. For more information on local gospel acts gracing the stage and details, follow @McDonalds_SoCal on Twitter and join the conversation at #365BlackGospel.

Categories: A Taste of Soul | Crenshaw & Around | Local | News
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