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New businesses give back to community
Surrounded by local government, school and Effingham County Chamber of Commerce representatives, plus a few McDonald’s characters and employees, owner John Palmaccio cuts the ribbon on the new McDonald’s at 2600 Ga. Hwy 21 South in Springfield on Friday. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

SPRINGFIELD — Two businesses that recently opened their doors in Effingham County generously opened their checkbooks Friday morning.

Love’s Travel Stop and McDonald’s, located at 2600 Ga. Hwy 21 in Springfield, revealed financial support to organizations of their choice after taking a group of local government, school and Effingham County Chamber of Commerce representatives on a tour of their facilities.

McDonald’s owner John Palmaccio presented a $1,000 check to Effingham Heroes Inc., a nonprofit organization that supports first responders and The Teal House, a regional center that serves sexual assault and child abuse victims.

“Effingham Heroes is honored to be chosen by McDonald’s to further the mission of supporting Effingham’s hometown heroes, our first responders,” Effingham Heroes Inc. Founder/President Susie Davis said.

While flanked by a few characters that are used in McDonald’s advertisements, Palmaccio praised first responders for their service and commitment to others. Some of the characters, including the Hamburglar, will be featured in the June 25 Effingham Heroes Parade in Rincon.

“The partnership between McDonald’s and Effingham Heroes is one that will grow and benefit those who put it all on the line for us every day,” Davis said. 

Palmaccio also promised $1,000 checks to each elementary school in Rincon and Springfield. One was cut for Springfield Elementary School before the tours started. Its students received free food throughout the restaurant’s first day of operations.

Love’s Travel Stop presented $2,000 to Ebenezer Middle School.

“Whenever we open (a store), we like to let the community know we are grateful to be here and we want to pour back into the community,” General Manager John Lamaison said.

Lamaison said Love’s Travel Stop has a history of supporting educational causes.

“It’s a big part of who the Love’s Company is,” he said. “Jenny Love is in charge of our PR and schools and any organization that helps children are near and dear to her heart. She would have loved to have been here today but she just couldn’t swing it.”

Lamaison and other Love’s officials then led tours of their store, which features:

— More than 14,000 square feet 

— Chester’s Chicken and McDonald’s

— 74 truck parking spaces 

— 70 car parking spaces.

— Three RV parking spaces 

— Six diesel bays 

— Six showers 

— Laundry facilities 

— CAT scale 

— Bean-to-cup gourmet coffee 

— Brand-name snacks 

— Fresh Kitchen concept

—  Mobile to Go Zone with the latest GPS, headsets and smartphone accessories.

— Dog park