Maui Business

McDonald’s Donates $46K to Hawaiʻi Robotics Teams

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Photo courtesy of McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii (Group photo L-R: Chelsea Hardin, Master of Ceremonies; Veronica Kaneko, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii President; Victor Lim, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii Owner/Operator; Lenny Klompus, President of Friends of Hawaii Robotics; Miles Ichinose, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii Owner/Operator; Rafael Zayas, Master of Ceremonies).

This past weekend, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaiʻi donated $46,000 to teams participating in the 10th Annual FIRST Hawaiʻi Regional Robotics Competition.

McDonald’s of Hawaiʻi donated $1 from every Egg McMuffin sandwich and meal purchased from March 20 to 26 to the Hawaiʻi Robotics program.

The two-day competition, which took place on Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1 at the University of Hawaiʻi Stan Sheriff Center in Mānoa, brought together local high school robotics teams to compete against mainland and international teams for the regional title and a chance to participate in the FIRST Robotics World Championship in Houston, Texas in mid-April.


During the competition’s awards ceremony on April 1, McDonald’s owner/operators presented a check for $40,000 which will be divided among the 26 competing Hawaiʻi robotics teams. The six Hawaiʻi schools (Waialua High School, Kalani High School, Mid-Pacific Institute, Damien Memorial School, Saint Louis School and Pearl City High School) that will be advancing to the FIRST World Championship competition each received an additional $1,000 from McDonald’s.

Over the past six years, McDonald’s has donated more than $190,000 to support Hawaiʻi’s student robotics teams.

“McDonald’s is proud to be a continual supporter of Hawaiʻi robotics teams,” said Miles Ichinose, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaiʻi owner/operator. “Witnessing what these students have been able to accomplish with their robots is truly remarkable. At McDonald’s we understand the important role STEM education plays. These students are getting first-hand experience learning from some of the best in the industry. Congratulations to all of this year’s teams.”


In addition to the Egg McMuffn fundraiser, teams conducted demonstrations at their community McDonald’s restaurant to showcase their robots. McDonald’s also served as the FIRST in Hawaiʻi official breakfast sponsor, providing breakfast sandwiches to all participating teams.

“Since 2012, McDonald’s has been a major strategic corporate partner of Hawaiʻi robotics teams and on behalf of our students around the state, we are very thankful for their unwavering support,” said Lenny Klompus, president of Friends of Hawaiʻi Robotics. “McDonald’s plays a key role in the sustainability of this program and capstone event in Hawaiʻi. They show with their actions how invested they are in our community and students. The teams always look forward to the delicious breakfast items McDonald’s provides to them during game-week, and understand how important their monetary contribution is to their success. Mahalo nui loa to McDonald’s for helping create a brighter future for our students.”

FIRST is a national organization that joins students, teachers and mentors to inspire youth interested in STEM to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Students are able to work directly with professionals, gaining first-hand knowledge of the industry. FIRST combines the competitiveness of sports with the rigors of science and technology to engage young people to solve problems in an intense and competitive way.

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