McDonald’s restaurant owner Jon Campbell knows the value of family. He credits his parents and grandparents with helping him succeed. And he and his wife are raising three sons which he says is a balancing act that takes a lot of energy and creativity.

“What’s important to me is balancing family, work and business” said Campbell, a former Michigan State University walk-on running back who owns six Detroit-area McDonald’s restaurants. “We have to balance work with our families and the things that we enjoy. I’ve always made family a priority.”

That’s why Campbell and some 20 other McDonald’s owners have launched McFamily Fun Night, a new weekly program that gives families with children a chance to gather for magic shows with Ronald McDonald, games, coloring, crafts, story time and prizes. Recent McFamily Fun Night events at local McDonald’s restaurants also included a gaming truck with free video games for up to 20 players at a time and special appearances by on-air radio personalities.

The program, which runs through Dec. 20, also features discounted food. All Happy Meals are $1.99 from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

McFamily Fun Night allows local McDonald’s operators to give back to the community, Campbell said, helping busy parents create fun and enriching experiences for their children at no cost.

“It’s all about the experience,” he said. “We want our customers, especially our young customers, to experience and remember good times during childhood.”

Campbell makes sure to pay close attention not only to the experiences of the kid customers that visit his store but to his own three boys who have career aspirations ranging from professional athletics and medicine and maybe even McDonald’s restaurant ownership.

“As long as they find something that they enjoy, that’s what’s most important to me,” he said.

More than 40 McDonald’s restaurants in the Detroit area are owned and operated by African-American businessmen and women who care deeply about the communities where their stores are located. These operators work to develop programs that benefit local communities, especially families.

Last summer, these local business owners sponsored concerts at Campus Martius, Chene Park and the Detroit Jazz Festival. In late September, they sponsored comedian Steve Harvey’s mentoring program for young boys at the Northwest Activities Center.

“We support programs that help families lead fuller lives,” Campbell said. “We don’t just serve food. We serve our community, and we know that the family is the core of the community.”

“It’s all about the experience.We want our customers, especially our young customers, to experience and remember good times during childhood.”

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