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McDonald’s in Eldersburg reopens, donates proceeds to Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department

Delegate Susan Krebs, right, presents a proclaimation to Jeff Taylor, second from left, the owner and operator of the newly reopened McDonalds in Eldersburg after he presented a check for $18, 621.77 to the Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department, represented by, from left, Chief Eddie Ruch, President Kevin Shiloh and paramedic Mike Thompson Wednesday, June 17, 2020.
Delegate Susan Krebs, right, presents a proclaimation to Jeff Taylor, second from left, the owner and operator of the newly reopened McDonalds in Eldersburg after he presented a check for $18, 621.77 to the Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department, represented by, from left, Chief Eddie Ruch, President Kevin Shiloh and paramedic Mike Thompson Wednesday, June 17, 2020. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

After months of being closed for upgrades and renovations, the McDonald’s in Eldersburg held a grand reopening, giving the proceeds to the Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department.

Jeff Taylor owns the McDonald’s at 1722 Liberty Road with his wife, Rebecca. The former McDonald’s building was very old, according to Taylor, and closed about five months ago.

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“It’s been a while for the planning process and to get everything, you know, where we needed to get it to, but we closed the restaurant on January 27 for a complete rebuild,” he said. “So, that means that, you know, essentially we just scraped the old building down to nothing, filled in the basement that was here and built a brand-new restaurant.”

According to Taylor, kiosks and an indoor playground were added, and the dining room was renovated, though it can’t be used right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though Gov. Larry Hogan has allowed the reopening of indoor dining in restaurants at 50% capacity, as of June 12, Taylor said he doesn’t plan to open his dining room any time soon.

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With the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on dining still in place during the grand reopening on June 8, they couldn’t follow a traditional grand opening plan. Usually, Taylor said, he would’ve planned to book Ravens cheerleaders, the Orioles bird and a high school band. But because he couldn’t do that, he decided to donate the proceeds from the grand reopening instead.

“I had an idea where we would donate 100% of our first day sales to the local fire department, so that’s the Sykesville Freedom District Fire Company,” he said. “I guess it was a good idea because the community really came out in a big way and supportive.”

Taylor said they must’ve had about 100 cars lined up for the grand reopening.

Jeff Taylor, right, the owner and operator of the newly reopened McDonalds in Eldersburg presented a check for $18, 621.77 to the Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department, represented by, from left, firefighter/EMT Chuck Custer, Chief Eddie Ruch, President Kevin Shiloh, paramedic Mike Thompson and administrator Paula Shiloh in Eldersburg Wednesday, June 17, 2020.
Jeff Taylor, right, the owner and operator of the newly reopened McDonalds in Eldersburg presented a check for $18, 621.77 to the Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department, represented by, from left, firefighter/EMT Chuck Custer, Chief Eddie Ruch, President Kevin Shiloh, paramedic Mike Thompson and administrator Paula Shiloh in Eldersburg Wednesday, June 17, 2020. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

The McDonald’s raised about $18,000 for the fire department. Taylor presented the money to Kevin Shiloh, president of Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department, on Wednesday night.

Shiloh said he was pleasantly surprised by the decision to donate to the fire department.

Taylor is hoping the donation will help the fire department after the loss of its summer events. The department decided to cancel its summer carnival in the interest of public safety early last month.

“All their fundraising events have canceled; all of it,” Taylor said. “So I was just thinking like, wow, that’s bad ... They’re not doing any of that, so I just thought they could use a hand. Like I said, we’re gonna be here for a long time.”

Last year’s carnival raised about $80,000, according to Shiloh. Even though the funds from McDonald’s won’t match the amount that the department would have made with its carnival, it is still helpful.

“Definitely going to be an asset to us,” Shiloh said. “Any funds we take in fundraising, to help recoup what we lost to our carnival, is greatly needed.”

The funds donated by McDonald’s will go toward tools and equipment for the department, according to Shiloh.

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