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McDonald’s owners donate $25,000 to football campaign

By Kelly Freeman
Around the Town Editor

Pembroke’s local McDonald’s franchisee contributed $25,000 to the Campaign for Football and Athletic Excellence for UNCP.            
The Sports Information Office was named in honor of Kenneth and Lisa Rust, the owners of McDonald’s, to support UNCP’s new football team.

“We’ve been friends from a distance for many years, and now we’re proud to be much closer members of the UNCP family.” Kenneth Rust said.            

The Rusts have been involved in the food industry since the early 1970s. Kenneth’s father, James “Randy” Rust, opened his first McDonald’s in 1973 in Lumberton, and since 1992, Kenneth and Lisa have continued the legacy, opening six McDonald’s in the surrounding areas.

The franchisees have been UNCP supporters for many years, contributing to performing arts, athletic and scholarship programs.            
The Rust’s franchisee was corporate sponsors and helped get the Ronald McDonald grant in the late ‘90s.

The Rust’s encourage UNCP to become more of a “college town” and hope that students will get the “full college experience, eating good food, enjoying good friends and expanding their growth as an individual.”            

They believe that the football team will keep students on the weekends and will help build morale.

“Our intent is to support the University for the quality of student life and the surrounding community,” Lisa Rust said.             Athletic Director Dan Kenney said McDonald’s represents a successful model: “Two things you think about at McDonald’s are consistency and value. Those are the same two qualities that Kenneth and Lisa Rust demonstrate to our community that are consistent in their support of UNCP and they value a relationship with us.”

“The products that we offer, the friendliness, the customers who are generally nice to be around and our quality of service are what make McDonald’s consistent and valued,” Kenneth said.            

Kenneth is the President of Owner Operators in the region and still has time to take the role of Scout Master of Troop 33 in Lumberton.

Lisa is the Vice Chairman of South Regional Medical Center in Lumberton and is active in First Baptist Church in Lumberton’s children’s choir.            

“This is where we’ve chosen to invest ourselves, our family and our time,” they said.

The Pembroke McDonald’s, located across 3rd Street from UNCP, is Kenneth and Lisa Rust’s fifth and newest restaurant, opening in March 2005.            

For more information about football at UNCP,  contact the McDonald’s Sports Information Office at 910.521.6370 or email

For information about the football season tickets or the Campaign for Football and Athletic Excellence, contact the Office for Advancement at 910.521.6252 or email

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Updated: Wednesday, January 31, 2007
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