They deserve a break Wednesday

By Geoff Lee

March 2, 2017 12:00 AM

A BIG MAC—STAT! Diane Gow, owner/operator of three Lloydminster McDonald's Restaurants in Lloydminster is hosting an appreciation day for emergency responders and protective services on March 8 at all three outlets. Meals will be on the house for these folks to thank them for their services. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

McDonald’s Restaurants in Lloydminster will be offering complementary McHugs and McHandshakes with free McMeals during an upcoming Emergency Responders Appreciation Day.
All three McDonald’s franchises will treat regional uniformed police, firefighters and EMT personnel to a free regular meal all day on Wednesday, March 8.
After hearing about it, Norm Namur who heads the Lloydminster Rescue Squad is already savouring the moment.
“I think that’s awesome, we’re going to be there for sure,” he said.  “I’m a Big Mac kind of a guy and I know most of the guys are Big Mac kind of guys, so that’s what we’re going to tackle.
“We appreciate them doing that for us too,” Namur said.
The project is the brainchild of Diane Gow, who owns and operates the outlets with her husband, William, as a way for them to thank our community first responders for keeping us safe.
“This is just a little thing we can give back to the community for the people who work hard for us,” said Gow at her 6307 44 St. location.
She said while vacationing in Florida over the Christmas holidays her and her family dropped into a McDonald’s that was promoting a similar tribute to first responders.
“I thought that was a great idea to bring back to Lloydminster because we really appreciate the men and women that give their lives everyday on the frontline to protect people like us,” she said.
The only stipulation for the day is for frontline responders to wear their uniforms, so staff can recognize them as special guests.
“Employees are hyped so when they come in, we are going to try to give them a standing ovation and shake their hand and thank them for their service,” said Gow.
“They can order what ever they want; it’s their day, we want to honour them and we want to appreciate what they do for us every day.” 
Gow knows at least three first responders by name and values what they do.
She said guys like Clint McCullough, a Vermilion firefighter, Namur from Lloyd Rescue Squad and Juan Hoss, a Mountie from Kitscoty are all outstanding citizens.
“Why wouldn’t we do something for these guys,” asked Gow.
“It’s just a way to give back to the community.”
Appreciation day is well timed for first responders who work shifts, as McDonald’s Canada has started offering all day breakfast on Feb. 20.
“They can come in for breakfast any time of the day now and enjoy a meal,” said Gow.
“A lot of them work night shifts and I’m sure they want eggs in the day and we’re ready to prepare them.”
Appreciation day will also take place at the Meridian McDonald’s at 1803-50 Ave and at 4210-70 Ave. in Walmart.
Lloydminster Fire Department Chief Jordan Newton has circled the day on his calendar with his food order set.
“I believe I will be going for a Big Mac,” he said noting his crew will likely follow suit.
He also tips his hat to McDonald’s on behalf of all regional firefighters.
“I’m just very appreciative that Lloydminster McDonald’s is taking this step to recognize the first responders in this community,” said Newton.
Next up for Gow is a potential military appreciation day at McDonald’s that was on the front burner before, but needs more tweaking to pull it off
Gow had a short stint in the military, but they weren’t sure of the response they would get.
“Wainwright’s an hour away and we were are not sure if they would come this far for a meal, but that’s definitely in the works,” said Gow.
“We hope they all come out in full force, men and women in their uniforms.”

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