McDonald’s – The Napoli Group has been longtime supporters of Special Olympics New Hampshire, for over 40 years. We spoke to Robert McDougall, Vice President / Operations Manager of McDonald’s – The Napoli Group about their unwavering commitment to Special Olympics New Hampshire.

How long has The Napoli Group supported/ been involved with SONH?

“The Napoli Group and I have been involved with SONH since the mid-70s. My wife, Jef Flanders-McDougall joined the Board of Directors in the mid-80’s, and served on the board for seven years. During that time, I took over the Napoli Groups on-site involvement in Durham as Summer Games athlete participation started to grow. The Napoli Group has been involved in Winter Games since they were held at Bretton Woods in the 80’s. During Summer Games, the Napoli group has been on site serving food that was made in our Seacoast Area Restaurants and brought to Durham. The last few years, prior to the pandemic, the Napoli Group, with the help of Mary Conroy and Tim Marshall were able to set up a kitchen and cook hamburgers and chicken on-site providing a very special food experience at the games.”

Why do you continue to support SONH?

“It really is a special cause. When you think about what these athletes have to go through on a daily basis and how they overcome that and the attitude they portray, I’m not sure how you don’t support them.”

What does being a partner to SONH and our athletes mean to you?

“Special Olympics New Hampshire is one of the major contributions that we make outside of McDonalds. The Napoli Group’s #1 charity in New Hampshire is Special Olympics New Hampshire. We all like to get involved. It’s very rewarding to be able to contribute and help the athletes with their activities. We help support them with food, paper donations and volunteerism.”

Do you have a favorite State Summer Games memory? 

Back in 2015, I was fortunate enough to present the Ray Kroc Spirit Award during the athletes’ dinner/dance at the State Summer Games. Ray Kroc is the founder of McDonald’s and he had tremendous enthusiasm for not only McDonald’s, but also the community. The award is presented to the Local Program that folks from SONH believe displays the most spirit in that competition year. I announced the winning team and within a very short time, all of the coaches and athletes came forward to claim their trophy and give me hugs and high fives. Talk about enthusiasm and spirit. Ray Kroc would have been very proud.”

What are you excited about our partnership for the future?

“I hope Special Olympics New Hampshire continues to grow, by doing that, they’ll be able to help and impact a tremendous amount of athletes that will benefit from the sports programming, competition and inclusion Special Olympics New Hampshire provides. If we all work together, we can all achieve that goal of helping one another out. It’s been a great partnership with SONH. All the folks at SONH and The Napoli Group are hardworking, dedicated people who want to work together to do a good job for these athletes.”