BANGOR, Maine — High school basketball's best of the best packed into Husson University's Newman Gym for the 39th annual Maine McDonald's All-Star Basketball Games on Saturday.
The day of events featured four games, including north and south battles between class AA/A/B boys and girls, as well as class C/D north and south boys and girls squaring off in the all-star games. There was also a foul shooting contest, three-point contest and a slam dunk contest.
All proceeds from the event went to benefit the two Ronald McDonald Houses in the state. Those are located in Portland and Bangor. The Ronald McDonald House is a non-profit that provides housing, meals and support for families with children in the hospital for long-term care.
"One of the most scary times of my life was when she was in the hospital. This place just did so much for us," said Ariel York. York stayed at the Bangor Ronald McDonald House when her daughter Aurora was born and needed treatment in the hospital for nearly three months.
"It's just hard to explain. They do whatever they can for anyone," said York.
York had the chance to speak to all athletes and coaches participating in the all-star games. Teams had a chance to visit the facility on Friday and learn about the services they offer.
"I thought it was amazing how they provide support for these people and how they can stay here. Honestly, I never knew about this house until I came here. I think it's actually really cool," said Massabesic High School senior McKenzy Oullette.
Having students engaged with the Ronald McDonald House is one of the best parts of the year for Whitney Linscott, the Ronald McDonald House Manager in Bangor. "This is a really fun weekend for our staff, our volunteers, our community," said Linscott. "The high school kids love it. They come and they play games and all of the proceeds go to benefit that we serve through our programs."
The Ronald McDonald House provides all services to families free of charge. The partnership with the high school basketball all-star games is one of the biggest fundraiser of the year for Maine Ronald McDonald Houses.