McDonalds, Navarre Auto Group donate funds to Little League baseball

Published 10:52 am Thursday, April 21, 2022

“Mickey D’s” and Navarre Auto Group supersized a contribution recently to make it possible for Southwest Louisiana little leaguers to get back in the game after the challenges of the pandemic, hurricanes and flooding.

Ajay Patel and sons Niel, Ricky and Mikesh, owners of 42 McDonalds stores in three states, donated $46,000. The Navarre Auto Group did the same. The monies will be distributed among Lake Charles, Moss Bluff, Sulphur, Lake Charles Mid City, Grand Lake and Westlake softball and baseball little league teams, according to Michaela Morgan, a spokesperson for McDonald’s.

“This is something the Patels have been doing since 2018,” Morgan said. It’s a way to foster relationships within the community, help in hurricane recovery and to promote teamwork and promote leadership skills.”

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Navarre Auto Group has supported the leagues for over 10 years, according to Ryan Navarre.

“The reason I do it is because of the life skills that baseball teaches,” he said. “You must be able to manage adversity to gain success.

“We use that money for uniforms for kids, so the coaches don’t have to volunteer to do that as well as coach the team. It pays for umpires and for the girls who work the concession stands,” said Jonathan Duff, president of the Westlake Little League. In Westlake, we charge nothing to play little league, and that’s solely because of that funding from McDonald’s and Navarre’s. If it weren’t for them, we’d have to start charging like everybody else.”

Ryan Smith, President of Sulphur Little League, said the financial assistance is especially appreciated since businesses continue to struggle to regain footing since the storm.

“Some have even closed and without this donation, coaches like me would be going from business to business for $100 here or maybe $300 there to buy team jerseys.”