August 17, 2005

Short Enterprises donates to Saluki Kids' Academy

by Pete Rosenbery


Caption follows story

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Short Enterprises of Anna and Ronald McDonald Charities are donating $5,000 to Saluki Kids' Academy, an outreach program founded four years ago by the College of Education and Human Services at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Short Enterprises, an original sponsor, donated funds, said Saluki Kids Academy Director John C. Davis. The company remains one of the academy's top sponsors, providing $20,000 over the past four years.

Having a long-term relationship with the Short family and McDonald's Corp. since the beginning "has been wonderful for us," Davis said.

"Those are the kinds of organizations and the kinds of people who have the same values that we have at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and, specifically, Saluki Kids' Academy," Davis said.

The academy uses University resources to provide academic, recreational and enrichment experiences for Southern Illinois children who have not otherwise had access to those opportunities. The 80 children who participated in the 10-day Saluki Kids' Academy program in July were between nine and 12 years old, and came from Cairo, Carbondale, Mounds, Mound City and Massac County. Children received instruction in a variety of areas – archaeology, mass media, theater and bilingual education. Shawnee Community College in Ullin partners with SIUC in sponsoring the enrichment program, and in the first week, students participated in activities on that campus, along with canoeing along the Cache River.

Davis also credits James M. Manis, Jr., director of development for the College of Education and Human Services and an associate director of institutional advancement, for his work in securing funds for the program.

Nikki Hadley, the community relations' representative for Short Enterprises, said the Short family and company "love giving back to the community, and through the Ronald McDonald House Charities we are able to provide larger contributions."

A lot of the money that comes to Ronald McDonald House Charities comes directly from the community though donation boxes in restaurants. The Short family and McDonald's "really enjoy being able to help the children," Hadley said.

Short Enterprises operates nine McDonald's in Carbondale, Murphysboro, Anna, Du Quoin and Vienna.

Davis is excited with the outreach program's growth. In addition to the two-week summer program, Saluki Kids' Academy provides off-campus tutoring programs throughout the year. And Saluki Kids' Academy participated for the first time this summer in the federally funded National Youth Sports Program, a five-week day camp for economically disadvantaged students. The camp attracted a total of 260 kids from Cairo, Carbondale, Marion, Murphysboro, Sparta and Perry County.

"People know who we are, the quality of programs we are providing is good, and there is a large demand for available slots and interest in providing instruction," Davis said.

For more information on the program, contact Saluki Kids' Academy Director John C. Davis at 618/453-6468, or visit the academy's Web site at

Photo 1 – McDonalds

Long-time partners – James M. Manis Jr. (left), director of development for Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s College of Education and Human Services, accepts a check from Nikki Hadley, community relations representative from Short Enterprises to help fund Saluki Kids’ Academy in front of the McDonald’s restaurant in the University’s Student Center. Saluki Kids’ Academy is a summer outreach program that offers academic, recreational and enrichment experiences for students between nine and 12 years old. The proceeds come from Short Enterprises, which operates nine McDonald’s in the region in Carbondale, Murphysboro, Anna, Du Quoin and Benton, and Ronald McDonald Charities. With Manis and Hadley is John C. Davis, director of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Saluki Kids’ Academy.

Photo by Jeff Garner