‘McKayla Night’ set for June 24
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — Kayla Ignatowski was 18 years old when she died in a car accident in late March this year. She was a senior at Pittsville High School, and she also worked at McDonald’s in Marshfield. McDonald’s will honor her memory on Wednesday, June 24.
The fast food restaurant will donate 20 percent of its proceeds from 4-7 p.m. that evening towards a scholarship for a 2016 Pittsville High School graduate.
Ignatowski’s family will be involved in selecting the criteria for the scholarship and will also be at McDonald’s on the night of June 24 working behind the counter, handing out food at the drive-thru, and talking with guests, said Marshfield McDonald’s department manager Laura Zahn. The night has been dubbed “McKayla Night.”
Kayla’s mother Trina Ignatowski said that she and her husband Chris wanted to do something positive to help others in light of their daughter’s death. Trina said that though the criteria for the scholarship have not been fully decided, academics, volunteering, and community involvement would be strong considerations in awarding it.
Zahn said that the Marshfield McDonald’s has done similar events in the past where local teachers come and help serve meals to raise money for their schools, but the restaurant has never done an event quite like this. During those past fundraiser events, Zahn said that McDonald’s typically raised between $700-$900 for the schools.
Kayla was one of the very first people Zahn hired when she became a manager, and she said that Kayla’s death sent shockwaves through the staff at McDonald’s.
“You see her the night before. She was in here with a bunch of Pittsville kids eating ice cream, and then you hear the next morning that she’s been killed, and it’s just like, it’s a shock,” Zahn said. She added that Kayla was “very outgoing, very friendly. … I don’t think I ever saw her come to work in a bad mood.”
Trina said that the evening of June 24 will be difficult as it will remind them of their tragic loss but that they want to try to make it a joyful occasion.
“We’d like to try to make it fun and focus on doing this scholarship and what Kayla would really like, so I think we can get through it,” Trina said.
Trina described Kayla as a person that had a love for life.
“She was just always fun loving, always kind, always wanting to give people a second chance no matter what, and she was just awesome, just very giving of herself, and I think we taught her that,” Trina said. She added that her family has gotten nice notes and messages from people in the community and that they enjoy being reminded of their daughter.
“It’s good to see her name. We like to hear her name. It’s good. It makes us smile even if we cry a little,” Trina said.