November 11, 2021
“My mom and dad bought this place in 1976. Dad was a mechanic and worked here every day of his life. Mom did too. But sadly, dad passed away two years ago. He was the kindest, most giving person I knew, and losing him has been so, so hard. Mom still owns this business, and it’s family-run, but it’s not the same without him. I wish he could have been here to see this award.
We grew up pumping gas our whole lives. Even as kids my siblings and I would open up the place every morning, but in the 70’s that wasn’t strange. They were just different times I guess. My parents worked their whole lives to provide us with what we wanted and needed, and that's what this business has done for us and more.
When you spend so much time working at one place, it begins to feel more like home than your actual home does. But I enjoy it, because I get to do this work with my mom and sisters. We’re a full-service gas station and have done everything we can to keep this place looking the same as it did back when they bought it.
Old Orchard Beach is such a close-knit community and people know us well in this area. We would do anything to help others. That’s how mom and dad have always been, just so kind and thoughtful to others. And our customers, they’re loyal. We grew up with a lot of them.
When the pandemic hit, it was so difficult. Quite frankly, we were terrified. We had just lost my father before the pandemic and we were already trying to process that. We tried our best to make sure everyone was as safe as possible though. A lot of people didn’t want to pump their own gas, so our full service was a blessing. It kept our regulars coming back and brought in new faces as well.
While the pandemic has been hard, it’s also given people an opportunity to explore their local towns and cities. That’s been huge for small businesses like us. People often think of Old Orchard Beach as a summer destination, but there are still things to do here even in the off-season. The people that stay for the cold winters, they’re good people. We love serving them and that’s why we stay.
We do everything we can to support this community, and we especially like doing community work that fosters childhood and elderly wellness. It’s just how we are and how this town is. It’s really special.
Dad saw how special this town is, and the town saw how special he was too. He was just so loved. Even still, a small group of his friends still sometimes come by in the early mornings. They’ll even wait outside the door before we open. So many people were dedicated to my dad.
I have his picture hung up on the wall inside. I don’t want to forget him. I want to be reminded each day to be grateful and humble about our achievements. I want others to know that he has given me this opportunity. We were lucky to have had him and even luckier to have worked with him every single day.” - Sharri MacDonald
Congratulations to MacDonald's Garage on being selected as one of the winners of the Heartbeat of Our Community Award