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COURTESY PHOTO: RUSS BAGLIEN - Desiree Saucedo, manager at the east location of McDonald's in Woodburn, has been chosen to represent the company at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, next month.I’ve had an interesting month.

I had surgery for cancer in my ear, my wife Janice fell awkwardly in the garage and broke her wrist, and a couple of other family friends experienced medical problems that took up some of my attention.

When you are 85 years old, things happen — to you and your family and friends.

Yes, I’ve been doing my share of cooking, washing dishes and even some laundry. But I haven’t been doing any writing. That’s a bummer for me. But now I’ve got a feel good story to tell that I think you are going to like. Here goes.

You may not know her name, but you’d recognize her smile immediately. I’m referring to Desiree Lynn Saucedo. She’s the manager of McDonald’s located across the street from the entrance to Woodburn Family Medicine on Mount Hood Avenue. The boys I have coffee with four to six mornings a week simply refer to it as McDonald’s east.

Desiree is just one of the pleasant, smiling faces we encounter there on a regular basis. It’s a happy place.

Desiree is the daughter of Rebecca and Anthony Saucedo. Dad Anthony is a successful framing contractor. Desiree, a divorced mother of two, went to work for McDonald’s just a few days before her l7th birthday. She has been in management for five years.

McDonald’s is rewarding Desiree for her outstanding management skills by selecting her to represent McDonald’s employees at the International Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August. One look at her face tells you how excited she is to have won the competition for the Northwest region of McDonald’s.

Only the top 1 percent of employees were considered for the very prestigious trip to Rio. It will be both work and play. The gals will man a mini McDonald’s location near the NBC broadcast booth at the Olympics, but will be able to attend Olympic events and take tours.

Desiree grew up in the Aurora-Donald area and graduated from North Marion High School before attending Chemeketa Community College.

She’s grateful to Mindy Mayer, who owns 14 McDonald’s stores under the umbrella corporate name GreenTree, Inc., for recommending Desiree for the honor she has received.

Obviously, she has been a valuable employee since she came to work 11 years ago. McDonald’s tells prospective employees that they “hire smiles.” Desiree epitomizes that philosophy.

As regulars at McDonald’s, my coffee group can attest to the smiles and quick service you can get at McDonald’s east in an always clean, comfortable setting.

That’s why Desiree Saucedo is going to Rio. She tends to business. And she and her fellow employees do that with a smile.

My McDonald’s coffee group hopes to see her smiling face on TV at McDonald’s Rio.

(Thanks for the story tip to Jim Predeek and Gene Club for editing review.)

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