As far as sports go, Thanksgiving is traditionally associated with football in this country. But for the last seven seasons, the Pittsburgh Penguins have been giving their city something to be thankful for.
The Pens partnered with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank as part of their 7th annual Turkey Delivery, bringing an early happy Thanksgiving to several members of their community.
This past Thursday, Paul Martin, Matt Niskanen, Beau Bennett and Robert Bortuzzo visited Bedford Hope Center in the Hill District to hand out turkeys, vegetables and other complements to ensure each family has a happy Thanksgiving to remember.
Ensuring Everyone Enjoys A Happy Thanksgiving
Since 1992, the Penguins have hosted annual food drives to benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank as part of the team’s Score Against Hunger initiative.
Each November, the team selects one game day to encourage fans to bring non-perishable food items to help the Food Bank provide local community shelters and food pantries serve the needs of people in the greater Pittsburgh area.
The NHL Pitches In
The NHL will also continue a couple of newer traditions this Thanksgiving, including its “Frozen Fall Fun” float which debuted in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2011, featuring a synthetic ice rink with skaters and a 12-foot tall turkey goal post.
Friday begins the real on-ice action with the Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown. The 2013 Thanksgiving Showdown will celebrate the rivalry between the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers, airing on NBC at 1pm.
The No Hunger League
Other teams across the NHL have made special efforts to support their communities to ensure a happy Thanksgiving holiday as well. Last season, New York Rangers alumni and staff partnered with Life Center; a Lower East Side shelter; to provide a special Thanksgiving dinner for 350 children and families who were affected by Hurricane Sandy.
The last seven Thanksgivings in Pittsburgh have been made better by the Penguins’ notable efforts to meet the needs of their local fan base, and I hope more cities reap the benefits of this kind of selfless commitment next Thanksgiving.
What better time of year to make a difference in the community? It’s great to see teams and leagues reaching out to touch the lives of people in need living right in their communities, especially on a day dedicated to counting our blessings.