The Cleveland Cavaliers 2022 Season of Giving tipped off on Thursday, November 17 with their Thankful for ALL holiday dinner at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse for families that are part of Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Project ACT. The surprise hosts for the evening were Cavaliers players, coaches and team executives who served the 150 special guests the traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey with all the fixings. It’s the eleventh time overall that the Cavaliers organization has hosted this event in collaboration with Project ACT.
Project ACT provides instructional and supports services to children in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and their families that are currently experiencing homelessness or other economic hardships. Services include everything necessary to accomplish the goal of meeting students’ physical, social and emotional needs and empowering parents to support their children in this endeavor.
“This dinner is a very special event for our students, and it is one of the most exciting things that they have the opportunity to do, especially the children that don’t have the chance to sit down at a Thanksgiving dinner. It’s something that they will always remember,“ said Marcia Zashin, Project ACT director. “We’ve been coming to have this holiday dinner with the Cavs for 11 years and it’s the highlight of our year.”
The serving staff for the night included Cavs players Isaac Okoro and Lamar Stevens, joined by Head Coach J.B. Bickerstaff, assistant coaches Luke Walton and Andrew Olsen along with members of the Cavs front office and senior leadership team. The hosts welcomed their guests table-to-table while serving the family-style sit-down dinner of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and plenty more. Cavaliers mascots Moondog and Sir C.C. were on hand to bring their usual fun and shenanigans to the evening as well.
Beginning with Thanksgiving through the holidays, the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrate the Season of Giving Delivered by hosting events designed to help spread the joy of the holiday season to those in the Northeast Ohio community. During the kickoff, star big man Jarrett Allen hosted 25 greater-Cleveland students for his annual Meals + Math event, where he taught children the importance of budgeting when doing the simple task of grocery shopping all while providing food to families during the holiday season. Allen’s co-star Darius Garland, meanwhile, hosted an event where he gave away 250 turkeys and Thanksgiving meals at Warrensville Heights High School to families in need.
“It was great,” said Garland to Right Down Euclid. “I got to see a lot of kids and a lot of families so it’s fun seeing their happy faces. Just giving back is fun.”
Joining Garland in giving to those in need, Stevens also handed out turkeys and Thanksgiving dinners to the greater-Akron community as well. The Cavaliers remain a beacon to everyone in the greater-Cleveland community and, clearly, are committed to supporting during the holidays however they can. According to the American Farm Bureau, families will spend 20% more this holiday than last year, which in turn, can lead to food insecurity. In Northeast Ohio, many families are impacted by food insecurity, and in the spirit of giving, want to make it easier for those in need.
Evan Dammarell is a sports journalist covering all things Cleveland right off the shores of Lake Erie. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. You can also email him at [email protected] He can also be found three to five times a week on Locked On Cavs, a part of the Locked On Podcast Network.
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