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HEAT Thanksgiving Celebration - Nov 22

MIAMI - The Miami HEAT hosted their 22nd Annual HEAT Thanksgiving Celebration on Friday, November 22nd at the Miami Rescue Mission (MRM). The entire HEAT team, along with coaches and front office employees joined sponsors Florida Blue, Goya Foods, Sara Lee, Pepsi, Sun Sports, AARP Foundation’s Drive to End Hunger and Del Monte Fresh Produce to usher in the Thanksgiving holiday with the residents of Greater Miami.

All residents of the area were invited to enjoy the block-party carnival, but the event was especially meaningful for a group of approximately 600 underprivileged families, the majority of which had  been pre-selected by different government and community-based organizations and agencies. These families received an entire Thanksgiving meal, courtesy of Florida Blue. Frozen turkeys were provided by A Group while canned goods, side items and beverages were donated by Goya Foods, Sara Lee, Pepsi, and Del Monte Fresh Produce. Levy Cares, the charitable foundation of Levy Restaurants and the catering division of the American Airlines Arena, provided 400 hot meals to the residents of the MRM. HEAT corporate partner National Deli, gave over 1,000 hot dogs to the community’s general public at the block party event.

The reach of this year’s celebration extended well beyond the Overtown/Wynwood area to help touch those in communities such as Little Havana, Little Haiti, Liberty City, Homestead and as far north as Ft. Lauderdale. Other beneficiaries of the event included: SafeSpace domestic violence shelter, Salvation Army, Amigos for Kids, and Operations Link Up.

“It means a lot… our community is so important to us. Without the support of our community, we wouldn’t be who we are as an organization, as individuals to be able to give back is amazing,” said HEAT guard Dwyane Wade.

“I love it, I’m glad to be a part of this…They love us, and we love them too.” said Jeanette Johnson, one of the many beneficiaries of the Thanksgiving Celebration.

The HEAT Dancers, HEAT mascot Burnie, DJ Irie and the Xtreme Team entertained families with special performances throughout the afternoon. Guests were treated to games, activities, and inflatables. In addition, HEAT staffers worked concessions and activity stations, including interacting with children from the HEAT Academy at Dunbar Elementary during the festivities.