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Joe Maddon’s Rays Will Be Waiters At Thanksmas Fundraiser

By Barbara Ann Kelley, CBSTampa.com
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For the sixth year in a row Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon will host Thanksmas that helps feed hundreds of needy people in St Petersburg, Tampa and Bradenton. These free meals will be served at four different locations from December 12-14.

Maddon and purchases the food through donations, often out of his own pocket, then with the help of the Rays coaches and staff, cooks and serves a traditional Italian/Polish holiday at 3 different Bay area Salvation Arm locations. In past years, Maddon and his coaching staff has cooked and served close to 4,000 meals to the needy. Thanksmas also helps

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The Ray's Manager Joe Maddon serving his Thanksmas meals at Salvation Army. (Photo credit. joesthanksmas.com)

provide many of these individuals with clothing and shoes.

According to the Thanksmas website, “…there were nearly 24,000 homeless in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco Counties in 2010, nearly half of those in Hillsborough alone. Amazingly, Florida had 49,112 homeless students in 2010. That number includes 2,462 in Pinellas, 3,148 in Hillsborough and 2,183 in Pasco.”

Thanksmas will also serve their holiday meal at Sallie House in St. Petersburg on Monday, Dec. 12. Sallie House is a safe haven for children who have been removed from their home because of abuse, neglect or abandonment.

The Charity will kicked off Friday, December 9 with a Thanksmas fundraiser at Michael’s 717 South restaurant in Tampa from 5-close.  This special Thanksmas meal was served with Rays players and coaches as guest servers.

Why did Madden start his charity? He says, “I’d see all these guys – and women with their children, all of them with their whole lives in a basket. I could not stand to see the inequity in all this. They are invisible. They become invisible. And I always thought if I was in the position to get on a soap box, I would remember those people. Because they aren’t invisible to me.”

Thanksmas scheduled stops:

  • Friday, December 9 – Fundraiser at Michael’s 717 South restaurant, Tampa from 5 – close
  • Tuesday, December 13 – Bradenton Salvation Army, 1204 14th Street West
  • Tuesday, December 13 – St. Petersburg Salvation Army1400 4th Street South
  • Thursday, December 14 – Tampa Salvation Army, 1603 N. Florida Avenue

For more information on Thanksmas go to joesthanksmas.com. This site features expanded information on Thanksmas history, updated scheduling information and instructions on how to give.

The Fundraiser on Friday, December 9 was at:

Michael's 717 South

717 South Howard Avenue
Tampa, FL 33606-2414
(813) 250-1661
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