PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Penguins have a new “goal” — to help people in need this holiday season. And thanks to the team, more than 100 local families will be well-fed this Thanksgiving.
The line extended down the steps and up the sidewalk, as needy residents gathered to get turkeys – from Penguins. It’s the Pens’ annual food drive for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. And the players deliver.
“Maybe there’s someone you really look up to, or a hero, because you really like the Pittsburgh Penguins,” said the Food Bank’s Karen Bullock. “And getting a turkey from them kind of connects you to them in a way that you maybe didn’t think would ever connect you with the Penguins.”
They accept turkeys and decorated boxes filled with the fixings for a feast.
“We’re so blessed and fortunate with everything we have, so just to be able to take a little part out of our day and hand out some turkeys and fixin’s and give back, it’s special for us,” said backup goalie Jeff Zatkoff.
“Any way we can help out, any way we can hopefully make the holidays a little bit better for some people, obviously we’re looking forward to that opportunity,” said Penguin Ian Cole.
Thanks to the Penguins, 110 families will enjoy turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing. If they weren’t fans before, they are now.
“They can take their money and spend it on many things, but they chose to help us,” said Anita Wade of the Hill District. “So I’m grateful for that.”
“I think it’s nice they take time out of their busy schedule to give back to the community to people who really need it,” Sonya Hartnett added. “It shows that they care. It’s nice.”
It turns out that Penguins and turkeys do mix. In this case, of course, it’s the turkeys that are “on ice.”
All five Pens at the food drive are American players, well acquainted with the meaning of Thanksgiving.
“I don’t know what they do for Canadian Thanksgiving,” Ian Cole laughed. “But it’s not as good as American Thanksgiving, that’s for sure.”
Just don’t tell that to Sid.