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Bucs O-Line Hands Out Thanksgiving Meals to Families in Need

Posted Nov 22, 2016

On Tuesday, November 22, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive line gathered around One Buc Place for the 10th Anniversary of Turkey Time with the O-Line to help distribute Thanksgiving dinners to families in need.

As part of Bucs for a Better Bay, the Bucs far reaching commitment to improving Tampa Bay today and for years to come, the Bucs Offensive Line lined up around One Buc Place on Tuesday, November 22, for the 10th Annual Turkey Time with the O-Line, to hand out Thanksgiving meals to families in need.

With the help of Publix Supermarkets, Coca-Cola Beverages Florida and United Way Suncoast, the Bucs were able to provide 1,000 meals to needy families throughout the Bay area.

"We're so excited to be a part of such a great event," said Brian West, Media and Community Relations Manager for Publix Super Markets, Inc. "There are so many needs this time of year.  This is a fun way to give back to the communities we serve and help provide a special moment for families."

Participating families were pre-selected by local nonprofit organizations identified by United Way Suncoast and by Buccaneers Academy program staff.  Through Buccaneers Academy programing the Bucs provide resources, enhanced curriculum, and hands-on participation from Buccaneers players and cheerleaders to thousands of underserved students at 24 Title I elementary schools throughout Hillsborough County. 

Each family selected received a full Thanksgiving meal with all the traditional fixings, purchased by the Buccaneers offensive line, including contributions from Publix Supermarket.  The Bucs O-Line not only purchased these hearty meals, they all showed up to help pass them out and greet families. The Buccaneers Cheerleaders, Captain Fear, and more than three-dozen Buccaneers staff members were joined by O-linemen Josh Allen, Gosder Cherilus, Demar Dotson, Caleb Benenoch, Joe Hawley, Kyler Kerbyson, Ali Marpet, Kevin Pamphile, Donovan Smith, Evan Smith, and Leonard Wester to help alleviate hunger for these underserved families.  

Demar Dotson spoke about how meaningful this event has become to him.

“Having the opportunity to come out here and meet so many people and see how we are touching their lives is so important," said Dotson. "To see the smiles on their faces and be able to give them a Thanksgiving meal; that's what it's all about."

Turkey Time with the O-Line is a long standing tradition, started back in 2007 by Bucs Legends Davin Joseph and Jeremy Trueblood as a way for the Buccaneers offensive line to make a major impact in Tampa communities during the holidays. Thanks to efforts from this year’s O-Line and past Buccaneers players, the annual effort has provided more than 6,500 underserved families with Thanksgiving meals over the past decade.

Turkey Time with the O-Line continues to grow year after year and has become a favorite Buccaneers holiday custom, demonstrating the Buccaneers dedication to making Tampa Bay an even better community for many years to come.