With the help of UnitedHealthcare, Publix Super Markets, Coca-Cola, Pepperidge Farm, and United Way Suncoast, the team provided Thanksgiving meals for families in need at the eighth annual “Turkey Time With The O-Line.” Buccaneers O-linemen Josh Allen, Anthony Collins, Oniel Cousins, Demar Dotson, Kadeem Edwards, Garrett Gilkey, Logan Mankins, Patrick Omameh, Kevin Pamphile, Matt Patchan, and Jeremiah Warren were all there to help.
Buccaneers’ tackle Demar Dotson has been apart of the event since 2009 and is one of the main reasons that nearly 5,000 total families have celebrated Thanksgiving with a free feast.
“It all started with (former Buccaneer) Davin Joseph,” Dotson said. “It’s a vision that he had and I got permission to keep it going.”
For the 8th consecutive year the Buccaneers hosted Turkey Time with the O-Line, where 750 families in need were provided with Thanksgiving dinners.
From turkeys and cranberry sauce, to veggies and pumpkin pie, each family that pulled into One Buc Place received all the necessary ingredients to create an unforgettable Thanksgiving meal.
Families were dressed in their Bucs’ gear and they were thrilled to meet their favorite players. One Buccaneer fan talked about how much this event means to her family.
“It’s very special and very thoughtful that the Buccaneers are putting on this event for all the needy families and for all the families that need Thanksgiving. I’m very, very Thankful. If it weren’t’ for the Buccaneers putting on this event, we wouldn’t have anything.”
Head Coach Lovie Smith was hard at work alongside his players, handing out bags of goodies and helping the deserving families.
Speaking on the importance of this event, Smith said, “We have so much to be thankful for and to see our players out here, getting a chance to reach out to our fans and see how excited they are about Tampa Bay football.”
This event is very special not only for the community, but for the Buccaneers as a team. Each offensive line player helped to bag items, greet the families, and interact with their fans in a way that they can’t do on the field.
Eileen Sweeney, Director of Community Relations for the Buccaneers said, “This is our eight year and over the course of this program we have fed 5,000 families. So, it’s an important part of who we are as a team and how we respond to the community.”
With the help of the offensive line players, coach Lovie Smith, and the entire Buccaneers’ volunteer team, 750 deserving families are sure to be full and happy this Thanksgiving.