Utica, N.Y. – Earlier today, the Utica Comets players, coaches, and staff bussed down the road to the Rescue Mission of Utica to personally deliver 300 turkeys and other Thanksgiving goods to local families in need.
The Comets players and staff helped unload the turkeys from a Chanatry’s delivery truck, before moving inside to organize themselves and the food for handout. The turkeys, which were purchased by the Save of the Day Foundation, sat inside of foil baking bans donated by Family Dollar in Barneveld, Utica, and Whitesboro, in addition to bagged potatoes and stuffing. The players and staff were all smiles as a flood of families reciprocated those same smiles, thanking them for their time and efforts during the week of Thanksgiving.
The annual tradition is in its sixth year, and the partnership between the Rescue Mission and the Save of the Day Foundation do not have any plans to slow down. The partnership is a mutualistic one for both organizations, as the Rescue Mission receives many helping hands during their busiest time, and the Comets players and staff are able to lend helping hands while remembering those less fortunate during the holidays.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to give back to the community,” said Jesse Graham. “A lot of people are very supportive of the team and it felt great, for sure.”
Guillaume Brisebois added, “It’s always nice to see their smiles. It’s amazing to give them a smile and a little boost for today.”
“It is humbling and rewarding to carry on the tradition of helping at the Rescue Mission during the holidays,” said Comets President Robert Esche. “We are honored to be able to partner with the Rescue Mission for our sixth consecutive year, and look forward to future growth and opportunity to help out one of our community’s most value resources for families in need.”
“It’s a blessing for these individuals to come in and see the Comets and see Rob Esche and his staff and to get a chance to meet the folks they hear about, read about in the paper,” said Jim Haid, Executive Director of the Rescue Mission of Utica. “For them to meet the players and the coaches and to be blessed by them, that’s what it’s all about. That’s what Thanksgiving is all about. We’re just ecstatic to be in partnership with the Comets and Rob and the Save of the Day Foundation.”
Founded in 1980, the Rescue Mission “endeavors to assess and meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of all people coming for assistance.” The Rescue Mission is open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year and yearns to provide families experiencing their hardships with positivity and a delicious meal through the holiday season.