Thursday, November 23, 2017
News Roundup

Joe Maddon brings ‘Thanksmas’ charitable feast back to Tampa Bay

RECOMMENDED READING


TAMPA

It has been three years since World Series-winning manager Joe Maddon left the Tampa Bay Rays. But he never really left Tampa Bay.

Even as he guided the Chicago Cubs to a historic championship in 2016, Maddon remained a fixture in the bay area. He still has his off-season home on Bayshore Boulevard, his Italian restaurant Ava in South Tampa and his Respect 90 Foundation is also here.

Now "Thanksmas" is back, too. Thats the name of Maddons effort to feed the homeless using his mothers recipes back when he managed the Rays.

He resumed that charitable tradition Monday evening, serving spaghetti dinners to help feed the 90 or so people staying at the Salvation Army of Tampas emergency shelter. There will be more lunches and dinners for the homeless to come this week.

"These folks are good people," Maddon said. "Theyve fallen on hard times for a variety of reason."

This is the first time since 2014 that Maddons Respect 90 Foundation has held the "Thanksmas" program in the Tampa Bay area.

But this time, Maddon didnt cook the meals himself like he used to. This years meals, based on his traditional holiday Itallian-Polish recipes, were made by the restaurant 717 South.

In between selfies with fans, the three-time manager of the year (twice in the American League and once in the National League) talked about how important a sit-down meal is, just like the ones his mother, Beanie Maddon, served to the family back when he was growing up in Hazleton, Pa.

"My mom cooked dinner every night," Maddon said. "At 5:30 my dad would come home from work and we would all sit at the table, enjoy the meal and have conversation .?.?. It can really bring families together."

"Thanksmas" has fed thousands of homeless in the past, ever since Maddons first year with the Rays back in 2006. He said it was important to bring the tradition back to the bay area.

"Weve been doing it in Chicago and at my hometown in Pennsylvania," Maddon said. "When I went to the Cubs, things got a little complicated and busy. But now that we are getting our feet back on the ground, we are back."

His foundation also partnered with Citypak, a nonprofit that designs backpacks specifically for the homeless, to hand out backpacks and Under Armour socks. They aim to hand out 13,000 of the bags before the week is over.

The Cubs manager walked around the room and shook hands with nearly everyone who came to eat. Darrel Fugate, 56, who is staying at the shelter, was quick to whip out his phone and take a photo with Maddon.

"Im a Cardinals fan myself," Fugate said "But Im really glad he did what he did for us."

Fourteen players from the Steinbrenner High School baseball team and their coaches did much of the serving and backpack prepping.

Steinbrenner High catcher Griffin Garcia, 16, said it was a lifelong dream to meet Maddon.

"Ive always wanted to meet him when he was with the Rays," Garcia said after he was done handing out plates of food and got to sit down himself to eat. "Hes the best manager in baseball."

The foundation plans to serve more meals in conjunction with three high school baseball teams: the Northeast High team will help serve meals at 5:30 p.m. today at the Pinellas Hope homeless shelter, 5726 126th Ave. N in Clearwater; the Northside Christian School team will serve meals at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Salvation Army, 340 14th Ave. S in St. Petersburg; and the Jesuit High team will serve food at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at Trinity Cafe, 2801 N Nebraska Ave. in Tampa.

Contact Jonathan Capriel at jcapriel@tampabay.com. Follow
@jonathancapriel.

   
Comments

 
Updated: 19 minutes ago

Updated: 20 minutes ago
Woman killed in Largo motorcycle crash could out-game any dude

Woman killed in Largo motorcycle crash could out-game any dude

LARGO Sydney Pender, 27, loved riding her motorcycle, even though she knew the dangers. Three years ago, her friend said, a delivery truck hit her. But she kept riding. On Thanksgiving, it was a crash with a taxi cab that killed her.Pender, a St. P...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

By BOB PUTNAMCLEARWATER The Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot has long been a fixture on Jon Motts sporting calendar. Not even a 103-degree fever Tuesday could keep him away from the event, in its 39th year. Mott, a record four-time 10k champion, added ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Valrico intersection closed after car-sized hole opens in road

VALRICO A hole the size of a vehicle opened up beneath the intersection of Natures Way Boulevard and Elm Grove Lane, Hillsborough officials said.The cause of the depression is unclear, but the intersection was blocked off to traffic.Hillsborough C...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

CLEARWATER On Tuesday, Jon Mott had a 103-degree fever. That was not enough to keep him from maintaining his dominance Thursday at the 39th Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot.The former Northeast standout added to his record with his fifth title in the ev...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Update: Mother, toddler hit by car in critical condition at TGH

TAMPA A mother and one of her two small children who were hit by a car while trying to cross Dale Mabry Highway on Wednesday were still in the hospital on Thanksgiving, according to Tampa General Hospital.Cassandra Marie Spicola, 29, and 18-month-o...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Pasco County put under immediate tornado warning

The National Weather Service has put out a tornado warning for Pasco County. Thunderstorms capable of producing a tornado and strong winds are expected over Jasmine Estates, New Port Richey and Hudson until 1:15 p.m., according to the NWS warning. Ba...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

Its going to be a wet Thanksgiving across Tampa Bay, but sunny skies are coming during the long weekend, according to WTSP 10Weather meteorologist Ric Kearbey. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Self-proclaimed Nazi banned from University of North Florida  but allowed to remain a student

Self-proclaimed Nazi banned from University of North Florida but allowed to remain a student

A self-proclaimed Nazi is banned from the University of North Floridas campus but will remain a student, university officials said.Ken Parker, a 37-year-old Navy veteran who once served as the grand dragon, or highest-ranking leader, of the Ku Klu...
Updated: 11 hours ago