To many Thanksgiving is considered to be a scrumptious meal shared with family and friends; to others the holiday can be a reminder of their hardship. Recognizing this, the Utica Comets and the Rob Esche “Save of the Day” Foundation set out on a mission to ensure families had a meal to enjoy this Thanksgiving.
On Tuesday, November 24, the Comets players and staff delivered 200 turkeys donated by the Rob Esche “Save of the Day” Foundation to the Rescue Mission to help families in need. From bagging potatoes to hand delivering turkeys to signing autographs, the players did it all.
“The players exemplified what community spirit is all about,” said the Rescue Mission’s Executive Director Ernie Talerico. “To take time out of their schedule to have that personal one-on-one interaction with those in need told each individual and family that the Comets players and organization cares about them. The generosity and service the players provided put a smile on men, women and children’s faces because they left knowing they could have a Thanksgiving meal to enjoy in their own home.”
After helping the families, the players also visited the Rescue Mission’s Comets room where the Comets rookies autographed the walls. Painted in Comets colors, the room was created from a donation made by the Save of the Day Foundation as part of a new aftercare program for men who are in long-term recovery.
“This program would not have been possible without the generosity of the Comets and the Save of the Day Foundation. The program has had lasting positive effect on men’s lives and the men always comment on the ‘Comets room’ and are grateful for the program and the Comets organization,” Talerico said.