ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—Rays Manager Joe Maddon will host Thanksmas for the eighth consecutive year at Salvation Army Shelters in St. Petersburg, Tampa and Bradenton, the Homeless Emergency Project in Clearwater and the Sallie House in St. Petersburg and then return to his native Pennsylvania home for his Hazleton Integration Project’s Third Annual Christmas Celebration.
Thanksmas begins Friday, December 13 when Maddon hosts his Third Annual Thanksmas Fundraiser at 717 South in Tampa (717 S. Howard Ave.) from 5 p.m. until closing. The restaurant will prepare Joe’s Thanksmas meal and Rays players and coaches will be guest servers.
As he does for every Thanksmas, Maddon will prepare a traditional Italian/Polish holiday feast for hundreds of needy citizens in the Tampa Bay region. He will purchase the food and, with the help of Rays coaches and staff, cook and serve the meals at the five shelters from December 16 to 18. Over the past seven years, Maddon’s Thankmas has served approximately 6,000 individuals in need and provided many of those individuals with clothing and shoes.
Following Thanksmas, Maddon will return to his Hazleton, Pa., hometown for a series of events to promote his Hazleton Integration Project (HIP). The project’s mission is to create opportunities for economically disadvantaged children to participate in a variety of no-cost or low-cost educational, cultural and athletic activities. Last June, HIP opened its Hazleton Community One Center.
On December 20, Maddon will be joined by four-time 20-game winner Luis Tiant, Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar, former Phillies manager and shortstop Larry Bowa, Tigers bullpen coach Mickey Billmeyer and FOX’s Ken Rosenthal for a HIP fundraiser—a celebrity dinner/auction at Genetti's Best Western in Hazle Township. The following evening, the Rays manager will host Joe Maddon’s Family Christmas featuring a variety of Hazleton’s most talented young people at the Alice C. Wiltsie Performing Arts Center. Finally, on December 22, Maddon and his volunteers will serve a final Thanksmas meal to economically disadvantaged citizens at Hazleton’s Catholic Social Services Family Center.
Maddon’s upcoming schedule:
|Friday, December 13||5 p.m.||Fundraiser at 717 South Restaurant (717 S Howard Ave., Tampa)|
|Saturday, December 14||Noon||Shopping for food, Sam's Club, TBA|
|Sunday, December 15||Noon||Food preparation with Joe Maddon at Tropicana Field|
|Monday, December 16||5 p.m.||Serve at Sallie House, St. Petersburg|
|Tuesday, December 17||Noon||Serve at Bradenton Salvation Army (1204 14th St. W)|
|5 p.m.||Serve at St. Petersburg Salvation Army (340 14th Ave. S)|
|Wednesday, December 18||11:30 a.m.||Serve at Homeless Emergency Project (1120 N Betty Ln., Clearwater)|
|5 p.m.||Serve at Tampa Salvation Army (1603 N Florida Ave.)|
|Thursday, December 19||4 p.m.||Press Conference, Hazleton One Community Center|
|Friday, December 20||6 p.m.||Celebrity Dinner/Auction, Genetti's Best Western in Hazle Township|
|Saturday, December 21||7 p.m.||Maddon Family Christmas, Alice C. Wiltsie Performing Arts Center|
|Sunday, December 22||2 p.m.||Serve at Hazleton One Community Center|