Page 13 - Florida Sentinel 12-11-20
P. 13

    Organizations, Groups Make A ‘Thanksgiving Difference’
 Several organizations and individuals made sure the com- munity had Thanksgiving, even during pandemic times. Even though most were “take out” and drive-thru events, the sponsors went above and beyond to feed as many as possible.
COVID-19 made it difficult this year for the organizations to share hot meals with their guests on Thanksgiving Day, as many had done in the past.
Donatello Restaurant nor- mally closes its business on Thanksgiving Day just so they can serve hot meals to many children from not-for-porofit or-
ganizations. This event started in 1987 when owner, Guido Tiozzo decided to thank the community for the warm wel- come Donatello had received. They began the tradition of host- ing an annual Thanksgiving din- ner benefitting the children of Tampa.
This year, the restaurant prepared 900 take-out meals for several agencies that participate. The restaurant provided food and gifts for the children, which was picked up on Tuesday, No- vember 24th.
“We’ll miss the crowds of families coming to the restau-
rant, enjoying being served by tuxedoed waiters, listening to the Christmas Carols of Kitty Daniels and Majid Shabazz, taking pictures with athletes of our sports teams, marveling at the passage of character actors,” Alessandra Tiozzo said in a press release.
“We will miss the sparkling eyes of the children opening all the gifts.
“I will miss Thanksgiv- ing as I have known since I landed in this country, but we need to face the situation and find other ways for honoring this meaningful tradition.”
The agencies which partici- pated are: R.I.C.H. Police Pro- gram, Children Cancer Center, City of Tampa Recreation, Eck- erd Community Alternative, In- carnation Church, Men of Vision, FEC, COACH Founda- tion, One Church One Child, Youth Build, Young Lions, Posi- tive Image, Feed the Children and other related organizations.
In other events, Children With A Vision, founded by
Tonya Lewis, servd hot meals to hundreds a few days before Thanksgiving at the 29th Street Open Air Market.
State Representative Di- anne Hart and the East Tampa Business and Civic Association along with several partners fed hundreds a hot meal, provided bags of groceries and clothing items at New Mt. Zion M. B. Church. (Photos for these events by BRUNSON)
   Marvin Knight, former Buccaneer Harold Hart, Bobby Bowden and Windell Ashley were among those assisting the Donatello staff with distributing the pans of food and gifts.
 The Donatello owners, Gino and Alessandra Tiozzo, with Marvin Knight, Bobby Bowden, andRev. and Mrs. Willie (Maryse) Dixon.
    State Representative Dianne Hart did her 8 a. m. radio show from the site of the giveaway as volunteers prepared to receive the community.
 Mr. and Mrs. Rex Sano are long time supporters of the Do- natello Thanksgiving event.
  Curtis Lane, former law enforcement official; Marvin Knight, and a staffer of Donatello’s.
  Tonya Lewis and Buffy Moore preparing the meals at the Open Air Market event.
  These volunteers assisted Mrs. Lewis and Children With A Vision to distribute hot meals.
  Dexter Bryant of the Young Lions organization with Chris- tian and Chasity Bynum and the gifts they received.
  DJ TeePee and Tonya Lewis at the 29th Street Open Air Mar- ket. The DJ kept the wheels of steel spinning during the event.
  COACH Foundation founder, Rev. Willie G. Dixon, his wife, Maryse and Ms. Bridgette John- son with the items they received from Donatello. Ray Collins as- sisted in picking up the food and taking this photo.

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