Local hockey team makes it their ‘goal’ to help community on Thanksgiving

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)– Thanksgiving is a day for being thankful and giving back.

The Commission on Economic Opportunity (CEO) has been giving back to the less fortunate and home-bound for more than 40 years. This year they got help from a local college hockey team with some time, off the ice, to spare.

More than 1,000 volunteers and more than a month’s worth of work have gone into this effort. Now that it’s Thanksgiving, it’s time to get meals to those who need them.

“Today is actually the conclusion of our annual Thanksgiving distribution, which actually starts the last week in October, where we register families for both grocery distribution which took place the last two weekends. It’s also for the individuals who need a hot meal delivered to them on Thanksgiving Day,” said Weinberg Regional Food Bank director Rich Kutz.”Today, alone, we have more than 120 volunteers that are helping out.”

CEO has been giving to those in need all 12 months out of the year, for almost half a century. The Thanksgiving distribution is a major volunteer event. Among those volunteers were the Wilkes University hockey team.

“We have a tournament this weekend so unfortunately, we couldn’t be home to be with our families,” said Wilkes Colonels defenseman Michael Gurska. “But I think all of us are really thankful for the opportunity to be able to give back to the community and show that we really care.”

The Colonels have an emphasis on community service throughout the year. The CEO welcomed their help.

“It’s great that it gives them the opportunity to bond as a group and to do something that is benefiting the neighbors,” added Kutz.

While their tournament may be on their minds, cooking, bagging and delivering was their top priority for the holiday.

“Even though we don’t have the opportunities to be home with our families,” said Gurska. “I think we all found it really special and worthwhile to be able to come here and help out those who are less fortunate and those in the community who could really use some help–especially at a time like this in the holiday season.”

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