Tribe serves Thanksgiving meal to nearly 400

Five local charities enjoy feast at Progressive Field

Tribe serves Thanksgiving meal to nearly 400

CLEVELAND -- In Progressive Field's Terrace Club on Sunday afternoon was a Thanksgiving gathering larger than any to be found in an American household this Thursday.

The Indians served roughly 375 individuals from five local charities -- Our Lady of the Wayside, Shoes and Clothes for Kids, Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland, OhioGuidestone and The City Mission -- in their fifth annual Thanksgiving meal.

Members of the front office -- including team chairman/CEO Paul Dolan, president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti and general manager Mike Chernoff -- served food and drinks directly to the attendants.

"It's part of what we think is our duty as a Cleveland institution that stands for a lot more than just baseball," Dolan said. "It's important that the organization is able to make a difference in the community. We spent all of last week at the food bank. This organization is always doing something to serve the community."

The menu, all supplied by Delaware North Sportservice, was massive. It included:

• 175 pounds of ham
• 185 pounds of turkey
• 100 pounds of sweet potatoes
• 100 pounds of mashed potatoes
• 37 pounds of green beans
• 150 pounds of stuffing
• 900 pieces of pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie
• 40 pounds of corn
• 6 gallons of gravy
• 3 gallons of cranberry sauce

Dolan was "the corn guy," scooping 40 pounds of corn onto the plates of children and adults alike from the surrounding area's community.

"My favorite part is just seeing these young kids come through, they're all dressed up nice and they're very polite and appreciative of getting a full meal. Some of them are asking for cheeseburgers, but that's how my kids would be, too," Dolan said with a laugh.

The OhioGuidestone organization surprised parents who regularly attend parent meetings at Stepstone Academy elementary with a trip to the event.

One of those families was the English family, with mom, Nakiesha, and fourth-grade daughter, Talijha, present at the meal. Nakiesha is one of four parents who also work at the school and were able to be a part of Sunday's festivities with their families.

"This just made me feel happy to know that people out here really care," English said. "They want to give back to families, low-income families and families in the community. This was a wonderful thing for us."

August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.