Staff Report

MIAMI – The Miami HEAT hosted their 25th Annual HEAT Thanksgiving Celebration at the Miami Rescue Mission on Wednesday, November 16 at 2 p.m. The entire HEAT team, along with HEAT coaches and staffers ushered in the Thanksgiving holiday early with residents from the Greater Miami area.

The community was invited to enjoy the block-party festivities, but the event was especially meaningful for a select group of approximately 600 underprivileged families, most of which were pre-selected by different government and community-based organizations and agencies.

Each family received a complete Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings from the Miami HEAT, courtesy of Florida Blue. Frozen turkeys and loaves of bread were provided by The A Group while canned goods, side items and beverages were donated by Goya Foods, ONE Sotheby’s International Realty and Pepsi. Levy Cares, the charitable foundation of Levy Restaurants, and the catering division of the American Airlines Arena provided 450 hot meals to the residents of Miami Rescue Mission.

This year’s celebration extended well beyond the Overtown/Wynwood area to help touch those in need in communities such as Little Havana, Little Haiti, Liberty City, Cutler Bay and Lauderhill. Other beneficiaries of the event included: Curly’s House of Style Hope Relief Food Bank, SafeSpace, Salvation Army, Amigos for Kids, Kiwanis Club of Little Havana, and The Advocate Program, which services military veterans and their families.

The Miami HEAT Dancers, HEAT mascot, Burnie, DJ M Dot and the Xtreme Team entertained families with special performances throughout the afternoon. Guests were treated to games, activities, and inflatables.

Members of the United States Armed Forces were also on-hand to provide assistance, along with HEAT staffers who worked concessions and activity stations, as well as interacted with children from the HEAT Academy at Dunbar K-8 Center during the festivities.

The Miami Rescue Mission is a charitable agency that provides spiritual, physical and social services to the poor and needy including homeless men, women, and children through several centers in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, where it provides over 1,000 meals daily.