Miami Dolphins and Publix partner for 15th year to host 125 students at Kids and Fins shopping spree
Submitted by Theresa Garner
The Miami Dolphins and Publix came together to take 125 students from four schools in the tri-county area shopping for Thanksgiving meals. Dolphins’ players, cheerleaders, mascot T.D. as well as Miami Dolphins Women’s Organization members and Fort Lauderdale Police walked up and down the Publix aisles with kids checking items off their Thanksgiving shopping lists. The event, started in 2003, celebrates 15 years and hosting more than 1,400 students throughout the Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade area as they shop and prepare for the upcoming holiday.
“We are proud of our long-standing partnership with the Miami Dolphins,” Publix Director of Media & Community Relations Maria Brous said. “We are in a unique position to make an impactful difference in the lives of our children and to make memories that will last a lifetime. We are grateful to have this opportunity to serve our community.”
Prior to embarking on their shopping spree, the kids –ranging from 6 to 18-years-old – received a Kids and Fins T-shirt and got to mingle and enjoy a dinner party with cheerleaders and alumni. Alumnus Twan Russell MC’d the event while cheerleaders Agustina, Britt, Emily, Jamie, Jenny and Whitney danced and spent time with the participants. The students, from Henry D. Perry Center in Broward County, H.L. Watkins Middle School in Palm Beach County and Agenoria S. Paschal/Olinda Elementary School and West Homestead K-8 Center in Miami-Dade County, were selected by their principals to participate in this event.
In all, 16 players – Leonte Carroo, John Denney, Kenyan Drake, Matt Haack, Malcolm Lewis, Kolby Listenbee, Rey Maualuga, Drew Morgan, Cody Parkey, Rashawn Scott, De’Veon Smith, Eric Smith, Kenny Stills, Ryan Tannehill, Gabe Wright and Sam Young – were at Publix to help the kids fill up their shopping carts for the holiday. The Miami Dolphins Special Teams volunteers, members of the Miami Dolphins Women’s Organization, Fort Lauderdale police officers and Dolphins alumni Elmer Bailey, Larry Ball, Bob Brudzinski, Troy Drayton, Roy Foster, Lorenzo Hampton, Anthony Harris, Jim Jensen, Lousaka Polite, Ken Poole, Twan Russell, Bryant Salter, Jed Weaver and Shawn Wooden also aided in the shopping effort.
“We had a great time. The boys I was with didn’t have a list or anything so we just went through every aisle and figured out what they wanted,” Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills said of the event. “This event is special because I get to spend time with the kids and let them make all of the decisions. I love spending time with the kids and having the opportunity to be out here.”