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Life's a Beach: Golden Knights give back to Las Vegas community

The Thanksgiving holiday is most connected to football, with the Dallas Cowboys playing almost every year and many local towns hosting recreational “Turkey Bowls.” This is usually a time for gathering and reflection. However, the pandemic has put a hampering on some festivities. Despite this, there is one festivity that remains unchanged for the Las Vegas Golden Knights: giving back. 

The Golden Knights have a history of excellence, holding winning records since their formation in 2017-18. Last season, they finished eighth in the National Hockey League with a 39-24 record. While they have not been in Las Vegas for a long period of time, the team has been able to establish a meaningful presence. 

This year for Thanksgiving, the team partnered with the non-profit HELP of Southern Nevada and radio station 97.1-FM The Point for the annual Turkey-Thon Thanksgiving Food Drive. Together through a virtual program, they accepted monetary donations from Nov. 16-23 to purchase meals for those in need this holiday. 

On Nov. 23, select team and staff members following COVID-19 safety procedures helped distribute over 800 meals in the HELP of Southern Nevada parking lot. Each box had a frozen turkey and non-perishable items such as canned goods, macaroni and cheese and instant potatoes. This initiative stemmed from the HELP’s holiday assistance program that garners support for Las Vegas families who do not have the means to purchase things they need. 

Many individual athletes donate around the holidays, but seeing a whole team partner for an initiative is refreshing. Thanksgiving is about being thankful for the things surrounding you, whether that be family members or the trees. Professional sports are often the top source of income for a city, but that does not mean the whole population has wealth and the means to plan elaborate holidays. 

The Golden Knights have only been in Las Vegas for three seasons, but their connection to their fans and the city is evident. A sports team cannot thrive in a city with a narrow fanbase, and they build theirs through community outreach. 

Even if you are unable to participate in an outreach of some kind during the holiday season, take time to appreciate those around you and all they have done. Giving back is not always about monetary support. Donating your time and effort can be just as effective, as seen by the Golden Knights. 

The holiday season looks different for all families and individuals. Remember to have patience with all things, be kind to others and rejoice for all you have been given. Sports are not always about who wins and who loses on the field. It’s about the meaningful moments off the field, in the stands or behind the screen, and each holiday season reminds fans and players alike of those bonds. 

@ashleybeachy_

ab026319@ohio.edu

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