In conjunction with WNBA Week of Service, the Connecticut Sun reached out to the community Wednesday evening, serving dinner at the New London Community Meal Center. The food was donated by Mohegan Sun, and the catering staff was on hand to prepare it for the players, who fed roughly 200 visitors.
Center Tina Charles has volunteered at food centers before, and she enjoys the overall experience.
Seeing the smiles on their faces is great, she said. There are people from all over asking how tall we are, what positions we play, when were coming again.
The entire team was on hand, including the coaching staff, to hand out a wide variety of food. People received turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, assorted fruits and vegetables. The meal was topped off with various deserts, including pies and cookies. People were also provided with water and assorted sodas, all courtesy of Mohegan Sun.
The interaction between the team and the guests is important, said Peta Madry, who manages the Center. Its good for the team to see how other people live who may be less fortunate than themselves.
The New London Community Meal Center provides meals for those in need, including dinner from 5-6 Monday through Friday. They have nearly 350 volunteers throughout the year, but Wednesday night the Sun took over and made their presence felt as every player had a role along the food line.
I think people were overlooking the food they were getting and engaging with us and our personalities, said Charles after serving stuffing to everyone in line.
The Sun players and staff were not the only volunteers working on Wednesday night. Members of the Girl Scouts were also on hand to offer their services. They cleaned tables, returned trays and dishes to the kitchen to be cleaned, and met new people. The four girls on hand were busy throughout the hour that the center served dinner, and enjoyed the opportunity to give back to the community.
It was nice, To help other people, to meet new people, and to help every sister and brother, said troop member Isabelle Cruz.
We try to do as much as we can, added troop leader Jeri Buckholt, as she guided the girls around the eating area.
Volunteering at food centers is just one of many ways the Girl Scouts give back to the New London community. They hold various food and clothing drives, and are always eager to help with many functions.
The girls also pick their own projects to do, including various drives and donating money to the Humane Society, said Director of Membership Services Letesha Nelson.
Sun Vice President and General Manager Chris Sienko gave a short introduction before the meal, thanking everyone for giving the Sun an opportunity give back. Guard Renee Montgomery then led everyone in a short prayer before serving began.