Hundreds of Barry Farm residents lined up to receive holiday turkeys compliments of NBA player Josh Howard and Cricket Communications on Mon., Nov. 15. Courtesy Photo
A crowd of several hundred Washingtonians lined up at the Barry Farms Recreation Center basketball courts on Mon, Nov. 15 for a free turkey give away and also to catch a glimpse of a local NBA basketball star who co-sponsored the event.
Washington Wizards’ 6-foot-7-inch forward, Josh Howard, teamed up with Cricket Communications Inc. and WKYS 93.9 to pass out 500 turkeys to District residents and to kick off this year’s Thanksgiving celebration early. The music of Chuck Brown and Cali Swag District bumped in the background as many residents cut loose and rapped with their friends.
Last modified on Thursday, 18 November 2010 17:23
“I came out for the community and for a free turkey,” said Kenyatta Snead, a 30-year-old Washington Wizards’ fan who showed up to the event after receiving a promotional text message from Cricket. “I feel grateful and blessed.”
Snead said unlike other events in the area, he is surprised the turkey give away was peaceful and positive.
“Everyone is together without an argument or a fight. At least we can come together, for once, without a fight or something like that.”
James Wright, a 39-year-old Southeast resident, spent a good portion of the night smiling, dancing, and talking to his friends. Wright, like Snead, also thought the event was a success.
“Man, I’ve seen everyone I know down here. Cricket is doing a wonderful thing for the community; I just wish we could always get together like this for community, family events.”
Throughout the night WKYS Disc Jockey, “Big Daddy” Iran, kept the crowd pumped up with some good old-fashioned banter. He teased the cheering crowd: “This goes out to all the men who know how to cook. If you know how to cook, make some noise… If you’re a man and can cook better than the woman in your life, make some noise… Ladies, if you’re the best cook in the house and all your man can make is turkey bacon, make some noise…”
Miles Rawls, a Federal Protective Service Officer who was working crowd control on Monday, has been a staple at Barry Farms’ events, both as an organizer and as a security specialist.
“I try to do what the folks did for me when I was coming up; I am just trying to give back to my community and to the less fortunate,” he said.
“The crowd has been just fine.” Rawls, the coordinator of the George Goodman Basketball League at Barry Farms, said Josh Howard called him looking for a good place to host this event; he told him Barry Farms would be a great choice.
The Barry Farms turkey give away was the fourth stop on the Josh Howard Foundation’s list of charitable events in the area. Rick Goings, the foundation’s Program Coordinator said Howard co-sponsored a variety of events in November: A backpack give away and pizza party took place on Nov. 3 in Northeast; a senior citizens bingo party followed on Nov. 9 in Northwest; a basketball clinic, held on Nov. 11 at Emery Recreation Center in Northwest, led up to the turkey give away at Barry Farms in Southeast.
Howard, 30, said he has always made an effort to give back to the community.
“This makes me feel good. [Giving back] is something I have always done; it’s like second nature to me.” Howard said hands-down the best part of events like this is “seeing the smiles on people’s faces.”