Youths at the Boys & Girls Club of Venice and their families were treated to an early Thanksgiving feast with the Los Angeles Lakers Monday, November 24th.

The feast at the club was one of the events hosted by the Lakers throughout the greater Los Angeles area to support children and families during Thanksgiving.

Led by players Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Chris Mihm and Sun Yue, as well as members of the D-Fenders and the entire Laker Girls squad, the team served a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, compliments of Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, to over 200 people in the Boys & Girls Club gymnasium.

While Boys & Girls Club of Venice volunteers annually host a Thanksgiving feast, this year many of the parent volunteers were able to enjoy the event with their families and enjoy the service of the Laker Girls, volunteers from Team TAG and the Boys & Girls Club of Venice board of directors.

“The kids and parents were truly surprised and excited,” said Erikk Aldridge, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Venice. “It was great to see Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, as relatively new players, visit our club and get more involved in the community.

“The holiday season often adds additional stress on struggling families so we are happy to help relieve that burden for our members and their families,” Aldridge added.

East West Bank sponsors many of the Lakers’ community outreach initiatives and had many volunteers on hand to help with the event. In addition to dinner, all the youngsters received a Lakers “goodie bag,” autographs from the Laker Girls and special performances.

Lakers head coach Phil Jackson and executive vice president Jeanie Buss also rang in the holiday season of giving by attending a special ceremony hosted by the Salvation Army.

Information on the Boys & Girls Club of Venice, www.bgcv.org/.

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