Bongo's, Alonzo Mourning give back to community for Thanksgiving
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Celebrities and volunteers served holiday meals to the homeless and needy families at Bongo's Cuban Cafe on Thanksgiving Day.
Gloria and Emilio Estefan hosted their fifth annual Thanksgiving celebration on Thursday at around 11 a.m. "Thank you again for everybody that comes out and volunteers. This is my favorite event all year, because it's all about sharing love and food," said Gloria Estefan. "I think they're two things that we desperately need as human beings and with the economy, it's been extra special."
Hundreds of people gathered at the restaurant, including celebrities such as Rosie O'Donnell and the Real Housewives of Miami as well as local volunteers. "We've got regulars, we've got new people this year, we try to have entertainment for the kids," said Gloria Estefan.
The Estefans goal is to feed at least 2,000 people with the help of Sedano's, other sponsors and local organizations, such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters and The Red Cross. "We have great partners that help us do this, Sedano's, Baptist Health South and of course Big Brothers and Big Sisters that brings community partnership for the homeless, we've got four different organizations," said Gloria Estefan. "And whoever walks up here is welcomed as well."
7News Luis Aguirre also came out and volunteered his time. "I'm here to help. Will Gloria and Emilio call, you do it," he said. "They've been doing this for five years and I'm happy to be a part of this. This is the best way to spend Thanksgiving. I came last year, and the year before and it just makes me feel good."
Bongo's Cuban Cafe offered both Cuban and American Thanksgiving meals, giving people a wide variety of foods to choose from.
Meanwhile, former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning delivered turkeys and Thanksgiving meals to deserving families in Little Haiti and Overtown, with the help of Publix. Together with the Miami Heat, Mourning served over 700 Thanksgiving dinners on Thursday.
"Doing much and giving much is required and I had my son out here today," said Mourning. "It's just a reminder to him that you have to do your part."
Maneka Reed was one of many who received a meal from Mourning. "I'm just very happy and thankful and to see all of you professional players, it just makes me so happy," she said with tears in her eyes.
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