The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation – along with Redskins alumni and Mrs. Tanya Snyder and Kiersten Allen – were joined by the Hogettes, Santa and more than 500 volunteers on Tuesday for the 10th annual Redskins-Harris Teeter "Harvest Feast" presented by Ryan Homes at FedExField.
This year, the "Harvest Feast" provided a full Thanksgiving meal to 3,500 Prince George's County families. In addition, all children in attendance received a special visit from Santa and gift bags that included Redskins Read Activity Books, toys and treats.
"It means a lot to everybody to be here," said Mrs. Tanya Snyder, wife of Redskins owner, Daniel M. Snyder. "And then to see everybody coming in and to see what a difference it makes, that's truly why we're all here."
Mrs. Synder was among a group of more than 500 volunteers from FedEx, Harris Teeter, Prince George's County Department of Social Services, Redskins Women of Washington (WOW), Ryan Homes and Wells Fargo that joined the Redskins to provide families with whole turkeys from Harris Teeter and packaged and fresh food from Operation Blessing.
Also volunteering were several Redskins alumni who were more than willing to work up a good sweat as they assembled 3,500 sacks full of 20-pound turkeys and other packaged and fresh foods.
"To give that much food away and the different items that you give away, to get them all packed up and ready, it's a lot of work involved," said Bubba Tyer, a 2003 Redskins Ring of Fame inductee who was the team's longtime head athletic trainer. "Me and about 50 other people bagged up the 3,500 turkeys to get them ready for distribution. It was a lot of fun; a lot of work."
Also packing turkeys was Dan Ryczek, an offensive lineman who was drafted by the Redskins and head coach George Allen in 1971.
"This is tremendous," said Ryczek, who played for the Redskins until 1975 and also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams. "[We're] trying to help some people who aren't as fortunate as the rest of us and a lot of great people volunteering to do this."
Manning the canning station was Fred Dean, one of the original Hogs who won a Super Bowl title with the Redskins in 1982.
"It means the world to me," Dean said of volunteering at the 'Harvest Feast.' "You think about the families that don't have [this], and they're going to be able to have something for Thanksgiving and the Holidays? Man, there's nothing better than that."
Snyder said she remains extremely grateful for the hundreds of volunteers that come out each year to make the "Harvest Feast" an annual success.
"I'm very proud that it's grown to be what it is," she said. "I just want to say thank you to everybody for helping make this possible; otherwise, we wouldn't have this.
"Everybody has been so generous and it has grown to what it is today: 3,500 turkeys and 10 years and going strong, so we're really proud."