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2013 Thanksmas efforts continue to pay off

ST. PETERSBURG -- Salvation Army shelters in St. Petersburg, Tampa and Bradenton, the Homeless Emergency Project in Clearwater and the Sallie House in St. Petersburg all received visits from Rays manager Joe Maddon, coaches and front-office staff last December as part of Maddon's annual Thanksmas Project.

Next week, those shelters will each receive a check for approximately $4,100, representing additional funds raised through Thanksmas efforts in 2013.

"These donations are made possible by the generosity of the many people who have supported Thanksmas and who share our vision in helping less fortunate members of our community," Maddon said.

Maddon has hosted Thanksmas for the past eight years. As he does for every Thanksmas, Maddon prepares a traditional Italian/Polish holiday feast for hundreds of needy citizens in the region. Maddon purchases the food and, with the help of volunteers, cooks and serves the meals.

Thankmas has served approximately 7,000 individuals in need and provided many with clothing and shoes.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
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