The annual Don King’s Turkey Tour returned home to Cleveland on Dec. 17, cool wet temperatures with just a mist of rain did not deter hundreds of people from braving the climate for their Butterball turkey complements of Itube 24/7 and the Call & Post Publisher.
People arrived by bus, car and even walked to the back Call & Post newspaper off Williams Ave,
where the free turkeys were being given away.
Although Don King wasn’t on hand to personally pass out the turkeys, the people who came out were very grateful to him.
“I feel great about receiving a turkey from Don King, praise God,” said Tanesha Mack who was in line long before the noon start of the Turkey Tour.
“I’m going to bake my turkey in the traditional way and feed my family.”
Police blocked off Williams Ave. and car-lines stretched from the Call & Post parking lot entrance to east 116th Street. People stood patiently as Call & Post employees along with volunteers passed out turkeys.
Prior to the turkey giveaway there was breakfast provided for the Call & Post staff and volunteers who assisted with the Turkey Tour. Chef James Garrett III provided an awesome buffet that was enjoyed by those who would go on to make sure that this tradition would flow as smoothly as it always has.
“They called me again this year, I did it last year as well for Don King, Ken Miller and the Call & Post,” said Chef James Garrett III otherwise known as Chef Jay LeSoul.
“I came out to cook for them and I put on a breakfast buffet for clients of Don King and the Call & Post but I also passed out a few turkeys.”
The Christmas Spirit was truly in the air as those who stood in line talked with one another as the line proceeded with precision as everyone received their turkey in a timely manner.
“I love the turkey tour, it’s a good thing,” said Rolanda Morris who parked and then stood in line to get her turkey.
“He’s giving back to the community and he wants to help out so I think it’s a wonderful thing.”
Don King’s Turkey Tour has helped countless families enjoy the holiday season for more than 50 years and this year it unfolded in 9 cities over a 5 day span, Cleveland was the kick-off.
This year added to those numbers with over one thousand turkeys passed out in less than three hours as planned.
People from all walks of life came out for the turkeys but some needed it more than others. Some might not have been able to enjoy a turkey for Christmas if it wasn’t for the return of the Turkey Tour.
“I heard they were giving out turkeys and I’m disabled right now so I can use the turkey,” said Winston Rowe.
“It’s a great thing, Don King gives back to the ‘hood. I’m going to take this turkey stuff it, bless it and cook it.”
Volunteers included the Prince Hall Masonic family, employees of the Call & Post Newspaper and the Cleveland Police Department.
It’s a humbling experience to give to those in need but that’s what Christmas is all about, sharing!
“It’s always been a huge tradition particularly because Don King has been doing it for the past 50 plus years, but more than that because this is at a time, a very perilous time,” said Ken Miller, Executive Editor of the Call & Post Newspaper.
“You know Christmas is coming up, people are doing a lot of things with the resources that they have and eating is the most important one, so to get an opportunity to give someone a turkey that allows them to feed their family and friends and stuff like that is a very, very, good deal. I’m just excited to be a part of it. I know what it feels like to have to stand in a line and have someone give me something to eat because that’s the way I grew up. For me personally I can’t explain in words how important and impactful something like this is for me,” added Miller.