Knights give back during Thanksgiving season
November 23, 2015
By Russ Hryvnak, Times Leader
Put the biscuit in the basket. It’s a slang phrase known to hockey players and fans that means putting the puck in the net.
This Thanksgiving season however, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights are taking that statement literally.
For the last two weeks, the North American Hockey League team, currently in its first season, has been helping to hand out meals at the temporary location of the Weinberg Regional Food Bank, which is run by the Commission on Economic Opportunity (CEO), inside the East End Center in Wilkes-Barre.
It’s no secret that building a great team, whether it’s on the field, in the office or, in this case, on the ice, requires chemistry, time and going through experiences together. Knights’ forward Matt Beranek believes helping the community is a great way to accomplish that goal.
“We all got here early,” Beranek said. “It gets us up out of bed and it’s a different environment than the rink. You get used to always being at the rink with the team, but it’s good to get out and help the community. Any kind of heart-warming experience like helping families that need it, especially around a special holiday like Thanksgiving, will definitely help the team.”
The officials at the food bank wasted little time putting the team to work. They’ve done everything from packing up food bags earlier in the week to helping people take their carts, filled with Thanksgiving favorites, to their cars.
Another Wilkes-Barre/Scranton forward, Aiden Beck said the team is not out for recognition.
“We are just helping other people that need help,” Beck said. “The guys are all together right now and it just brings us closer together by doing a great thing for other people.”
The Weinberg Regional Food Bank has seen a lot of volunteers over the last week or so, and given the heavy workload for the nearly two-week operation, the larger the group the better.
“This is an activity that helps build teamwork,” said Executive Director of the Commission on Economic Opportunity, Gene Brady. “I think what these young people see are families in need, many times less fortunate, and as they get older, they will continue to volunteer and be involved in the community in positive ways.