Giving Thanks – Ravens Style

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View BR.com's exclusive multimedia content of the Ravens's Thanksgiving efforts in the community:Video | Photo Gallery

No Turducken Involved

Several Ravens helped to ensure that many Marylanders can enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner complete with turkey and all of the fixings. Between distributing Thanksgiving baskets to serving dinner, Tuesday (11/24) was a busy day in our community.

Rushing to the Table –Running back Willis McGahee started the day off by distributing Thanksgiving baskets to families in Howard County. In a continuation of his partnership with the Community Action Council, McGahee helped supply a complete dinner including pumpkin pie for dessert.

Thanksgiving (Sans Chef Hat) – Although he wasn't cooking on Tuesday, tackle Jared Gaither added to the Thanksgiving spirit as he provided baskets complete with turkey and all the fixings. The offensive lineman was joined by members of the Lady Ravens Association as they interacted with families at Paul's Place Outreach center – a full service facility for residents of Washington Village.

A Tradition of Gratitude – Linebacker Ray Lewis*continued his annual custom of providing Thanksgiving dinner, home products and toiletries to over 400 Baltimore families on Tuesday. Wide receiver Mark Clayton *joined Lewis in distributing turkeys. The crowds lined up down the block, but Lewis and Clayton took time to personally wish each individual a Happy Thanksgiving. Mayor Sheila Dixon stopped by to help.

Turkey With All the Fixings – Safety Ed Reed*has developed an ongoing relationship with Booker T. Washington Middle School in Baltimore. Reed hosted a fitness day in the fall and provided turkey baskets for 90 students and their families on Tuesday. The five-time Pro Bowler was joined by linebacker Antwan Barnes, cornerback Chris Carr and quarterback Troy Smith. *

Dinner is Served – Running back Ray Rice took some time Tuesday to provide dinner for the men of the Helping Up Mission. Linebacker Antwan Barnes, wide receiver Justin Harper, tight end Edgar Jones*and wide receiver Kelley Washington* joined Rice in serving turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. The dinner was funded by former Ravens linebacker Bart Scott, who hosted the event for three years before signing with the New York Jets.

Some Thanksgiving Grubb – Tuesday evening concluded with guard Ben Grubbs hosting his inaugural turkey basket distribution for single-parent families in Baltimore. Quarterback Joe Flacco, tight end Todd Heap and tackle Joe Reitz** joined Grubbs in giving out the baskets and meeting with families. The Ravens players took pictures and signed photos while spreading Thanksgiving spirit.

View BR.com's exclusive multimedia content of the Ravens's Thanksgiving efforts in the community:Video| *Photo Gallery*

What's Cooking?

The Food Network may have a new show to add to their winter lineup. On Monday (11/23) Ravens tackle Jared Gaither traded the gridiron for a grill and his jersey for an apron as he hosted a celebrity cook off at the ESPN Zone in Baltimore. In an open kitchen setting, Gaither challenged tight end Edgar Jones and defensive tackle Brandon McKinney to a 30-minute entrée throw down. At stake: a spot on the ESPN Zone's menu for the remainder of football season.

Adding to the Iron Chef Americaatmosphere, linebacker Prescott Burgess* *served as the host grilling the chefs-in-training on their dishes. Burgess got the audience involved, *peppering *in a few questions from the crowd.

Partnered with a sous chef from the ESPN Zone, the Ravens each prepared a main course to present to a panel of celebrity judges. The chefs were critiqued on the dish's presentation and overall taste. Jones cooked up a rich seafood pasta in an alfredo sauce. McKinney's Cajun jerk chicken with coconut rice drew rave reviews from the panel. In "his element" behind the grill, Gaither prepared a steak and pasta dish with a gorgonzola sauce.

Proving that they're as talented in the kitchen as they are on the field, each dish delighted the judges. In the closely contested race, McKinney's dish was dubbed the winner for its colorful presentation and tangy taste. Visit the ESPN Zone to critique the defensive tackle's entrée.

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