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Cardinals Take Part In 'Feed The Hungry' Before Thanksgiving

Players, executives, cheerleaders reach out to community in need

Defensive linemen Jonathan Ledbetter and Dante Stills serve Thanksgiving meals during Monday night's "Feed The Hungry" event at Phoenix Rescue Mission.
Defensive linemen Jonathan Ledbetter and Dante Stills serve Thanksgiving meals during Monday night's "Feed The Hungry" event at Phoenix Rescue Mission.

Wide receiver Greg Dortch had his best game of the season Sunday in Houston, with six catches for 76 yards.

Monday night, Dortch and eight of his teammates had another important effort, turning in their football gear for kitchen gloves and aprons at the Cardinals' annual Feed The Hungry event.

"It speaks to the importance of just caring about other people and not just thinking about yourself," Dortch said. "It's always nice to give back to the community, to keep you humble. Also, just to remember not that not everybody is as fortunate as you are."

The event, hosted by the Phoenix Rescue Mission, gave those that are escaping homelessness, addiction, and poverty, the opportunity to have some of their Cardinals family with them as Thanksgiving approaches. All of those in attendance, outside of a Cowboys fan and Packers fan that held true to their fandom, were wearing Cardinals gear.

Linebacker Dennis Gardeck started becoming involved with community service events dating back to high school. Since he joined the NFL, Gardeck has made it a point to give back to the community.

"As football players, we get so much support from the community that it's important for us to be here for them," Gardeck said. "It's a testament to the Cardinals organization, one, for making this a priority. Two, it just seems like as long as players know about these events, they're showing up, so I think it works hand-in-hand. It's an awesome experience and definitely builds to the togetherness of the team."

The players weren't the only Cardinals helping on Monday. Big Red, cheerleader, and multiple executives came to show their appreciation for the community.

Nicole Bidwill was walking around with a smile on her face, handing out pies and many other treats. Nicole's brother, Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill, was all over the venue, handing out drinks and filling people's plates with food.

Michael Bidwill said that he hopes the Cardinals players and executives feel like they got more out of the event than they gave and that it extends beyond the holiday season.

"It's just a great feeling to be able to serve other people, to help bring some smiles to folks faces," he said. "We as a community can do more for those in need and all of us know somebody who could use a little bit of a pick me up. It may not be coming down to a place like Phoenix Rescue Mission, maybe it could be just a neighbor who needs a smile on their face. So many awful things are going on around the world right now. Just being nicer, kinder, and give back to the community, that's the main message."

The other Cardinals executives in attendance were Chief People Officer Shaun Mayo, Senior Vice President of Media Relations Mark Dalton, and new Cardinals COO Jeremy Walls.

Walls, who joined the organization in October, described his first community service event as "pretty special." He also brought his son because he wanted to share with him how rewarding it is to give back to those in need, especially during the holiday season.

"It's important for me that he gets to give back and understand that our life is not about us, it's about other people and about investing in our community and loving on people that need it," Walls said. "We (Cardinals) have such a big platform that we've been given, so now it's on us to use that platform for good, and Michael leads that effort and his sister, Nicole, are so involved in this community and it's in their hearts to give back. The Phoenix Rescue Mission, specifically, has been so important to Michael, so we're just glad we can be here to serve."

Images of the Arizona Cardinals players, staff, Nicole Bidwill and Owner Michael Bidwill volunteering at Phoenix Rescue Mission to serve Thanksgiving meals to individuals escaping homelessness, addiction and poverty

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