Erie BayHawks Enjoy Thanksgiving Feast at LECOM Wellness Center
Erie BayHawks players Tasmin Mitchell and Derek Raivio enjoy a laugh during a special Thanksgiving feast at the LECOM Medical Fitness and Wellness Center.

Being away from home can be tough during the holidays. That’s why the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine decided to host an early Thanksgiving meal for the Erie BayHawks Wednesday. The players and coaches enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving feast immediately following basketball practice at the LECOM Medical Fitness and Wellness Center. The meal was prepared by Wellness Center Chef Gary Starvaggi, Café Operations Manager Neil DeSanti and their staff.

BayHawks Head Coach Jay Larranaga and Assistant Coach Ben McDonald attended the late afternoon luncheon with their players. None of the players are from Erie, although BayHawks forward Kyle Goldcamp played for Gannon University. LECOM administrators felt the players and coaches would appreciate a hot and healthy home-cooked Thanksgiving meal.

Erie BayHawks guard Tasheed Carr fills his plate during the Thanksgiving luncheon.


The idea came from Silvia Ferretti, DO, LECOM Senior Vice President and Provost, after running into BayHawks point guard Derek Raivio earlier in the week. When Raivio told her the team had no special plans for the holiday, Dr. Ferretti took action and had the Wellness Center Café staff plan the special feast. “It was really thoughtful of her and LECOM so we were really surprised,” Raivio said. “Playing basketball you’re kind of used to being on the road. Any time somebody makes a nice meal for you or takes care of you around the holidays it’s really appreciated,” he added.

LECOM Wellness Center Cafe Operations Manager Neil DeSanti brings out a tray of pumpkin pies during the Thanksgiving feast for BayHawks players and coaches.

Tasheed Carr, a BayHawks guard from Philadelphia, said the players miss their families around the holidays so these types of gestures mean a lot to them. “I think it’s great,” Carr said. “For LECOM to provide this and the chance for us to all get together and have a great meal for Thanksgiving is a wonderful thing and I think we’re all appreciative of it,” he exclaimed.

The Erie BayHawks are heading to Fort Wayne, Ind., to take on the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Friday, Nov. 26, and Sunday, Nov. 28. LECOM is a major sponsor of the Erie BayHawks. The BayHawks are the NBA Development League affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors.


The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and LECOM School of Pharmacy offer innovative and affordable education in osteopathic medicine and pharmacy. From campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, Greensburg, Pennsylvania and Bradenton, Florida, LECOM provides student-centered pathways to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals. Prepare yourself for medicine as your life’s profession.

November 24, 2010
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