Erie BayHawks enjoy holiday feast at LECOM
Erie BayHawks players and coaches enjoy a Christmas feast at the LECOM Fitness and Wellness Center.

The Erie BayHawks enjoyed an early Christmas dinner at the LECOM John M. & Silvia Ferretti Medical Fitness and Wellness Center. Since the NBA D-League basketball team was on the road in Iowa on Christmas Day, the LECOM culinary team served up a home-cooked pasta meal for the players and coaches on Wednesday, Dec. 23rd.

BayHawks Coach Jay Larranaga brought his father, Jim Larranaga, to the holiday feast. Jim Larranaga is the legendary head basketball coach at George Mason University and took his team to the NCAA Final Four in 2006. LECOM Provost and Senior Vice President Silvia Ferretti, D.O., stopped by to meet Jim Larranaga and wish the BayHawks a Merry Christmas.

The BayHawks received small gifts from LECOM and enjoyed a visit from Mrs. Claus. None of the BayHawks players are from Erie, so the family-style meal was greatly appreciated.

LECOM recently hosted a Christmas dinner for the Erie BayHawks and guests. Pictured (L-R): Jim Larranaga, George Mason University Head Basketball Coach; Jay Larranaga, BayHawks Head Basketball Coach; Helen McKenzie, LECOM Assistant to the President; Owen McCormick, BayHawks Lead Local Investor; Silvia Ferretti, D.O., LECOM Provost; and Ben McDonald, BayHawks Assistant Coach.

Tasmin Mitchell, a BayHawks forward from Louisiana, said LECOM’s gesture meant a lot to him. This was the first Christmas he was away from his family. “We’re very fortunate to play the game,” Mitchell said. “We wish we were at home with our families but we’re doing what we love and we thank LECOM for making us feel like we’re at home.”

“It’s definitely a big deal,” said Kyle Spain, a BayHawks forward and guard from California. “Just to have a meal with your teammates, they’re just like family. This dinner means a lot because we are away from home.” Spain said he and his teammates also appreciated the small Christmas trees LECOM sent to them to make their rooms more festive. LECOM also offered the players free postage so they could send letters and packages home.

LECOM is a major sponsor of the Erie BayHawks, the NBA D-League affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors. LECOM’s logo is on every BayHawks jersey. LECOM sports medicine physicians also provide all of the medical care for the team.

Mrs. Claus hands out a gift to Brett Folga, BayHawks Director of Sales, as LECOM Provost Silvia Ferretti, D.O., looks on.

“The guys really, really appreciate it because while they’re fortunate to be playing basketball, it’s always tough being away from family on a holiday,” said BayHawks President Matt Bresee. “These gestures make it a little bit more comfortable for these guys to be here.”

Bresee said LECOM’s partnership with the team goes well beyond that of a traditional sponsor. “They go above and beyond that with the hospitality shown by putting on holiday meals to providing Christmas trees and Christmas cards and all sorts of things. The relationship is second to none and we’re fortunate to have a partner like LECOM.”

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.

December 27, 2010
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