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News » Martin takes role as great provider Thanksgiving feast on NBA star

Martin takes role as great provider Thanksgiving feast on NBA star

Martin takes role as great provider Thanksgiving feast on NBA star
A young mother of three didn't know if today would be Thanksgiving - or just another Thursday.

"We don't have any money," sighed Ernestine Fishburn of Park Hill. "Been laid off. But then I heard about Kenyon."

On Monday, Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin invited 250 needy families to the Mount Carmel Community Baptist Church, where gap-toothed kids and gracious parents fixated on the NBA star, who happily handed them all the fixins, frozen turkeys, cans of cranberries and corn, fluffy loaves of bread and sweet potato pies.

Martin wore a genuine smile and a goofy hat, which was the shape of a light brown turkey with a couple of bones pointing toward the ceiling. Call him Turkey Claus.

"It warms my heart to see the looks on their faces," Martin said. "Some of my Thanksgivings were tougher than others, but Mom always found a way to make sure we had food on the table, no matter what it was, a big meal or a small meal. But if we would have had something like this to go to, I'm pretty sure we would have utilized it."

Martin's mother, Lydia Moore, was at the church, too, greeting families that looked so much like her family decades ago.

In line, there were babies with their little paws pressed against sippy-cups and gray-haired women walking slowly but proudly; blabbering boys suddenly tongue-

tied in Martin's presence; a woman who spoke only Spanish; a weathered elderly man in a hat that read "Jesus" and another in a Barack Obama T-shirt, and a tired mother who clutched her Thanksgiving turkey, peered up at Martin and faintly said, "God bless you."

And there was Fishburn, the proud mother of 10-year-

old Teyonna Fishburn, 7-year-old Talgin Hanks and 5-year-old Clarence Shook.

"Times are rough," she said. She worked as an auto-body shop's parts manager, "But when gas prices went up, it seemed like people who were getting in wrecks weren't fixing their cars anymore."

Something had to give. Soon management gave her a pink slip. "Now," she said in her sweet voice, "I'm drawing my little unemployment, trying to go to school and get into something that has a lot more options. It's just hard, being a single parent."

There hasn't been much to be thankful for, but now, there will be Thanksgiving.

"We have a small family, and we've come from bad backgrounds," Fishburn said after receiving the groceries. "The importance of Thanksgiving is to get everyone together and show that we still love each other - and have that family foundation. Even though times are rough, we're there for each other.

"I'm thankful for just being here today."

Benjamin Hochman: 303-954-1294 or

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: November 29, 2008


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