Lady Jane’s Haircuts for Men’s Wicked Awesome Wishes and Pro linebacker Tahir Whitehead collaborated with Mack Avenue Community Church to give 112 families Thanksgiving dinner and take part in a Detroit-area talent show featuring the area’s youth.
The First Annual Thanksgiving Talent Show put on by Mack Avenue Community Church and MACC Development was judged by LJ CEO Chad Johnson, Whitehead and his teammates Joique Bell, Bill Bentley, Nate Ness and Julian Stanford and District 5 Congresswoman Mary Sheffield.
Following the show, the Thanksgiving meals — donated by Lady Jane’s and Wicked Awesome Wishes — were given to those who had signed up to receive them. The caveat was that all who signed up to receive a meal had to put in 1-2 hours of community service with one of MACC Development’s partners leading up to the event.
“What we want to be able to do with Wicked Awesome Wishes or Lady Jane’s is be able to support the athletes (and) be able to support what they’re doing in the community,” said Johnson to FOX-2′s Jennifer Hammond. “Tonight was really about Tahir wanting (to give back to local) children.”
Originally, the first part of the event — packing and delivering the meals — was to include Detroit student-athletes, but a family medical emergency resulted in them being unable to attend.
The result was fantastic teamwork and giving of time and energy by Johnson (who did a lot of heavy lifting wearing a suit), Whitehead’s teammates Brandon Pettigrew and Sam Martin, and MACC’s Leon Stevenson, Ginny Daugherty and Shayla Shuck.
“I want people to know I’m not just in this city to play football,” said Whitehead. “It’s important for them to see you not just as a football player, but as a good person, as a human being.
“These events put us on equal ground. Look, I’m like you. I came from the same background, I’m just a human being. I’m not a superhero or ‘just a football player’. I want them to know me personally, as Tahir Whitehead.”
Whitehead, Johnson and the others who participated certainly had fun judging more than 20 acts that included dancers, singers, rappers, guitar players and even a mime.
At the end of the event, Sheffield presented Spirit of Detroit Award certificates from the City Council to Johnson and Whitehead “in recognition of exceptional achievement, outstanding leadership and dedication to improving the quality of life.”
Johnson said he was humbled by the recognition.
“It’s awesome just to be able to give back to the city like this,” he said, “and for us to see all of these kids performing and showing their talent was a great time!”
Hammond was on site to recap the event. Her feature will re-air on Sunday’s pregame show at 11:30 AM. Check it out to see the wicked awesome teamwork that came together on behalf of MACC Development and the Detroit community!