NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Yankees’ star Mariano Rivera hosted Refuge of Hope Church’s Thanksgiving dinner at AJ’s Burgers today.
The dinner was broken into two sessions to accommodate 120 children and parents from Hope’s Community Services. The families from Hope’s Community Services were served a traditional thanksgiving dinner with all of the trimmings, along with sliders and pizza.
The future Hall of Famer interacted with the children and parents and gave numerous interviews to press covering the event. Rivera signed t-shirts and baseballs for the youngsters — and more than a few adults who were equally thrilled to spend time with Mariano Rivera.
For AJ’s owner Alan Cohen, this was his first time hosting the event and his restaurant.
“It’s an honor to be able to work with Mariano,” said AJ, “I’ve been blown away by his sense of commitment to New Rochelle.”
Riviera, asked about progress at the North Avenue Church told Talk of the Sound that working was proceeding rapidly.
“We hope to be ready to open in February,” said Rivera who expects to report for spring training with the Yankees by mid-February.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jen Parente