Vipers and Salvation Army Teaming Up to Serve Food and Collect Toys During Holiday Season

Craig Winder (Photo Credit: Chris Covatta/NBAE/Getty Images)

MCALLEN, TEXAS – The defending NBA Development League champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers announced Tuesday that they will be serving food at the Salvation Army on Thanksgiving and collecting toys for the Salvation Army Angel Tree Program to benefit the less fortunate during this holiday season.

All Vipers players will be in attendance at the Salvation Army in McAllen (corner of 23rd and Pecan) on Thursday from 11:30 a.m.-to-1:30 p.m. to serve Thanksgiving meals to those in need. Part of the coaching and front office staffs will participate as well.

“The Thanksgiving dinner not only serves the hungry, but also provides a family dinner for the lonely,” said Major Dan Ford of the Salvation Army.

The Vipers are also accepting donations of new toys at all four Vipers home games at State Farm Arena from December 8-through-20, as well as at the Vipers Pro-Shop.

“The most important thing we do here is give back to the community. We have been fortunate and it is our duty to help those who haven’t been as fortunate, After all, the residents of the Rio Grande Valley aren’t just our fans, but our friends, family and neighbors as well,” Vipers President Bert Garcia said.

The Rio Grande Valley Vipers are the NBA Development League affiliate of the NBA Houston Rockets. The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league whose teams have direct affiliations to NBA franchises. For the 2010-11 season, the league will feature 16 teams – including the debut of the Texas Legends. A proven developer of talent, 20 percent of players in the NBA at the conclusion of the 2009-10 season boasted NBA D-League experience, while the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front-office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the league’s 10th season, which tips off Thursday, Nov. 18, fans can watch all NBA D-League games on NBA Futurecast, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at

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