Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joins Tarence Wheeler Foundation to distribute 3k turkeys to Wayne County families

Tarence Wheeler Foundation
Photo credit Getty

RIVER ROUGE (WWJ) - Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Tarence Wheeler Foundation are looking to spread holiday cheer on Tuesday as they join efforts to hand out thousands of turkeys to Wayne County families in need.

The governor will meet community partners and foundation organizers for the 24th All-Star Giveback Turkey Drive at River Rouge High School off Coolidge Hwy where the Tarence Wheeler Foundation will distribute 3,000 turkeys ahead of Thanksgiving.

Founder and CEO Tarence Wheeler, a Detroit native and former all-state basketball player, said the drive is one way to make a difference and give back to the community that raised him.

Wheeler is known for playing college hoops for the Arizona State Sun Devils. According to his foundation, Wheeler returned to Detroit after playing professional basketball in South America and was pushed to act after seeing "children who lacked hope, families that were deprived and neighborhoods that were crime-ridden."

Since 2007, Wheeler's foundation estimates they have helped over 105,000 people in Wayne County and handed out over 23,000 Thanksgiving turkeys to the community in the years since starting the All-Star Giveback.

“When I leave this earth,” said Wheeler, “I will leave empty because I will continually pour into the lives of people.”

Wheeler described his work as "life-saving." The former hoops player is involved in a number of other community outreach programs including mentoring 50 Detroit youth to form positive relationships with community leaders and partnering with DTE to facilitate over $7.8 million in utility payments for low-income families.

Gov. Whitmer is also expected to announce her selection for Michigan Supreme Court justice to fill the seat that Justice Bridget McCormack will vacate upon her retirement.

The governor's announcement is scheduled for 1:40 p.m. and will have a livestreaming option available.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty