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Bengals Give Back and Deliver Lunch to the Elderly
LATONIA, Ky. (Rich Jaffe) -- It's the season of giving and, for a couple of Cincinnati Bengals it's the season of delivering too!
Vontaze Burfict and Vincent Rey took over delivering Meals on Wheels Tuesday morning to a bunch of very appreciative Northern Kentucky senior citizens. Local 12's Rich Jaffe found the gift of kindness truly does mean that those who give get something in return.
Northern Kentucky Senior Services delivers more than 80,000 meals a year to seniors in 8 counties.
Tuesday's lunch was even more special than usual because it was delivered by two Bengals Linebackers, Vontaze Burfict and Vinnie Rey.
Hugging them Brenda Young said, "It's great that you all come to see an old woman."
Roger Bone got a signed apron with his noon meal.
Vontaze told Local 12, "It's great. You can tell by the look on his face, you can tell he's kinda of nervous and shy don't know if it's because of the camera crew or Bengals player coming to his door but it was just great to see that kind of face on an elderly person. Just to make his day and hopefully he enjoys the meal and he will always remember the apron."
Most of the Meals on Wheels clients are home-bound and in many cases have no one else caring for them, so a regular visitor like this is a welcome addition to their day.
Ken Rechtin's the Executive Director of Senior Service of Northern Kentucky.
He tells Local 12, "They don't want to go into an assisted living facility and they don't want to be in a nursing home. So anything we can do, bring them a meal, take them to and from doctors care, which is another component of our services here, which keeps their home for a longer time. She's happier and financially it makes sense for the community as well."
A long time Bengals fan, Tom Pieper hasn't been able to handle stadium steps for 9 years.
Tuesday though he got his hat signed and he got to talk about last week's touchdown with a couple of his favorite guys.
He says, "It was 6,7 guys in the heap he came out of the pile and he didn't get touched and scored...that amazed me that nobody touched him they were all laying on the ground."
While these two professional ball players are accustomed to the adoration of their fans the reception they were getting Tuesday is a little bit different and a lot more meaningful.
Vinnie Rey tells Local 12, "I'm honored to be one of those guys. I'm so thankful. I know it seems like they're getting a lot out of it, but it goes both ways, I'm getting a lot out of it too."
As did we all, in Latonia, Rich Jaffe, Local 12 News.
Only 85-percent of the Meals on Wheels program comes from government funding. Northern Kentucky Senior Services counts on donations for the rest of its expenses.
It also operates 10-senior centers in the 8-county region, offering nutrition, social outreach, physical fitness, and education opportunities for seniors.