5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, November 22

TAMPA, Fla. - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, November 22.

(1) Tow to Go

If you have had a little too much to drink and can not find a designated driver to take you home this Thanksgiving holiday weekend, AAA and Bud Light have a program to keep you safe and off the roads.

"This program is invaluable because it brings attention to the dangers of drinking and driving beyond just giving an intoxicated driver a safe ride home," said Gerry Gutowski, Sr. Vice President, Automotive Services, The Auto Club Group.

Since its inception in 1998, Tow to Go has safely removed more than 20,000 intoxicated drivers from the roads.

The Tow to Go Service offers a free confidential local ride within a 10-mile radius to a safe location. It is available to both AAA members and non-members. The AAA tow truck takes both the vehicle and the driver home.

If you need the Tow to Go Service, it will be available beginning Thursday and continuing until Sunday by calling (855) 2-TWO-2-GO (or toll-free 855-286-9246).

(2) Metropolitan Ministries Thanksgiving Day meal

Metropolitan Ministries staff members will begin preparations at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday to serve hot Thanksgiving meals to homeless families inside the agency's holiday tent.

This year Metropolitan Ministries is working with the Salvation Army to transform its tent at 400 West Palm Avenue into a welcoming banquet, providing comfort and a hot meal for over 450 families in need.

Workers will be serving turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, yams and more. It will take workers more than 4 hours to prepare the meal which lasts from 10:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

For more information on how you can help Metropolitan Ministries, visit www.metromin.org .

(3) Donatello Foster Children Thanksgiving

For the 26th straight year, the Donatello and Tiozzo families will celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday with at-risk families and foster children.

Their establishment, the Donatello Restaurant on North Dale Mabry in Tampa, will be closed today to serve a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and present the children with holiday gifts.

The family expects around 900 children for dinner. Kids range in age from infants to 18-years-old.

Each child will receive a special selected gift. Kitty Daniels and Majid Shibazz will sing and play holiday music

Also attending will be former Buccaneer players and other athletes. They will give autographs and take pictures together with the children.

Meals will be served between 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

(4) 2012 Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot

More than 16,000 people are expected to participate in 34rd annual Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot in Clearwater on Thursday.

The first race, the 5k Wingding begins at 7:00 a.m. The 5k Fun Run starts at 7:30 a.m. The 1 mile Gobbler kicks off at 8:30 a.m. followed by the 10k Turkey Trot at 8:45 a.m.

Races begin at Keene Road just south of Gulf to Bay Boulevard (except the 5K Fun Run) and finish in Jack White Stadium at Clearwater High School.

Non-perishable food items will be collected at the Clearwater High stadium and will be given to a local food pantry program.

Road closures boundaries are as follows: Gulf to Bay on the north, Nursery Road on the south, Hercules Road on the east and Keene Road on the west. Roads will be closed around 6:00 a.m.

For more information, visit www.tampabay.com/turkeytrot .

(5) Thanksgiving grocery store hours

If you find yourself needing a couple last minute items for your Thanksgiving dinner a number of local grocery stores will be open Thursday for your shopping needs.

  • Aldi are open from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Sweetbay Supermarkets are open from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Whole Foods Markets are open from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Winn-Dixie stores are open from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Many Walmart stores are open 24 hours a day while others will be open at varying times. Call your local Walmart for exact store times.
  • The Fresh Market, Aldi, Publix, and Target stores are closed on Thursday.
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