By Mike Kinney
A Thanksgiving drive-thru giveaway of gift cards summoned an extensively long line of vehicles at Hilltop Mall on Sunday.
About 400 gift cards were distributed on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 11 a.m. Cars were lined up as early as 6:30 a.m. It was part of the First Annual David Patrick Underwood Thanksgiving Memorial organized by Richmond community activist Antwon Cloird, with sponsorship from Green Remedy, Holistic Healing and Rich Minds Network.
The giveaway was done in honor of Underwood, a Pinole native and federal protective service officer who was ambushed and murdered in May while guarding the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland during a protest.
“I am so extremely thankful for this wonderful holiday event that is being held in Dave’s name,” Underwood’s fiancé Staci McMillion said. “It’s so overwhelming to see all of these people here, who turned out for this event. This means me so much to me.”
Before starting the giveaway, Pastor Ricky Jones prayed for all of the individuals and families attending. Then the traffic started moving. Some folks who did not drive got there by bus, Uber or walked to the gift card line.
“These times during the holidays are quite hard on families, and I felt it was important to do something to help our community and to honor my friend Dave Patrick Underwood, as well,” Cloird said. “Dave was so well-loved and respected in our community, that I wanted to do something that would help the community so he would always be remembered here as the giant of man that he was. It takes our community to provide for our community.”