PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Former Philadelphia Eagles' player Tra Thomas Cherry Hill, NJ business, Pinot's Palette, was shut down due to the COVID-19. That forced Thomas to call an audible on the fly.
"We are just like every other business that knows right now is a tight time," said Thomas. "Not able to open doors and have people in your space, so you have to find a creative way to try to keep things going to bring money in."
Thomas has been doing virtual painting classes and even going as far as personally dropping off supplies at customers' homes, so they can participate in an art class.
Thursday, Thomas teamed up with Eagles Tight End Zach Ertz and his wife Julie for a painting session with fans to raise money for charity. Helping those affected by COVID-19 through the Ertz Family Foundation.
While painting an eagle, Thomas said, "It was a lot of fun, a lot of fun to see how Julie and Zach, sit down and take them through the painting how they came out with it."
Thomas taught the class showing everyone how to make a bird beak in somewhat of a football shape motion to the curve around the eyes.
Thomas asked Ertz and Julie to show off their paintings as they learned on the fly to paint. "Their paintings came out well," he replied.
For $86, which is Ertz's jersey number, 189 Eagles fans signed up for the virtual class. Fans sent the canvas and painting supplies and Thomas hosted the two-hour session.
Eagles' fan Cindy Webster said, "Tra will tell you he can't paint but he can paint, he was so entertaining and so awesome and enjoyed the whole process."
"When you're doing a virtual class, you don't have people in front of you, so you have to have some energy about you"
Webster says the night was incredible and Zach showed off his Eagles' Super Bowl ring.
Three years into owning a small business this is Thomas's biggest challenge. With the help of his wife and family, Thomas can't wait for his store to be back open, just like every other business owner struggling to overcome the financial hardship caused by COVID-19.
Former Philadelphia Eagles' Tra Thomas hosts painting session with fans to raise money for charity
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