16th Annual "Come To Our House" Thanksgiving Dinner
Pacers Host "Come To Our House" Thanksgiving Dinner
by Scott Agness
Pacers Sports & Entertainment with the help of players, coaches, staffers, local media and other kind hearts in Indianapolis spent a few hours Thursday evening serving a Thanksgiving meal to over 650 men, women and children from Central Indiana shelters. Those Indy folks were provided with a plethora of food as part of the Pacers’ “Come to Our House” Thanksgiving Dinner, which was hosted by David West and his wife, Lesley, in conjunction with US Foods.
“It’s a part of service that we’re required as people to do,” said West, who hosted the event for the second straight year. “We understand the importance of it and obviously understand that there are folks out there less fortunate than ourselves. Any opportunity that you have to lend them a hand, do something to contribute to their everyday life, obviously you want to be a part of that.”
More than the food, area citizens were given a lasting memory for the year. In a warm and comfortable environment, these people were served by many of the Pacers team, including Roy Hibbert, Chris Copeland, Rasual Butler, C.J. Watson, Orlando Johnson, Solomon Hill, Donald Sloan, and West. Every coach took part in the event, as did the Pacers broadcasters – both radio and TV – along with former Pacers Fred Jones, Darnell Hillman, and Clark Kellogg.
Pacers center Roy Hibbert was responsible for serving the turkey at one of three buffet stations.
“I’m just happy to be here,” he said while placing a few slices on one man’s plate. “I’m doing a heck of a job handing out turkey. Probably the MVP of this table.”
And no, the NBA’s leader in blocks (with 35) is not blocking folks from one of the main entrees.
“I’m giving them out,” he said laughing, with his girlfriend by his side. “Assists.”
In addition to a great spread of food, these folks could take part in a variety of activities such as a photo booth, balloon artist, popcorn as they would have for games, a free blood pressure screening and they could talk with a health expert about the new healthcare laws. On their way out, each person received a goodie bag that was stuff full with hats, gloves, hand warmers, socks, a blanket and a ticket to an upcoming game.
All in all, smiles were everywhere as these Indy-area folks were treated very well by the Pacers’ organization and volunteers.
“One of the things about this organization is that everyone is tied together,” said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. “From the front office to the basketball operations to the ticket sales to the PR, the marketing – everybody’s tied together and we’re one big team here. It’s a neat culture to be a part of. I think it carries over to the court with the positive chemistry we have with our team. It’s neat to see it all play out at an event like this.
“It’s very important for us with the Indiana Pacers not only to compete for championships, but to give back to the community and this is one of our best events of the year.”