INDIANAPOLIS – It started as a simple friendship between two men. Over the past five years the friendship has provided smiles to nearly 175,000 children throughout Central Indiana. Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever owner Herb Simon has teamed with his pal, JAKKS Pacific Toys Co-Founder and CEO Stephen Berman to donate toys to various Central Indiana charities over the past five years.
This month, 20,000 toys will be distributed to various organizations and volunteer groups throughout Central Indiana and as always, the toys will be distributed through the efforts of the Indiana National Guard. These toys are in addition to the 10,000 Halloween costumes JAKKS provided to kids this fall through the efforts of the Indianapolis Fire Dept.
Over the years, JAKKS Pacific and the Pacers and Fever have even provided toys in the summer with a special “Christmas in July” program. In the summer of 2012, they combined to distribute 14,000 toys to the children of Henryville, Ind., where a major tornado had left most of the town in ruins. The Halloween costume distribution this fall was for children of families who had completed a Home Safety Plan though the Indianapolis Fire Dept.
“All friendships are special,” stated Herb Simon, owner of the Pacers and the Fever. “But with Stephen and JAKKS Pacific, they’ve become more than friends. They have become true Hoosiers that we love. His love and care for the children of Indiana is so heartwarming and real.”
“JAKKS is once again so pleased to partner with the Pacers and Fever and my pal, Herb Simon to create a magical experience for thousands of deserving children in the greater Indianapolis area,” stated Stephen Berman, President and CEO of JAKKS Pacific, Inc. “We especially were happy to help in the fall, working with the Fire Department to help children make their homes safer.”
JAKKS Pacific, a leading U.S. toy company, is based in California and has been designing, developing, producing and marketing toys and consumer products for children and adults around the world since 1995. JAKKS Cares is the philanthropic arm of JAKKS Pacific, and since inception, has donated over $50 million in toys, school supplies and monetary endowments to millions of underprivileged children around the world.
This holiday toy giveaway is part of Pacers Cares and the Indiana Pacers Season of Giving, which includes other holiday events such as Pacers “Come to Our House” Thanksgiving Meal presented by U.S. Foods, Shop with the Pacers presented by Simon Malls and a Pacers Sports & Entertainment Community Service Day, as well as other individual player events.