Pacers Red Cross

Hospitality Reigns High

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By: Ashley Peek

It’s the smile. The holding of the door. The enthusiastic hellos. The friendly neighbors. Many characteristics factor into what makes being a Hoosier such a respectable and important title. And one of the biggest parts of being a Hoosier is maintaining the hospitable complex and supporting one another in time of need.

Hoosier hospitality made a name for itself when the entire nation got to experience the excitement and news coverage of the Super Bowl this past February, but times are not always upbeat.

On Friday March 2, Southern Indiana was hit by extreme storms and several tornadoes, leaving some people injured and lives taken from many. It struck just as school busses and children were headed home, some to houses they will never be able to step foot into again.

But the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever teamed together to donate $100,000 to the American Red Cross to help the families who lost their homes full of treasured belongings, and more importantly memories.

Local celebrities came out to the game against the Atlanta Hawks to help collect donations to the cause and show their support for the Hoosier families who need it the most.

John Lyter, the President and CEO of the American Red Cross of Greater Indianapolis, joined in the efforts as he stood in the main concourse of Bankers Life Fieldhouse previous to tip-off.

“We have a long-standing relationship with the Pacers and the Fever, and their commitment is so critical to helping these victims,” Lyter said. “The Red Cross is very appreciative of the Pacers and Fever contribution along with their over-all efforts in assisting the victims of these devastating tornadoes in southern Indiana.”

The efforts put fourth by Pacers Sports & Entertainment is just one some testament to the willpower Indiana natives have to help. Local journalist and news broadcasters including WTHR’s Dave Calabro and Scott Swan, Fox 59’s Chris Hagan and Brian Wilkes, and Indianapolis Stat representatives Erika Smith, Matthew Tully, Gary Varvel and Mike Wells helped collect money before the game. Others in attendance lending a hand to the Red Cross include past Pacers legend Rik Smits and current Fever player Shrya Ely.

These individuals may have donated their time, but we want to thank all those who have helped raise fund since this disaster struck parts of Southern Indiana. To learn more about the American Red Cross of Greater Indy, visit the website:

The Indianapolis and Pacers communities are dedicated to continually helping those affected by the severe storms