INDIANAPOLIS – As part of the NBA Cares "Season of Giving", the Indiana Pacers and their "Pacers Cares" program will be out through the community over the next month in an effort to brighten the holidays for children and families of Central Indiana.
"This is a special time of the year for us," said Pacers Sports & Entertainment president Rick Fuson. "It's become a tradition for our players and staff to get out in the community and help where they can. From serving holiday dinners to hospital visits to toy giveaways, anything we can do to help the citizens of our community, we will do it."
One of the team's first efforts to help is this Thursday, Nov. 12, when Pacers Forward Lavoy Allen will present turkeys to over 100 needy families and present a basketball clinic for children at the Wheeler-Dowe Boys & Girls Club on East 30th St. A week later on Nov. 19, members of the Pacers team and coaching staff, along with the Pacemates will visit children at both the Riley Children's Hospital and the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent.
Another annual tradition for the Pacers franchise is the Come to Our House Thanksgiving Dinner, presented by US Foods and hosted by Pacers guard Rodney Stuckey and his wife Heidi. On Nov. 20, over 700 men, women and children from Central Indiana shelters will come to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for a warm, traditional holiday meal. Levy Restaurants will prepare the meal and all leftover food will be donated to Second Helpings.
JAKKS Pacific Toy Company Co-Founder Stephen Berman, because of his close, personal friendship with Pacers owner Herb Simon, has donated almost 200,000 toys over the last five years to needy children in Central Indiana. Berman will once again donate toys this holiday season to Hoosier youth in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. The Pacers franchise will also be active in four specific "Days of Service" including (Nov. 23) assisting the American Red Cross, the IMPD and the IFD with blankets for victims assistance; (Dec. 3) preparing meals in the Hunger Relief Kitchen for Second Helpings; (Dec. 4) working with children at the Shepherd Community Center and (Dec. 15) spending a day with the Indianapolis Animal Care and Control Dept.
On Dec. 10, the Pacers will hold "Shop with the Pacers" presented by Simon Malls when the Pacers and the Pacemates take children from the Shepherd Community Center to the Circle Center Mall to shop for the holidays. Pacers guard George Hill will hold his annual G3 Holiday Bash at the Indiana War Memorial on Dec. 17 to assist Hoosier military families struggling during the holiday season. Over the past five years this event has raised more than $100,000 for the families. Prior to each home Pacers game played from Nov. 23 through Dec. 25, the Pacers will play host to a non-profit children’s organization for a pregame pizza party, courtesy of Papa John's. Each child will meet Boomer and take home some Pacers goodies.