Terre Haute News
Indiana Central News
Terre Haute, Indiana
Terre Haute, Indiana
Many local children enjoyed a holiday party with filled with treats, toys and entertainment when a statewide celebration kicked off at the Terre Haute Police Department on Wabash Avenue this afternoon.
The THPD is teaming up with the Indiana Pacers to distribute toys to needy children in the community. The United Way of the Wabash Valley, Terre Haute Boys and Girls Club, 14th and Chestnut Community Center, Council on Domestic Abuse and the Salvation Army and the THPD will distribute the toys donated by Jakks Pacific, Inc. leading up to Christmas.
Ellen Reeves, of the United Way of the Wabash Valley, assisted the group of children at the event.
"We are so grateful. This is going to make so many Christmases so much brighter," she said.
In celebration of the Pacers’ 50th season, JAKKS Pacifc, Inc. is providing toys to 50 non-profit organizations throughout Indiana. Pacers mascot Boomer, Fever mascot Freddy Fever, the Pacers’ FanVan, the Pacemates and Pacers executives also attended the event today, as well as THPD Chief John Plasse, Mayor Duke Bennett and representatives of the local agencies.
Mayor Duke Bennett thanked the organizers for making Terre Haute the first stop this year.
"There's a lot of need out there, and we really appreciate organizations stepping up and making Christmas better for the kids in our community," Bennett said.
Plasse agreed with Bennett.
"We have kids that need it," Plasse said, thanking the organizers and children for attending the event.
A Pacers legend, "Dr. Dunk" Darnell Hillman, who played for the basketball team in the 1970s, entertained the group of young children before they each picked out a toy to take home. After mingling with the mascots, the participants enjoyed punch and cookies.
Sr. Vice President of Corporate, Community and Public Relations Bill Benner noted that tipping off the toy givaway in Terre Haute is especially meaningful because of city's ties with a few pacer coaches and executives.
"It is the home of our Hall of Fame coach, Bobby 'Slick' Leonard, our vice chairman, Mr. Jim Morris, and of course, our former coach and current basketball president, Mr. Larry Bird -- who once played a little college basketball a few yards from where we are," he said, adding, "And, Rick Fuson, our president and CEO, is the son of Wayne Fuson, who was the longtime sports editor of the Indianpolis News."
According to a press release, JAKKS Pacific, a leading U.S. toy and consumer products manufacturer based in Santa Monica, Calif., designs, develops, and markets consumer products for children and pets.
The holiday toy giveaway is part of the Pacers Cares and the Pacers’ “Season of Giving”, which included other holiday events such as: Pacers “Come To Our House” Thanksgiving Meal presented by Rodney Stuckey and US Foods; “Shop With The Pacers” presented by Simon Malls; volunteers packing over 100,000 meals for Gleaners Food Bank courtesy of the RoomPlace; and blanket-making at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the American Red Cross, the press release states.
Other planned events are scheduled:
Wed., Dec. 7 2:30 p.m Bloomington
Tues., Dec. 13 noon (CST) Evansville
Wed., Dec. 14 3 p.m. Fort Wayne
Thurs., Dec. 15 2 p.m. Lafayette
Fri., Dec. 16 3 p.m. Muncie
© Indiana Central News. All rights reserved. Terre Haute, Indiana
News Writer: Lucy Perry