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  • Pacers Foundation Awards $118,000 in Grants and Scholarships

    Indianapolis (August 22, 2014) -- The board of directors of Pacers Foundation, Inc., awarded $118,000 in grants and scholarships at its recent quarterly meeting.

    Grant recipients included LaPlaza to support a college mentoring program; the Social Health Association for an anti-bullying initiative; Ronald McDonald House to support families who can’t afford the cost of a hospital stay; the Catch The Stars Foundation of Indiana Fever star Tamika Catchings; Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis; Coburn Place Safe Haven; Christamore House; HANDS in Autism training and resource center at IUPUI; Sheltering Wings; Arts for Learning; Kids’ Voice in Indiana; Restoring Lives West and the Young Actors Theatre.

    “Our ability to give back to these incredibly deserving community organizations is fulfilling and heartwarming,” said Rick Fuson, Chairman of the Pacers Foundation board and Chief Operating Officer of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. “We are especially pleased to support those who are providing invaluable assistance to at-risk and under-served youth.”

    Three of the grants – Catch the Stars, Girls Inc., and the Social Health Association – were gifted from the Indiana Fever’s BeYounique Fund targeting programs for girls.

    In addition to the grants, the Foundation awarded six $2,500 Linda Craig Memorial Scholarships to Indiana college students pursuing careers in athletic training and/or sports medicine. The scholarships are named for the late Linda Craig, wife of former long-time Indiana Pacers trainer David Craig.

    Scholarships for the 2014-15 academic year were given to: Steven Stashevsky, IUPUI; Elliott Reiff, Anderson University; Katye Clark, Purdue University; Trevor Schrock, University of Evansville; Allison Riley, University of Indianapolis, and Jessica Burger, Ball State University.

    “These students were selected from a group of more than 20 outstanding applicants,” said Fuson. “We are pleased to support their academic pursuits and know they will honor the memory of Linda Craig.”

    The Masquerade Announces Larry Bird as 2014 Honoree

    Celebration of Hoosier Basketball Legend to Benefit Simon Youth Foundation and Pacers Foundation

    Indianapolis (June 16, 2014) - Indiana basketball legend, NBA Hall of Famer and Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird will be the honoree at The Masquerade at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday, October 25, 2014.

    From his early days at Springs Valley High School in French Lick, Ind. and Indiana State University to his renowned NBA career with the Boston Celtics and now with the Indiana Pacers, Bird always has risen to the top as a hardworking leader who inspires others to excel on and off the court.

    The Masquerade, now in its 13th year, is an annual tradition that has earned the reputation of being one of the most impactful, entertaining events in Indianapolis. More than $8.5 million has been raised in support of critical education and mentoring programs for at-risk youth.

    In 2014, the tradition continues as Simon Youth Foundation and Pacers Foundation team up to deliver another unforgettable Masquerade experience, with proceeds benefitting the programs of both organizations.

    Entertainment and other event details will be revealed in the weeks ahead.

    The Masquerade is made possible through the generous support of PNC Bank as it returns to serve as the event's title sponsor.

    Pacers Foundation Awards $50,000 to Thomas D. Gregg School 15

    Donated Funds will be used to further implement new STEM curriculum

    Indianapolis (April 9, 2014) - Indianapolis Public Schools Thomas D. Gregg Elementary School 15 will receive a $50,000 grant today from The Pacers Foundation. The funds will be used to further advance the school-wide theme of Aviation and Aerospace as part of a STEM-related curriculum.

    Pacers Foundation representatives will present the grant today, April 9, 2014, during a school-wide assembly at 2:00 p.m.

    "The Pacers Foundation is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of children," said Foundation chairman Rick Fuson. "With this grant, we are confident that the combination of Dr. Baker's leadership and the vision of the Gregg Elementary staff will create a new world of exciting learning, motivation and opportunity for some very deserving children."

    The grant will enable the school to provide professional development for staff on theme development and implementation in the field of aeronautical studies and sciences. A "Pacers Mission Control Room" will be developed to support the theme. The control room will provide space and materials for students to work on STEM projects, including access to software dedicated to Aviation and Aerospace.

    "The theme Aviation and Aerospace was selected because it captures the students' imagination about flight and outer space," said School 15 Principal Dr. Teresa Baker. "The study of Aviation and Aerospace will open a plethora of authentic learning opportunities and career choices for students at an early age."

    School 15 is one of three schools in the IPS Innovation Network.

    Pacers, Fever Team up with TeamSmile for Free Day of Dental Care

    Indianapolis (January 29, 2014) - The Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever teamed up with TeamSmile on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to provide free dental exams to over 300 local children from IPS School #44. Fever head coach Lin Dunn, along with Boomer and the Pacemates attended the event.

    Dunn was part of a crew of over 100 dental professionals and volunteers, led by lead dentist Dr. Nicole Van Le, who helped give the children treatment, sealants, and instruction while promoting the importance of good dental hygiene. The event also featured fun activities, including face painting, balloon animals, and interaction with clowns and mascots, designed to make the experience enjoyable as well as educational.

    "It's tough times for a lot of people," Dunn said. "It's expensive to go to the dentist, and a lot of people put it off and then it becomes too late. This whole concept of TeamSmile, where doctors and doctors' assistants volunteer and provide free care for these kids, of course we want to be a part of that. Pacers Sports & Entertainment is all about winning championships, but we're all about giving back, too."

    Indiana Pacers to Host 16th Annual “Come to Our House” Thanksgiving Dinner

    Indianapolis (November 8, 2013) – On Thursday, Nov. 14 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, over 650 men, women and children from Central Indiana shelters will be served a warm, home-cooked holiday meal by the Indiana Pacers and the Indiana Fever. The annual event is presented by Pacers sponsor US Foods and hosted by Pacers forward David West and his wife, Lesley. Levy Restaurants is preparing the meal and all leftover food will be donated to Second Helpings.

    The current Pacers players and coaches will be joined by Fever staff, the Pacemates, Pacers Radio/TV personalities, Boomer, Pacers employees, former Pacers legends Rik Smits, Darnell Hillman, Derrick McKey, Fred Jones and Eddie Gill along with special guests in serving the hearty meal to the assembled guests. In addition to the food, the guests will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities which include: the IU Health blood pressure screenings; the Health Exchange Marketplace; photo booths; FREE popcorn; a Balloon Artist; a Face Painter and more.

    In addition, when the guests leave Bankers Life Fieldhouse after their meal, they will all receive a Pacers Holiday Pack which includes a Pacers hat, an Indiana Fever scarf (compliments of Fever coach Lin Dunn and Fever President Kelly Krauskopf), gloves and a variety of other cold-weather items. Hardees and Finish Line have also made donations to the goodie bags.

    Groups scheduled to attend include: The Wheeler Center, Dayspring Center, Dove Recovery House, Salvation Army, Good News Mission, Holy Family Shelter, Horizon House, HVAF Network, Stopover, The Julian Center and Wheeler Mission.

    Pacers, JAKKS Pacific Team Up to Give Away 20,000 Toys

    Indianapolis (August 14, 2013) – This summer over 20,000 toys will be donated to children of Central Indiana families by the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever, in partnership with leading U.S. toy and consumer products company, JAKKS Pacific. The effort is supported by the Indiana National Guard in a project called, “Summer Christmas.” In December, additional toys will be given out to more families and charities for the holiday season.

    The Pacers and Fever have been working with the National Guard and various civic and community partners to distribute the toys. Among the groups receiving toys this summer are the National Guard; the Indianapolis Children’s Museum; Christel House Academy; Indiana Members Credit Union and IPS #44; Community Health Network; Tamika Catchings’ Catch the Stars Foundation; Ben Davis Christian Church/McClelland Elementary School and Riley Children’s Hospital among others.

    “Through the pure generosity of my friend, Stephen Berman, of JAKKS Pacific, we have been able to help many of our fellow citizens with these toys,” said Herb Simon, owner of the Pacers and Fever. “To put a smile on the face of a child is one of the greatest things anyone could ever do. We are very grateful to Stephen and all the great folks at JAKKS Pacific for this opportunity.”

    “Giving back to the community has always been important to Herb Simon,” said Stephen Berman, President and CEO of JAKKS Pacific, Inc. “We all remember how special toys were to us when we were young and we are honored to help him give back to the Indiana community!”

    “We are very grateful for the kindness of our Pacers, our Fever, the Indiana National Guard and JAKKS Pacific for brightening the lives of so many of our kids,” said Kirshawndra Davis, Principal of IPS School 44, which received 1000 toys through its association with the Indiana Members Credit Union at a ceremony at the school Wednesday involving Pacers star George Hill and coach Frank Vogel. “IMCU is always first to help us and this gesture of free toys for our kids will help in motivating them to be better students and better people.”

    “For a few years now we have been honored to work alongside JAKKS Pacific, the Pacers and the Fever in making toys available to those who really need them,” said Indiana National Guard Brig. General Joe Osburn. “The toys have brought comfort, relief and hope to many of our own National Guard families.” Osburn joined Vogel and Hill at the IPS ceremony Wednesday which included IMCU President Ron Collier, IPS officials and Principal Davis. Boomer, Freddy Fever and the Boom Babies were also on hand to greet the students.

    JAKKS Pacific, one of the top five United States toy companies, is a California-based company that has been designing, developing, producing and marketing toys and consumer products for children and adults around the world since 1985. 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.

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