The Indiana Pacers can't let any players into Conseco Fieldhouse during the NBA lockout, but that doesn't mean the organization hasn't been putting the Fieldhouse to good use to help out the Indianapolis community.
The next great effort to give back comes on Monday when the Pacers team up with US Foods to host the 14th annual "COME TO OUR HOUSE" meal for hundreds of Indy folks served by area missions and shelters. Here are the details on the event which will take place in the entry pavilion at the Fieldhouse.
The Indiana Pacers and Pacers Foundation continue a holiday tradition Monday, November 21 when they welcome more than 600 men, women and children from Indianapolis area missions and shelters to Conseco Fieldhouse for the 14th annual "Come To Our House" Thanksgiving meal presented by US Foods. The dinner is part of Pacers Cares, and serves as the tipoff to the Pacers "Season of Giving".
The meal, prepared by Levy Restaurants, will be held in the Indiana University Health Entry Pavilion of Conseco Fieldhouse from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Pacers employees, President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird, Pacers Head Coach Frank Vogel, Assistant Coach Dan Burke, Boomer, Freddy Fever, Indiana Fever All-Star Tamika Catchings, Fever Assistant Coach Stephanie White and the Pacemates, along with many media celebrities from local radio, TV and newspapers will serve the meal, mingle with guests and fill goody bags. Other special guests scheduled to attend are Pacers Radio voice Mark Boyle, TV announcers Chris Denari and Quinn Buckner, and former Pacers players Austin Croshere, Darnell Hillman, Rik Smits, Jerry Harkness, Bill Newton and Billy Keller. Additionally, representatives of numerous sponsors of Pacers Sports & Entertainment will also be on hand to help serve.
Normally a couple of players serve as headliners (T.J. Ford and Dahntay Jones presented last year's event) but as you can see pretty much anyone remotely associated with the Pacers who doesn't don a uniform will be pitching in to make this event a success. Plus, with Indiana Fever phenom Tamika Catchings helping out there will definitely be a player in the 'House.
Again, this is just the latest example of the Pacers reaching out to the community at large during the lockout. Frank Vogel recently lent his support to the Indianapolis Children's Choir, even serving as a celebrity conductor for a rendition of "Back Home Again in Indiana" by the ICC. Vogel also teamed up with the National Guard for the organization's "Christmas in July" event to provide toys for Indiana military children.
The Pacers have also stepped up during trying times around the city. Following the tragic stage collapse at the State Fair in August, Pacers Sports & Entertainment opened the doors to the Fieldhouse for the next big concert involving Maroon 5 and Train. This was more than a the-show-must-go-on situation, the evening served as a tribute to those lost at the fairgrounds and a first step towards healing for the survivors.
Similarly, when popular two-time Indy 500 champion Dan Wheldon, suddenly lost his life after a crash in Las Vegas, the Fieldhouse was there to host a public memorial for Wheldon for the racing community and fans where Indy Car drivers and officials spoke about Wheldon. Reba McEntire and Garth Brooks were among the performers at the fitting tribute to the driver who loved Indy.
So if you are wondering just what the people working for PS&E are doing to keep busy during the lockout, this should give you an idea of what the organization can do make this time count.