INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Nearly 800 people in the community filled up Bankers Life Fieldhouse Wednesday night to have a hot Thanksgiving meal with the Indiana Pacers.
The Come to our House Thanksgiving Dinner has been serving the homeless community every year for the last 22 years.
Kelly Towles, senior director of community relations with the Pacers, has been around since the event was a lot smaller.
“We started at Wheeler Mission 22 years ago with Antonio Davis and his wife,” Towles said. “It was just a small gathering and then we moved over to this building and 22 years later we’re still doing it.”
In addition to the meal, some new elements were added to the event. This time some winter items were given away and a raffle was held.
Pacers players Victor Oldaipo and Doug McDermott hosted the event. Oladipo prayed over the food and shared some encouraging words with the people.
“It’s incredible, I’ve played on a few different teams in my career and the Pacers are the only team that’s done something like this,” said Pacers small forward Doug McDermott.
News 8 Meteorlogist Randy Ollis has been serving in the event for years, but this year he challenged Pacers center Myles Turner to a game of one-on-one. Check it out on this Facebook Live.
When it’s all said and done, for McDermott, it’s all about the fellowship with the people of Indianapolis and doing something to brighten their day.
“Just seeing the smiles on people’s faces and there’s so many great people in this community and it’s good to have them all together in one room,” McDermott said.
People from more than 15 homeless shelters throughout central Indiana were served at this year’s event.