PLYMOUTH — Plymouth Community School Corporation (PCSC) was one of seven schools districts chosen for the 10th annual JAKKS Pacific Toy Giveaway Pacers Sports and Entertainment (PS&E) holiday giveaway. 

2,000 toys were donated to be given to 1,260 PCSC students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 4th as part of this year’s “Basketballidays”. 

In addition to each student receiving a toy, 100 Pacers and Fever basketballs were donated to each city. 

The giveaway is part of the Season of Giving delivered by Papa John’s. Thousands of toys were donated from JAKKS Pacific founder Stephen Berman.

Pacers mascot Boomer, Fever mascot Freddy, Mayor Mark Senter, Superintendent of PCSC Andy Hartley, Police Chief David Bacon, Pacers Pacemates and a special guest appearance by Santa and Mrs. Clause delighted children Monday morning at the Plymouth High School where the event was held. 

Bill Benner, Senior Vice President for Corporate, Community and Public Relations for Pacers Sports & Entertainment and Executive Director of the Pacers Foundation opened with remarks, “We are so happy to begin our toy giveaway statewide here in the great city of Plymouth, Indiana. Thanks for having us.”

“We have a theme with the Pacers that ‘We grow basketball here.’ By that we mean, here in the great state of Indiana. Plymouth certainly epitomizes all that we love and cherish about the great Indiana name of basketball.”

Former professional basketball player Darnell Hillman “Dr. Dunk” led children in a pep rally Monday morning during the Pacers “Basketballidays” event held at Plymouth High School for all Plymouth Community School Corporation students grades K through 4th. Hillman was the first NBA Slam Dunk Contest Champion in 1977. 

Mayor Senter welcomed the students to raise their voices in a collective “WOW!” in awe of the event. “Thank you Mr. Benner. What another beautiful day, a Pacer day, in Plymouth, Indiana. Welcome all pre-k through 4th graders in the Plymouth School System. Thank you to the Indiana Pacers for their awesome community outreach.

Plymouth is humbled that the Pacers chose our city and our school system for their toy giveaway. 

We appreciate mascots Boomer and Freddy Fever! 

You might say that the Pacers are near and dear to my heart. Growing up on the west side of Indianapolis, I truly remember their first ABA team which included the likes of players such as Freddy Lewis, Roger Brown, (Robert) “Bob” Netolicky, Jimmy Rayl, Jerry Harkness, and Oliver “Ollie” Darden.

At the age of twelve, I even had a scrapbook about that first team. They have come a long way from that 67-68 season and joining the NBA in 1976. Just a little trivia there for you.” 

Senter expressed gratitude to JAKKS Pacific founder Stephen Berman, and PS&E Chairman and CEO Herb Simon for their generosity and for all they have done throughout the state of Indiana. “It is truly remarkable.”

City of Plymouth Police Chief Bacon said with a smile,  “Good morning. Who is excited to be here?” The children applauded and raised their voices in affirmation. “Awesome.” 

Bacon continued, “I would like to thank Mr. Berman, Mr. Simon, and the Pacers organization. This was an awesome opportunity for Plymouth Community School. Up here in front is just a small sample of what they have given to us. They have given us about 2,000 toys. Which means everybody here in this gymnasium today will be given a toy!” The children cheered.” 

PCSC Hartley said, “Good morning!” The children shouted “Good morning!” back with laughter, energy and excitement.

Hartley praised the children, “What an exciting day this is! You have been wonderful coming here. We have never, for as long as I can remember, had every single student from the elementary schools in Plymouth in one spot just like this. You guys are awesome!” 

“This could not have happened without the generosity of those organizations who selected the city of Plymouth, and the city of Plymouth to be the one who said, ‘Can we get all of these kids in one spot to have this exciting today?’ Absolutely. We did it. We thank you for it.” 

Hartley expressed gratitude to all who made the outreach possible. Hartley shared in a comment to media, “We are thankful for the Pacers organization and to the city as well for selecting Plymouth and Plymouth schools for our kids to participate in this. We are truly thankful for this.” 

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