Pacers' Jim Morris to be honored

Longtime civic leader will be guest of honor at 14th Annual Masquerade on Oct. 24 at downtown Indianapolis hotel.

Pacers Sports & Entertainment vice chairman Jim Morris will be the honoree at the 14th Annual Masquerade Oct. 24 at the JW Marriott hotel in Indianapolis.

Morris, a long-time Indianapolis civic leader, has been a guiding force in Indianapolis’s emergence as a national leader in sports. He has also had a significant international impact while serving from 2002-07 as the executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the world’s largest humanitarian agency.

Morris has also been chief deputy to then mayor Richard G. Lugar and then served in executive positions with Lilly Endowment, the Indianapolis Water Company and Pacers Sports & Entertainment. He joined PS&E in 2007 as a Special Advisor to then CEO/President Donnie Walsh and was named President on April 16, 2008. He became vice chairman last fall. He is a graduate of Indiana University with a master’s degree from Butler University.

The Masquerade is one of Indianapolis’s most impactful fund-raising events. In its first 14 years, $9.5 million has been donated to the Simon Youth Foundation and the Pacers Foundation in support of education and mentoring programs for at-risk youth.

Last year’s honoree was Pacers president and NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird. Other past honorees include Deborah J. Simon, Cindy Simon Skjodt, Tamika Catchings, Rick Fuson, Steve Stitle, Frank Hancock, Jeff Smulyan, the Hulman-George Family, Melvin Simon, Herbert Simon, Reggie Miller, Bobby “Slick” Leonard, Clark Kellogg and Donnie Walsh.

The Masquerade evening begins with a reception at 6 p.m. followed by the dinner and tribute starting at 7 p.m. Special guests at the event include the entire Indiana Pacers team and basketball staff as well as many of the past Masquerade honorees.

The Masquerade is made possible through the generous support of many local and national sponsors. PNC Bank will return as the event's title sponsor for the 14th year.

For ticket and sponsorship information, contact Brandi Young at (317) 263-7694 or byoung@simon.com.

The Simon Youth Foundation, a national non-profit, exists to help at-risk students who are on the verge of dropping out of high school stay in school. Through 22 Simon Youth Academies in 12 states and Simon Youth Scholarships, SYF advocates, creates and initiates educational opportunities for students so they can start here and go anywhere. In partnership with local public schools, SYF has maintained a 90% graduation rate at its Academies since inception, graduated more than 13,000 students, and awarded more than $13 million in scholarships. Learn more at syf.org.

Pacers Foundation encourages Indiana's youth to make winning life choices through contributions and community partnerships. Since its inception in 1994, the Pacers Foundation has provided more than $6.5 million to youth-serving Indiana agencies and has enabled thousands of youth to attend Pacers and Indiana Fever games through ticket donations. For more information, visit www.pacersfoundation.org.

Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.


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