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Greater Lawrence Chamber of Commerce hosts annual charity event • Current Publications

Greater Lawrence Chamber of Commerce hosts annual charity event • Current Publications

Greater Lawrence Chamber of Commerce hosts annual charity event • Current Publications

The Greater Lawrence Chamber of Commerce held its annual After Hours: Holiday Celebration event on December 14 at Hillcrest Country Club. Rotary Club of Indianapolis Northeast, Proceeds benefited the Lawrence Fire Department’s Family Assistance Program, a year-long initiative focused on families and children in need during the holidays.

Attendees brought new, unwrapped toys to donate to the Family Assistance Program, resulting in a record amount of donations. Chamber chair and neuropsychologist at The Brain Center at 6246 W Broadway in McCordsville, Dr. According to April Crowell, the annual event has enjoyed success for nearly 10 years.

“I joined the chamber in 2017, but this is my first year as president,” said Crowell. “We’ve held this event for almost 10 years, and it just gets better every year.”

Crowell was amazed at the number of toys donated at the event.

“It’s amazing to see the thoughtfulness of the community,” Crowell said. “Obviously, it was a big turnout this year. It’s a great opportunity to allow children from all different backgrounds to celebrate Christmas with nice, new toys.

Crowell said the LFD’s family assistance program has been around for many years thanks to LFD chief Dino Batalis, who founded the initiative.

Crowell said, “He’s been doing it for as long as I can remember.”

Batalis started the Family Assistance Program 38 years ago to help families in the Lawrence Township School District. However, sometimes the aid goes to families outside the township boundaries.

“We try to keep everything within the limits of Lawrence,” Batalis said. “But it’s hard to say no to a needy family who is too close to the community because of the road boundary.”

Over the years, the program has helped 700 families and gifted new toys to over 800 children in the community.

“It’s really great to see that sense of community coming together for a great cause,” Crowell said.

Toys collected at the After Hours event were organized and packaged at the Lawrence Fire Department at 4450 McCoy St. the weekend following the event. The program’s food and toy donations helped more than 800 families this holiday.



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