Putting about $70,000 in play

Susan Guyett

Special Olympics Indiana supporters got some help from the agency's athletes during the recent annual Holiday in the Heartland party.
Guests were encouraged to put themselves through the paces, the way Special Olympians do, in a variety of games that organizers set up for fun.
Co-chair Greg Sandhage of Innovative got a few pointers from athlete LeeAnne Bettenhausen, who knew a thing or two about tossing a beanbag. Other Special Olympians were available to give pointers at each game.
The evening at the Marriott in Downtown Indianapolis on Nov. 17 raised close to $70,000. WIBC-AM (1070) pitched in, too, with Dave "The King" Wilson and Joe Staysniak on hand to keep the evening rolling along.
Sports stars -- including race car drivers Vitor Meira and Ed Carpenter, Quinn Buckner of the Indiana Pacers, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and NASCAR's Tony Stewart -- donated either their time or merchandise to support the auction.
Baseball legend Carl Erskine, a longtime supporter of Special Olympics, also was on hand to charm guests and entertain with some harmonica music.
Corporate sponsors included KeyBank, Sport Graphics, Emmis Communications, Bingham McHale, Ratio Architects and Duke Energy.

Get holiday decorating ideas during charity house tour

Need some last-minute holiday decorating ideas?
Marcha and Michael Bennett will open their home for the annual "Home for the Holidays" house tour that benefits the Circle City Chapter of Links Inc.
The Bennetts' home at 1142 Laurelwood Drive in Carmel has been decked out for the holidays for guests to view from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and Dec. 2-3.
Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at the house. Proceeds go toward the chapter's charitable activities. Call (317) 598-8687 or (317) 679-8527 for more information.

Special Olympics chief to lead USA Diving

Debbie Hesse, who has been president and CEO of Special Olympics Indiana since 2003, will become CEO of USA Diving in January.
Before joining Special Olympics, Hesse was executive director of USA Synchronized Swimming.
Hesse said she would be working on the next Special Olympics project, the John R. Wooden Tradition Coaches Dinner on Dec. 15 at the Westin Hotel in Downtown Indianapolis. She will then take some time off before starting her new job.

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