Hoosiers Lend A Helping Hand For The Holidays
Dec. 21, 2007
Bloomington, Indiana - The Indiana University men's basketball team took a trip to Martinsville on Friday morning where they made four new friends after a special holiday visit.
Earlier this week, members of the program had read a story in the newspaper and had seen on television that volunteer fireman Gary Kemp of Wilbur and his family, wife Nataliya, daughter Kim (12), and son Roger Jr. (11), escaped a fire at their home on Saturday, December 15.
Though unharmed, the Kemp's lost all of their personal belongings as firefighters had to battle the blaze, freezing rain and a lack of water.
The team gathered this morning and headed to the Holiday Inn in Martinsville where they presented each member of the family with a large duffel bag filled with shirts, socks, shoes, sweat suits, a stocking cap and a winter coat. In addition, the children each received a new basketball which was signed by each player and coach.
Later when the team found out the children did not have a bathing suit to take advantage of the heated indoor pool, a staff member returned to Bloomington and purchased swimwear for each of the kids and dropped that off later in the day.
"I think it is so important to give back," said Coach Kelvin Sampson. "I know had this happened to someone in our program there would have been someone to come forward and do the same for us."
The family also received tickets to sit behind the team bench at tomorrow's game against Coppin State. Gary, a graduate of North Central High School in Indianapolis, also was elated to take a group photo with fellow North Central alums Adam Ahlfeld, Eric Gordon and A.J. Ratliff.
Anyone wishing to help may call Roger on his cell phone at (317) 596-6400.
Check back soon