Telmosse Giveaway Dec. 23 at Indoor Arena

       For the first time, the Norris-Penrose Events Center will host the Bob Telmosse Christmas Giveaway this year.
       The 23rd annual event, in which up to 4,000 families from around the Pikes Peak region will receive presents and food, will be in the center's Indoor Arena Dec. 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
       Donations from the public are being accepted at the center, 1045 W. Rio Grande St., and at Subway's restaurants. Food as well as gifts for children or grown-ups are welcome, according to Terry Hooper, executive director of the Youth Outreach Center.
       Donations are being accepted at the Indoor Arena until the event. Hooper said volunteers will be on hand there from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Dec. 18 and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. through the 22nd.
       The Giveaway, in which needy families get help with no questions asked, was held for many years in a large building at 1801 N. Union Blvd., but it's now owned by a plumbing business, he noted. The biggest change this year is that Telemosse, who started the event, is in poor health and no longer living in Colorado. Hooper, whose organization had assisted the founder for the past seven years, is now in the lead role.
       He anticipates 3,500 to 4,000 families will seek assistance Dec. 23. At last year's Giveaway, more than 3,800 Christmas dinners and 20,000 toys were provided. “I think there's a higher need this year,” he said.
       Asked for specific donation information, Hooper said, “We need unwrapped toys and anything for a Christmas dinner - turkey, hams, chickens and any fixings. We also welcome gifts for adults. That was a really big thing last year. Kids liked giving things to their parents, not just getting things themselves.”
       Many of the event's volunteers will be young people. Hooper said he thinks it's a good experience for them. “We use kids as much as we can,” he said. “It gives them something to do. They'll be able to see someone who needs help. If you feel pity for yourself, all you need to do is look around.”
       More volunteers are also welcome. For more information, call 633-9660.

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