Sunday, December 15th, the Mercer women’s basketball team hosted the Clemson Tigers at Hawkins Arena at Mercer University. Fans who brought a teddy bear (or other stuffed animal) to the game got free admission to the game as part of a fundraiser for United Way of Central Georgia. At halftime, fans stood up and threw their stuffed toys towards center court. The fan that got closest to the middle of center circle won a prize.
Over 100 stuffed toys were collected and will be donated to children in Central Georgia through United Way of Central Georgia initiative, The Merrie Christmas Project. United Way of Central Georgia, alongside Mike and Nancy Kaplan, parents of the late Merrie Kaplan, unveiled ‘The MERRIE Christmas Project’ in honor of Merrie’s love for Christmas a few months ago. The 45-year old Macon woman, Merrie Kaplan, was born with a rare genetic condition, Williams syndrome. Fitting to her name, she was known throughout central Georgia as a friendly, outgoing woman, who brought joy wherever she went. Merrie passed away this past August, but her memory will live on and bring joy across United Way of Central Georgia’s 14-county service area through ‘The MERRIE Christmas Project,’ a fundraising effort aimed at providing gifts, holiday décor, and food to families in need during the Christmas season.
The Mercer Lady Bears became involved with The Merrie Christmas Project at the request from head coach, Susie Gardner, who knew Merrie personally and wanted to give back to this United Way of Central Georgia initiative. To learn more about The Merrie Christmas Project or this weekend’s “Teddy Bear Toss,” go to https://www.unitedwaycg.org/MerrieChristmasProject.