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Bowling tournament honors slain cab driver, food pantry

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“It was the people; he was a people person. He never met anyone who was a stranger.

He could generally put a smile on the face of anyone who got in the car,” said Brenda Hoosier the wife of slain cab driver, Clarence “Chip” Hoosier.

On August 2, 2006 Chip, an avid bowler, left his favorite hobby to accept a call on the eastside of Indianapolis. When he pulled up to his destination, three young men approached him; one on either side of the car and one entered the back door.

They pulled him out of the cab and demanded money. Since he was at the beginning of his shift, Chip had only $30 in his pocket. The men shot Hoosier, took his cell phone and the $30.

All three men, ages 16 through 18 at the time of the incident, have been tried and convicted. Collectively they received an estimated 165 years.

“On several occasions I got calls from people saying they didn’t have enough money to pay and Chip told them, ‘the next time you have some money, just give me a call,’” said Tim Neville, operations manager, Indianapolis Yellow Cab. “You don’t find that hardly in any cab driver. I miss him and still think about him.”

Before his passing, working as a Yellow Cab driver for 25 years wasn’t the only thing Chip was dedicated to. Chip had a passion for feeding the less fortunate.

Through St. Philips/St. Bridget Food Pantry, every second Saturday of the month Chip, his family, church families and members of the community came together to prepare and distribute food. The food pantry ministry serves the low-income and senior citizens surrounding the historic Indiana Avenue area. The ministry reaches more than 135 households each month.

“Throughout his travels during the month, he collected between 75 to 90 percent of the money used to fund this pantry. That was our operating capital. The year he died, in lieu of flowers, people donated to the pantry,” said Brenda.

After his passing, the pantry was renamed the Clarence “Chip” Hoosier Food Pantry. In order to simultaneously honor Chip and provide funds to operate the food pantry, Brenda teamed up with Chip’s former employer, Yellow Cab, to create an annual bowling tournament.

The Chip Hoosier Memorial Tournament will be held August 1 at Woodland Bowl, 3421 E 96th St. all of the proceeds will go towards the Clarence “Chip” Hoosier Food Pantry. Competitive and non-competitive bowling opportunities are available. Lunch and prizes will also be provided.

The one thing that keeps Brenda going is seeing her grandchildren pick up Chip’s torch and carrying on his legacy through charity and kindness to elderly, handicapped, homeless, and families. Brenda also wants the public to follow her husband’s lead and simply lend a helping hand or financially support worthwhile causes in their community.

“(Yellow Cab) wants to continue to help support Chip’s selfless donation to the food pantry. It meant so much to him,” said Neville. “It was, is and will continue to be a worthwhile charity.”

“My husband loved to have fun. To combine the pantry and bowling; that’s good. I think he’d be proud of what we’re doing,” adds Brenda.

For more information, call (317) 481-0022 or visit www.chiphoosiermemorialtournament.org.

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