INDIANAPOLIS (April 18, 2018) – The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization providing life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500®, today announces that 11 community organizations will benefit from grants totaling $33,000 as part of the 2018 500 Gives Back grant program. The program is geared toward supporting Indiana community organizations that offer life-enriching events, activities and programs, while also celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500. Originally an element of the 100th Running of the Indy 500 Host Committee structure, this specific program is a carryover to future years of community support.
Now in its third year, the 500 Gives Back Program strives to create a lasting legacy within Indiana by lifting up organizations that heighten civic pride, create cultural connections, foster social engagement and stimulate education.
“The 500 Gives Back Program is designed to provide community organizations funding for direct connections relevant to our mission, the spirit of the Indy 500 and month of May activities,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival. “The program began as a 100th Running Host Committee initiative, and we’re excited that its impact continues to be felt well beyond the 100th Running year. We’re excited for all of this year’s recipients to continue impacting Indianapolis and Indiana communities in their respective ways.”
500 Gives Back grants support Indiana-based nonprofits and the potential to accelerate new or existing events or programs that focus on the following:
- A positive impact on the community
- Stimulate education
- Provide leadership
- Heighten civic pride
- Create cultural connection
- Foster social engagement
2018 Recipients of the 500 Gives Back grants include:
Ainsley’s Angels of America in North Central, IN – Ainsley’s Angels of America aims to build awareness about America’s special needs community through inclusion in all aspects of life, ensuring that everyone can experience endurance events. The funding received from the grant will be used to purchase a Hoyt custom racing chariot; a specialty chair designed for individuals with disabilities who need more support in order to participate safely and comfortably in endurance.
Arts for Learning – Arts for Learning brings teaching artists into Indiana to connect kids with the arts, using art to help spark curiosity and ignite creativity. Arts for Learning will use the grant for StART Your Engines!, a program that uses the arts to engage, excite, and retain students’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
AYS, Inc. – Also known as AYS Kids, (At Your School) enriches the learning and well-being of children in a safe, caring and fun environment outside of the school day. AYS’ funding request will purchase supplies to build balloon-powered cars that students will create and race in a “Mini 500” project.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis – Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis provides hope and opportunity to Indianapolis youth. The funds from this year’s grant will go to support the Power Hour 500; an educational enrichment program to help the underprivileged youth of Indianapolis learn about the Indy 500’s history.
Brookside Community Development Corporation – Brookside CDC is a church-based community development corporation that is creating opportunities of renewal and transformation for people residing in the Brookside neighborhood on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis. Brookside Community Play will use this year’s grant to offer the Brookside 500 program – challenging over 35 students to view the sport of racing in a new light.
Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County – HHC operates the Marion County Public Health Department, Eskenazi Health and Indianapolis EMS to promote the health of everyone in the community and provide healthcare to those who are underserved. The 500 Gives Back grant will be used to further the Future Promises Program (FPP); a program that allows expectant and parent teens to tour the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, and attend the IPL 500 Festival Parade and the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500.
Hearts and Hands of Indiana – Hearts and Hands of Indiana is a Near-Westside organization dedicated to helping families attain affordable, long-term homeownership through education and mentoring, continuing to enhance and develop neighborhoods along the Mini-Marathon route (Haughville). The 2018 grant will be used to rehabilitate abandoned houses and properties, transforming them into a safe, sustainable home that its new homeowners can afford and take pride in.
Indiana Recycling Coalition, Inc – Indiana Recycling Coalition, Inc. is an Indianapolis-based organization committed to supporting waste reduction, reuse, composting, and recycling activities in Indiana. With this grant, the IRC will cover expenses of supplies and equipment necessary to provide proper signage and instructions to 500 Festival event goers on how to properly recycle at its events.
IU Student Outreach Clinic – The IU Student Outreach Clinic is a free clinic run out of the Neighborhood Fellowship Church on Indianapolis’ Near Eastside, which has evolved over its nine-year existence into a primary care medical site for many community members. Using this grant to purchase a new printer and computers, the IUSOC will be able to provide a greater number of educational classes and send patients home with material to track their health goals and progress.
Joseph Maley Foundation – The Joseph Maley Foundation encompasses seven programs that serve the whole child and those who directly affect the child, including family, friends, educators, professionals, and community leaders. The grant will be used to support growth of the Run2gether initiative, a program that partners children with disabilities between the ages of seven and 21 with a team of running support.
Shalom Health Care Center – Shalom Health Care Center’s mission is to improve the health of the community through affordable and personalized quality health care. Shalom will utilize this grant to celebrate the Indianapolis 500 by offering the program “500 Festival Fit: Improving our Health by Tracking & Trimming our Results!”
“The 500 Gives Back program is an important initiative that continues on from the 100th Running of the Indy 500 Host Committee,” said Betty Stilwell, 500 Gives Back selection committee member. “In its third year, it continues to provide amazing opportunities for Indianapolis nonprofits who make our community great. We’d like to thank the 500 Festival for providing relevant community connections for the Indy 500 and continuing to enhance our communities through a love of the race.”
To learn more about the 500 Gives Back grant program, please visit https://www.500festival.com/500-festival-foundation/500-gives-back/.
About the 500 Festival
Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces more than 50 life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and foster positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. One of the largest festivals in the nation, each year more than half a million people attend an event or program produced by the 500 Festival. Since its founding, the 500 Festival has contributed more than $400 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit www.500festival.com, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.