500 Festival Selects Recipients of 2017 500 Gives Back Grant Program

500 Festival Selects Recipients of 2017 500 Gives Back Grant Program

500 Festival Selects Recipients of 2017 500 Gives Back Grant Program


INDIANAPOLIS (April 19, 2017) –  The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization providing life-enriching events that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500, today announces the recipients of the 500 Gives Back grant program for 2017. 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.


As we approach the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500, 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 Festival will offer a total of $33,000 in grants to the following organizations with maximum individual endorsements of $7,000 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



Recipients of the Grant Program include:


Indiana Recycling Coalition, IncIndiana Recycling Coalition, Inc. is an Indianapolis-based organization committed to continuing an existing recycling program and public space composting presence at 500 Festival events.

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (Metropolitan Youth Orchestra) – The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra provides an interactive instrument booth and performance during JPMorgan Chase 500 Festival Kids’ Day, as well as music recitals in the Hilbert Circle Theatre lobby.

Connor Prairie Museum, Inc. – The Connor Prairie Museum is an interactive history park in Hamilton County continuing its’ exhibit Tire Power! – The science and engineering behind tires and the 1st Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Indy Reads Books – Indy Reads Books is a downtown Indianapolis community nonprofit distributing 33 Indianapolis 500 themed boxes of 33 books, created in partnership with the 500 Festival to be delivered to day care centers, healthcare facilities, and schools.

Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County – HHC operates the Marion County Public Health Department, Eskenazi Health and Indianapolis EMS to offset cost of First Responder Mini-Ambulance to provide emergency services to individuals attending or participating in large outdoor events, including 500 Festival events.

Christamore House Family and Community Center – The Christamore House Family and Community Center provides child and youth educational services, senior programming and life skills training on Indy’s Near-Westside. They allow low-income, at-risk youth, as well as senior citizens, the opportunity to learn about and experience the world of racing by touring the Dallara factory. The two youths with the highest GPA will receive an IndyCar experience.

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).

New Hope of Indiana – New Hope of Indiana assists individuals with disabilities with visits to IMS each May (includes breakfast, museum and garage tours and a meet and greet with drivers).

George T. Goodwin Community Center, Inc. – The George T. Goodwin Community Center enables families and individuals to connect with the community and raises awareness for the Indy 500 by providing multigenerational projects with seniors interacting with preschoolers (creating toy race cars), Decatur High School Science and Technology students (building and racing go carts), CHOICE Academy High School students (shopping for school supplies for students in need), and the seniors themselves visiting and touring the IMS museum.

Englewood Community Development Corporation – The Englewood Community Development Corporate works to create Near East Athletics and develop partnerships with other local sports organizations with consistent year-round recreational programs and leagues covering 10 different sports impacting 1000 youth and 700 adults.

“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. “We can’t wait to continue this program, which began as a 100th Running Host Committee initiative, and we’re excited for all of this year’s recipients to continue impacting Indianapolis and Indiana communities.”

“The 500 Gives Back program is a vital initiative in the 500 Forward effort to elevate and extend celebrations surrounding the Indianapolis 500,” said Lauren George, committee member for the 100th Running Committee. “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 500 Festival’s events and programs, please visit  www.500festival.com.


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 while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and fostering 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 or Instagram @500Festival, or on Facebook.