INDIANAPOLIS (February 16, 2016) – Racing legend Roger Penske and best-selling author John Green will serve as honorary co-chairs of the 100th Running Host Committee of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. The volunteer-driven Host Committee has been organized to expand the reach and legacy of the 100th Running, a monumental moment in sports and Indiana history.
“The Indy 500 is the crown jewel of racing,” Penske said. “I am so proud to be a part of the 100th Running Host Committee, especially as we mark Team Penske’s 50th year in motorsports. I am confident this year’s race will be an unforgettable experience for millions of racing fans across the globe.”
“The Greatest Spectacle in Racing is central to our state’s cultural heritage and an iconic American Memorial Day Weekend tradition,” Green said. “I’m thrilled the Host Committee is working to build unprecedented anticipation for an event that has been a touchstone for progress and innovation for more than a century.”
“Roger Penske has set the standard for motorsports excellence and is a tremendous ambassador for our sport,” Hulman & Company CEO Mark Miles said. “John Green is internationally-admired and a beloved member of our Hoosier community. We’re so thankful both of these individuals have signed on to support this effort.”
The Host Committee is part of the 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization providing life-enriching events and programs celebrating the legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and fostering a positive impact throughout the Hoosier state. The Host Committee includes 12 full volunteer committees and 40 sub-committees with hundreds of enthusiastic community volunteers. These individuals are charged with working together to celebrate and leverage the 100th Running by enhancing the quality of life for all Hoosiers, elevating the image of the State of Indiana, heightening civic pride, creating cultural connection, enabling social impact and stimulating education.
“A Hoosier-driven host committee model works,” 500 Festival president and CEO Bob Bryant said. “The Super Bowl 2012 Host Committee energized our entire community and produced a high-voltage and memorable celebration that heaped national acclaim upon our city and state. As we approach this historic milestone – the 100th running of the Indy 500 – it’s our intention to make this year’s celebration the biggest yet through the leadership and engagement of our community. Together we will continue to build Indianapolis’ reputation for hosting world-class events with our trademark Hoosier Hospitality and build a legacy that enriches the lives of our community members for years to come.”
Many host committee initiatives are already underway. The Statewide Engagement Committee has scheduled fan town halls featuring Indianapolis Motor Speedway leadership at venues across Indiana. The 500 Gives Back Committee will soon announce a grant application process to fund community initiatives related to the 100th Running. The Arts, Culture and Youth Committee is working with local artists and the Arts Council to place Indy 500 art projects in prominent venues throughout the city.
Moreover, the Décor Committee announced today that local businesses can join in the celebration by adding Indy 500 branding to their walls, displays and customer applications. Interested businesses can go to www.100thrunningpresence.com to learn more.
The 100th Running Host Committee is made possible through generous contributions from Indiana businesses and foundations. Current donors include: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield; BKD, LLP; CNO Financial Group; CSO Architects, Inc.; Duke Realty; Eli Lilly and Company; Emmis Communications; F.A. Wilhelm Construction Company; Hulman & Company Foundation, Inc.; Indiana Economic Development Corporation; Indiana Chemical Trust; Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever; Indiana University Health; Indianapolis Colts; Indianapolis Power & Light Company; JPMorgan Chase; JW Marriott Indianapolis; KAR Auction Services; Kathy and Al Hubbard; Kite Realty Group; LDI, Ltd. / Lacy Foundation; Lucas Oil Products; MacAllister Machinery Co.; Monarch Beverage, Inc.; PNC; Salesforce; Sport Graphics; St. Elmo Steak House / Harry & Izzy’s ; St. Vincent; The Heritage Group; The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF Affiliate ; Vectren Corporation; Venture Logistics; Visit Indy and Zink Distributing Company.
For a full list of committees and sub-committees, click here. For more information on the host committee and a list of upcoming events, go to: www.500Festival.com/100thRunning or search #100RunningHC on social media.
2016 is a once-in-a-generation year for Hoosiers. Along with the 100th Running of the Indy 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, the State will celebrate its bicentennial, the 60th IPL 500 Festival Parade and the 40th OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. Hoosiers and racing fans will also mark 50 years of Team Penske in racing.
About Roger Penske
Roger Penske has won 16 Indy 500’s and 13 IndyCar championships as owner of Team Penske. This year, Team Penske marks its 50th year in racing with celebrations across the nation including a special car exhibit at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. Penske is also the founder and chairman of Penske Corporation, which employs more than 50,000 people worldwide.
About John Green
John Green is the New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars. He was 2006 recipient of the Michael L. Printz Award, a 2009 Edgar Award winner, and has twice been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Green’s books have been published in more than a dozen languages. Green is a resident of Indianapolis.
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 $350 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit www.500festival.com, follow us on Twitter @500festival, or on Facebook.
Sabrina List, 500 Festival