Celebration of Civic Leaders to Benefit Pacers Foundation and Simon Youth Foundation
Long-time Indianapolis civic leaders and philanthropists Sarah and John Lechleiter will be honored at the 16th Masquerade on Saturday, Oct. 14, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Masquerade, a premier date on the Indianapolis’ fall social scene, is the signature fundraising event of Simon Youth Foundation and Pacers Foundation and has raised nearly $11 million for the two organizations since its inception. Both work to ensure youth in need, in Indiana and across the country, are given education and other opportunities to better their lives. The Masquerade has dazzled attendees over the years with top-tier entertainment and high-profile attendees.
The Lechleiters are being recognized for their years of civic activities and other efforts that have strengthened the Indianapolis community.
Currently, Sarah serves on the boards of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Indiana Repertory Theatre. Sarah was a founding member and served as chair for what is now United Way of Central Indiana’s Women United, as well as Women of Tocqueville. She is a sustaining member of the Children’s Museum Guild, the St. Augustine Guild of the Little Sisters of the Poor, and the Proctor Club.
Sarah graduated in 1976 with a degree in Sociology and Social Welfare from Edgecliff College, which is now part of Xavier University in Cincinnati.
John Lechleiter has served as chairman of the board of directors of Eli Lilly and Company since January 1, 2009. He retired as Lilly’s president and chief executive officer on December 31, 2016, after 37 years with the company. He joined Lilly in 1979 as a senior organic chemist in process research and development. In 2005, he was named Lilly’s president and chief operating officer and joined the board of directors. He became CEO on April 1, 2008.
John earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Xavier University in 1975 and master’s and doctoral degrees in organic chemistry from Harvard University. He has received honorary doctorates from Marian University (Indianapolis, Indiana), the University of Indianapolis, the National University of Ireland, Indiana University, Franklin College, and Purdue University.
John is a member of the American Chemical Society. He is chairman of the board of United Way Worldwide and serves as vice chair of the board of the Chemical Heritage Foundation. He is a member emeritus of the board of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. John also serves on the boards of Nike, Inc. and Ford Motor Company.
In addition to their individual accomplishments, Sarah and John together chaired the 75th Anniversary Gala for Marian University and have been deeply involved in the United Way of Central Indiana’s efforts to strengthen early childhood education and support families. The Lechleiters are proud parents of three children and grandparents of six.
“We are deeply gratified that we can honor the Lechleiters for their profound impact on our community,” said Masquerade Co-Chair Cindy Simon Skjodt. “The proceeds of this event go directly to benefit of youth both nationally and here in Indiana and have created opportunities and better lives many times over.”
Last year’s Masquerade honoree was Indiana Pacers Vice President of Communications and Fox Sports Indiana Pacers television analyst Quinn Bucker. Previous honorees include Jim Morris, Larry Bird, Deborah J. Simon, Cindy Simon Skjodt, Tamika Catchings, Rick Fuson, Steve Stitle, Frank Hancock, Jeff Smulyan, the Hulman-George Family, Melvin Simon, Herbert Simon, Reggie Miller, Bobby “Slick” Leonard, Clark Kellogg and Donnie Walsh.