Pacers Foundation to Offer 50/50 Raffle

INDIANAPOLIS – Beginning with Monday night’s Indiana Pacers game against the Utah Jazz, the Pacers Foundation will offer a 50/50 raffle to Bankers Life Fieldhouse fans.

All proceeds less raffle expenses will be split between the Pacers Foundation and the lucky fan.

Fans will be able to purchase raffle tickets at kiosks located on the main concourse of the Fieldhouse.

“50/50 raffles have become increasingly commonplace in professional sports leagues and we are delighted to offer this opportunity to Pacers fans while also raising money to support the Foundation’s charitable giving to youth-serving organizations throughout Indiana,” said Foundation Executive Director Bill Benner. “We are grateful to the Indiana Gaming Commission for approving our raffle and its cooperation throughout the licensing process.”

Tickets will be sold from the opening of doors through midway through the third quarter. The winning number will be announced early in the fourth quarter. The fan holding the winning ticket will have 30 days to claim his/her prize. Tickets will be sold in the amounts of $5 for three numbers, $10 for 10 numbers and $20 for 60 numbers.

Rules and information regarding the raffle can be obtained by going to

Pacers Foundation Awards $74,500 in Grants to 20 Youth-Serving Organizations

INDIANAPOLIS – The Pacers Foundation awarded $74,500 in grants to 20 youth-serving organizations at its recent quarterly board meeting.

Recipients included the continuing sponsorship of the Indiana Youth Institute’s annual Kids Count Conference, which brings together youth-serving professionals from throughout the state. This year’s conference will take place Nov. 26-28 at the Indiana Convention Center.

The Foundation also provided a grant to become the official sponsor of field trips for IPS children to the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art and will continue to provide field trips for school children from across the state to the Indiana State Museum and Historical Sites.

In partnership with the Pacers’ G League team, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Foundation also awarded a grant to the Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities in Fort Wayne. That grant will focus on a wheelchair basketball program.
The Foundation also awarded a grant through its Fever Cares Fund for an anti-bullying program in partnership with Playworks Indiana.

“We are grateful to be able to provide support to some of the many organizations in Indiana committed to providing hope and opportunity for our children, especially those at risk,” said Pacers Foundation Chairperson Rick Fuson.

The Foundation is supported by its annual golf outing, the annual Masquerade in partnership with the Simon Youth Foundation, a contribution from CNO Financial Services for every three-point field goal made by a Pacer during games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the sale of Foundation license plates through the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Grant recipients:

  • Boys II Men Mentoring Program, Indianapolis
  • Brookside Community Development Corporation, Indianapolis
  • Charles Fairbanks Elementary Reading and STEM Programs, Indianapolis
  • Coburn Place Safe Haven After-School Program, Indianapolis
  • Concord Neighborhood Center After-School Program, Indianapolis
  • Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art IPS Field Trips, Indianapolis
  • Freetown Village School Presentations, Indianapolis
  • Hawthorne Community Center Project Free, Indianapolis
  • Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault, Indianapolis
  • Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, statewide
  • Indiana Youth Institute, Kids Count Conference
  • Indianapolis Legal Aid Society guardianship program, Indianapolis
  • John Boner Neighborhood Centers EDGE Program, Indianapolis
  • Johnson County Youth Services Bureau, Franklin
  • Playworks Indiana Anti-Bullying Program, Fever Cares Funds, Indianapolis
  • St. Mary’s Child Center School Readiness Program, Indianapolis
  • Salvation Army Fountain Square Sports & Beyond Program, Indianapolis
  • Southside Youth Council/Reach For Youth Teen Court Program, Indianapolis
  • Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth of Indiana, Indianapolis
  • Turnstone Center, Wheelchair Basketball Program, Fort Wayne

CNO Financial Group Presents $21,000 Check to Pacers Foundation to Support Indiana Youth

ARMEL, Ind., Oct. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — CNO Financial Group, a holding company for several national life and health insurance companies that serve middle-income Americans and retirees, has donated $21,000 to the Pacers Foundation through its three-point charity program.

For the 2017 – 2018 season, CNO Financial pledged to donate $50 to the Pacers Foundation for every three-point shot scored by an Indiana Pacers player at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Mike Heard, president of Washington National Insurance Company, part of the CNO family of insurance brands, presented the $21,000 check during halftime of the Indiana Pacers’ home opener against the Memphis Grizzlies at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on October 17. Heard also serves on the board of directors of the Pacers Foundation.

CNO Financial presents check to the Pacers Foundation

“CNO Financial is proud to call central Indiana home to our corporate headquarters, and investing in our communities is at the heart of our culture,” said Heard. “It is a privilege to have partnered with the Pacers Foundation over the last twenty years knowing that each successful three-point shot supports the education, health and well-being of Indiana’s youth.”

“Pacers Sports and Entertainment and CNO Financial have established an incredible partnership over the years with a shared mission of supporting our local communities,” said Rick Fuson, president and chief operating officer of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. “On behalf of the Pacers Foundation, we are so thankful for CNO’s support as we work together to support the youth in our city and state.”

Since 1999, CNO Financial has donated nearly $300,000 to the Pacers Foundation to support its mission of encouraging Indiana’s youth to make winning life choices through contributions and partnerships with youth-serving organizations.

Pacers Foundation Awards Grants Totaling $82,500

INDIANAPOLIS – At its most recent quarterly meeting, the Pacers Foundation board of directors awarded $82,500 in grants to 17 youth-serving organizations throughout the state of Indiana.

The grants included an award of $25,000 as the first of a three-year, $75,000 commitment to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Metropolitan Youth Orchestra (MYO).

The MYO serves approximately 250 youth from IPS schools and Center Township and emphasizes life skills, character development and pursuit of post-secondary education while the children also learn to play and perform.

“The board was impressed by the MYO’s mission of using the arts and music as platforms for the youth to acquire a broader set of skills that can help lead them to productive lives as adults,” said Pacers Foundation Board Chairperson Rick Fuson.

“The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is so grateful for the generosity of our supportive partners at the Pacers Foundation, said ISO CEO James M. Johnson. “Young people growing up with a strong foundation in musicianship build lifelong skills in teamwork, problem solving, and creative thinking – not unlike student athletes. This gift will ensure the mission of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra continues to impact the youth and families of Indianapolis in positive ways.”

The Pacers Foundation also continued its statewide outreach by awarding grants to organizations in Fort Wayne, Kokomo, Columbus, Bloomington, Connersville and Martinsville in addition to Indianapolis.

In addition to MYO, grants were given to:

  • Arts For Learning, Indianapolis, for supplemental arts instruction in IPS schools reading programs.
  • Boys & Girls Club, Fort Wayne, Project Learn.
  • Brooke’s Place for Grieving Young People, Indianapolis, for its Outreach Program.
  • Carver Community Center, Kokomo, after-school academic assistance.
  • Child Advocates, Indianapolis, Older Youth Services program.
  • College Mentors for Kids, Indianapolis, Reach Across Indiana program.
  • Dayspring Center Family Emergency Shelter, Indianapolis, meals and programming for homeless children.
  • Family Service, Inc., Columbus, Child Abuse Prevention.
  • Girls Inc. of Monroe County, Bloomington, non-traditional sports clinics.
  • Hope Center, Connersville, I Decide For Me program.
  • Jump IN For Healthy Kids, Indianapolis, Warren Township Schools program.
  • Martinsville Youth Development Center, Martinsville, STEM after-school program.
  • Minority Engineering Program of Indianapolis, STEM workshops.
  • Nine13 Sports, Indianapolis, Kids Riding Bikes program.
  • Starfish Initiative, Indianapolis, Leadership Camp.
  • S.U.P.E.R School Inc., Indianapolis, health and fitness initiative.

Pacers Sports & Entertainment Continues to Grow Indiana’s Game

PS&E, Foundation Announce 3-Year Partnership to Renovate More Indy Parks Basketball Courts

INDIANAPOLIS – Pacers Sports & Entertainment and the Pacers Foundation Saturday announced a continuation of their partnership with the Indy Parks Foundation to renovate basketball courts within the Indy Parks system.

The three-year, $300,000 commitment was announced during ribbon cutting ceremonies for a newly renovated court at Tarkington Park on the city’s northside.

The partnership represents PS&E’s continuing efforts to build upon its “We Grow Basketball Here” brand. The renovated courts will include Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever and We Grow Basketball branding. The partnership also continues sponsorship of the Indy Parks youth basketball leagues with the championship games taking place in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

A previous $1.1 million commitment from the Pacers Foundation and Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) that began in 2013 has resulted in the construction or renovation of 10 basketball courts throughout the park system, including the first indoor court earlier this year at the Brookside Park Community Center.

“We are delighted to support our beloved Indiana game at all levels,” said Rick Fuson, PS&E President and COO and chairman of the Pacers Foundation. “For many of our youngsters, playing on an Indy Parks court is where they develop their first love for the game and we want as many of them as possible to play on great courts with the best goals. We look forward to investing in our parks, our community and our youth by renovating additional courts throughout the city over the next three years.”

“The Parks Foundation is proud to identify and manage resources for parks, public spaces, and trails throughout Indianapolis,” said Parks Foundation President Lori Hazlett. “We are excited to facilitate initiatives that inspire our great community partners, like the Pacers Foundation and Pacers Sports & Entertainment, to come together and invest in park assets that improve quality of life, connect people to places, and build community.”

PS&E’s other efforts to grow basketball across the state include:

  • Presenting sponsorship of the Indiana High School Athletic Association Boys and Girls State Championships
  • Presenting sponsorship of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s Silver Medals
  • Hosting of the annual Indianapolis Downtown Kiwanis Club’s State Finals luncheon
  • Sponsorship of Special Olympics Indiana’s state basketball competition
  • Hosting of the annual Crossroads Classic involving Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame and Butler
  • Honoring of legendary Indiana teams, coaches and players in the annual Pacers Hickory Night celebrations – including recognizing the four boys and girls high school state championship teams
  • The Pacers Athletic Center, part of the Grand Park sports complex in Westfield
  • Presentation of Basketball Day in Indiana, in partnership with Fox Sports Indiana.

Show Your Support For Your Pacers And For Our Kids With Pacers Foundation License Plates

Since going on sale on January 1, 2017, purchase of Special Group Recognition (SGR) license plates commemorating the Indiana Pacers and benefitting the Pacers Foundation have steadily increased.

More than a thousand were purchased by Indiana vehicle owners in the first year and through March of 2018, sales are “outpacing” that inaugural year by more than 30 percent.

The Pacers’ SGR plate is available for sale at any BMV license branch and online through
The plates feature the Pacers logo on the left side. The words Pacers Foundation adorn the bottom. Plates for passenger vehicles, trucks up to 11,000 pounds and RVs have the prefix WP (for Winning Pacers). Motorcycle plates will have the prefix WG (Winning Games).

All proceeds from the plate go to the Pacers Foundation to support youth-serving organizations throughout the state of Indiana.

“Since the Foundation’s beginning in 1994, more than $8 million has been donated to organizations serving our Hoosier youth and the specialty plate will enhance that giving for years to come,” said Pacers Foundation Board Chairman Rick Fuson, who is also president and COO of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. “We’re also delighted that Pacers fans can display Pacer Pride on their vehicles.”

The plates cost an annual fee of $40, $25 of which goes back to the Foundation, in addition to registration fees and excise tax. Personalized plates can also be requested for an additional fee of $45. Purchasers can request specific numbers from 101-9999 on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Pacers Foundation Awards 16 Grants at Spring Meeting

58 Indiana Organizations Receive $372,500 During FY ‘17/18

INDIANAPOLIS – The Pacers Foundation concluded its fiscal year at its spring board meeting by awarding $62,500 in grants to 16 youth-serving organizations.

For the year, the Foundation provided $372,500 in grants to 58 organizations throughout Indiana, including agencies in Fort Wayne, Evansville, Terre Haute and Muncie.

Since its inception in 1993, the Foundation has awarded more than $7 million in grants.

“As we recognize our 25th year of charitable giving, we are gratified to know that the Foundation has assisted in creating positive experiences for a generation of Indiana youth and the agencies that serve them,” said Foundation Chairperson Rick Fuson, President and COO of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. “We are grateful to those who support the Foundation through our two major fundraisers, the Masquerade and our annual golf outing; the purchase of Foundation license plates through the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles; and CNO Financial Group, which continues to donate $50 for every three-pointer made by our Pacers during home games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.”

At its spring meeting, the Board approved the following grants:

  • Ascent 121, Carmel, for teen survivors of human sex trafficking.
  • Chaucie’s Place, Carmel, for a Body Safety Program for Children.
  • Children’s Bureau, Indianapolis, for the Rachel Glick Courage Center.
  • Domestic Violence Network, Indianapolis, for its Relationships Smarts Plus Program.
  • Girls Inc of Greater Indianapolis for its Bold Programs.
  • Girls Talk Inc., Indianapolis, for its STEM and Career Conference for teenage girls.
  • Hear Indiana, Indianapolis, for its Listening and Spoken Language Camp.
  • Indianapolis Black Alumni Council for its HBCU College Fair.
  • Independence Academy, Indianapolis, for its Autism Program.
  • Indianapolis Public Library Foundation for its Summer Reading Program.
  • Kids Dance Outreach, Indianapolis, for its In-School Program.
  • Marion Country Commission on Youth for its Natural Caregivers Program.
  • Noble, Inc., Indianapolis, for its Day Camps.
  • Patachou Foundation, for its IPS food security initiative.
  • TeamSmile, for its youth dental examination and treatment program.
  • Teenworks, for its summer jobs program.

At the spring meeting, the board also ratified grants from its winter meeting that was canceled by weather. Those grants included:

  • Achieve International, Carmel, for its Achieve Academy.
  • Assistance League of Indianapolis, for Operation School Bell.
  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters of East Central Indiana, Muncie, for its One-To-One Mentoring program.
  • The Bloom Project, Indianapolis, for its Project King Mentoring Program.
  • Brightwood Community Center, Indianapolis, for its SPARK summer enrichment program.
  • Camptown, Inc., Indianapolis, for its Wilderness Adventure Club.
  • Conexus STEMfest, Indianapolis.
  • The Gurl Code, Indianapolis, for its Gurl Code Curriculum program.
  • Hope Academy, Indianapolis, for its Summer of Hope program.
  • Indianapolis Freedom School Partnership, for its summer literacy program.
  • The League, Terre Haute, for its Clothes Closet and Dental Education programs.
  • National FFA Foundation, for its Gift of Blue program.
  • RightFit, Indianapolis, for its after-school program.
  • Stop The Violence Indy, for its Leadership Together summit fostering better relations with IPS students and public safety.
  • Str8Up, Indianapolis, for its Character Camps.
  • Wellspring Interfaith Social Services, Fort Wayne, for its Summer Day Camps..
  • YouthFirst, Evansville, for its youth social work program.

Other Foundation items of note from the spring meeting:

Brent Rockwood, Senior Vice President for Corporate, Community and Public Relations for Pacers Sports & Entertainment, was voted on to the board. Current board member Bill Benner will remain on the board and assume the role of executive director on July 1.

Sales of Pacers Foundation license plates are exceeding last year’s pace with 404 purchased or renewed through March 31st. The Foundation receives $25 for each plate purchased or renewed.

2018 Masquerade To Honor Kelly Krauskopf

Celebration of Indiana Fever, Pacers Gaming Executive to Benefit Pacers Foundation, Simon Youth Foundation

INDIANAPOLIS – Kelly Krauskopf, architect of one of the WNBA’s most successful franchises and one of the most respected female leaders in sports, will be the honoree at the 17th Masquerade on Saturday, Oct. 13, 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 $12 million for the two organizations since its inception. Both work to ensure youth in need, in Indiana and across the country, are given educational and other opportunities to better their lives. The Masquerade has dazzled attendees over the years with top-tier entertainment and high-profile attendees.

Kelly Krauskopf

Krauskopf is in her 19th season as the Indiana Fever’s top executive, engineering the franchise from its birth in 1999 and directing the club’s business and basketball interests all the way to three WNBA Finals appearances since 2009 and its first league championship in 2012. The club’s chief operating officer through 16 seasons and general manager for 12 seasons since 2006, she was promoted to President in October 2012. She relinquished her general manager’s role to current coach Pokey Chatman following the 2017 season.

A Senior Vice President for Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Krauskopf also is overseeing the launch of Pacers Gaming, PS&E’s new team in the NBA2k league. Pacers Gaming opened its season this month. Krauskopf will provide leadership and guidance to include branding, marketing, operations and financials for the team.

In the WNBA, she is the longest-tenured senior team executive in the league, dating beyond the Fever to her time as the league’s first Director of Basketball Operations in 1996.

With the Fever, Krauskopf has engineered numerous personnel moves that have enabled the franchise to sustain the highest level of consistency of any in the WNBA’s 22-year history. At the top of her decision making was the drafting of Tamika Catchings, who became a league MVP, a four-time Olympian and the cornerstone of the franchise.

Krauskopf also has played a prominent role on USA Basketball’s Women’s Senior National Team Committee, helping select the gold-medal winning rosters for the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics.

Krauskopf currently serves on the boards of the Patachou Foundation, Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and United Way of Central Indiana. Previous community service includes the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, Citizenship for Sports Alliance, Indiana Sports Corporation President’s Council and the Texas A&M’s Lettermen’s Association. She also played a prominent role in bringing the 2011 and 2016 Women’s Final Fours to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

And in 2013, she was named a Sports Business Journal Game-Changer for impact on the industry.

A 1983 graduate of Texas A&M University, she was a three-year letterwinner in basketball for the Lady Aggies.

“We are extremely pleased that we can recognize Kelly who is such a pioneer and leader in the growth of women’s sports in general and the Indiana Fever in particular,” said Masquerade Co-Chair Cindy Simon Skjodt. “And we are gratified in knowing that the proceeds of this event will again directly benefit youth both nationally and here in Indiana.”

“I am profoundly grateful for this honor,” said Krauskopf. “Though a native Texan, Indiana has become my home and I am proud to represent the Fever as well as our new enterprise, Pacers Gaming.”

Last year’s Masquerade honorees were local philanthropists John and Sarah Lechleiter. Previous honorees have included Quinn Bucker, 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.

The Masquerade evening will begin with a reception, followed by the dinner and tribute. Special guests will include the entire Indiana Pacers team and basketball staff as well as many of the past Masquerade honorees.

The Masquerade is made possible through the generous support of many local and national sponsors. PNC Bank will return as the event’s title sponsor for the 17th year.

For ticket and sponsorship information, please contact Brandi Young at (317) 263-7694 or

Pacers Foundation Distributes $77,500 to 11 Agencies

INDIANAPOLIS –The Pacers Foundation awarded $77,500 in grants to 11 youth-serving organizations at its recent quarterly board meeting.

The grants ranged from support for anti-bullying initiatives to the sponsoring of field trips to the Indiana State Museum to the continued use of Pacers- and Fever-themed family rooms at the Ronald McDonald House.

“We are once again gratified that we can bring financial assistance to organizations and programs that do so much to help our Indiana youth,” said Pacers Foundation board chairperson Rick Fuson. “We are also grateful to those who supported our recent foundation golf outing and the Masquerade, which serve as our two primary fundraisers.”

Thus far in fiscal year 2017-18, the Foundation has awarded $130,000 in grants to 26 agencies.

The latest grantees are:

  • Agape Therapeutic Riding, Cicero, which uses horse riding as therapy for children with emotional disabilities or behavioral issues.
  • Aspire Indiana, Noblesville, for its Kids Talk Program for the prevention of child sexual abuse.
  • The Center For Leadership Development, Indianapolis, for a minority mentoring program.
  • Coburn Safe Place, Indianapolis, for its after-school Children’s Services program.
  • The Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault, Indianapolis, in support of its Stop, Think, Engage, Prevent awareness program.
  • The Indiana State Museum and Historic sites, for continued support of statewide school field trips.
  • LaPlaza, Inc., Indianapolis, for its summer discovery program.
  • The Peace Learning Center, Indianapolis, for its youth education program that emphasizes positive behavior and respect for others.
  • Playworks Indiana, Indianapolis, for its Real Players Don’t Bully program with in conjunction with the Fever and the Pacers. The funds for this program were raised through the Fever’s annual bowling tournament.
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities, in support of Pacers- and Fever-themed family rooms.
  • Reach For Youth, Indianapolis, for a teen court in Warren Township.

Indiana Pacers, Fever announce partnership to stand up to bullying at event honoring Tamika Catchings

Playworks, the Pacers, and Fever team up to support Indiana youth

[Indianapolis, IN}—November 1, 2017—From funds raised through the Fever Cares Bowling Tournament, the Pacers Foundation has provided a grant to fund Playworks Indiana’s Real Players Don’t Bully social media and outreach campaign. This two month long digitally driven campaign leverages celebrity influencers and community leaders to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention. The Indiana Pacers and Fever have put up their defense against bullying. They, like Playworks, are committed to ensuring that all children make healthy lifestyle choices both inside and outside the classroom.

“The Pacers Foundation is proud to support and stand with our teams, athletes and Playworks in launching this anti-bullying campaign,” said Foundation chair Rick Fuson.

“It is important that all children feel safe, supported and included. We are thrilled to partner with the Pacers and Fever to show Hoosier kids that real players don’t bully” says, Playworks Indiana’s Executive Director, Jo Bender Yocum, “we are lucky to have professional sports organizations in our state that are so dedicated to the success and well-being of children.”

Former Indiana Fever and WNBA MVP, Tamika Catchings announced the partnership at Playworks Indiana’s Get in the Game event where she was honored with the Playworks Inspiring Leadership Award.

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