News

Buckner Humbled to Receive Recognition at The Masquerade

By Daniel Massa

Quinn Buckner, long-time Pacers Fox Sports Indiana analyst and vice president of communication for Pacers Sports & Entertainment, was honored at Friday night’s 15th annual Masquerade event, benefitting the Simon Youth Foundation and the Pacers Foundation.

The Indiana Roof Ballroom was transformed into “Club Q” for the night, as Buckner, well known for his accomplishments on the court as a player (one of only three men to win a high school championship, an NCAA championship, an NBA championship, and an Olympic gold medal) and courtside as a broadcaster, was recognized for his involvement in the community.

“I’m humbled, I really am,” Buckner said. “I’ve been blessed enough to have worked in this organization for just under 20 years, and with the Simon family in some form or fashion, and it’s amazing the giving this family does. And to be considered somewhat in that arena, I’m a little awestruck by being here.”

Buckner has served on the boards of numerous charities, and has made it a priority to serve his community no matter where his professional life took him.

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Quinn Buckner to be Honored at Masquerade for Work On and Off Court

Editor’s Note: Quinn Buckner is being honored on Friday, October 21 at The Masquerade, the signature fundraising event of the Simon Youth Foundation and Pacers Foundation. The following story appears in the banquet program for the event.


By Mark Montieth

It would be simple to recognize Quinn Buckner for the depth of his athletic accomplishments, which are, by themselves, extraordinary.

After all, he is only one of three players in history – Magic Johnson and Jerry Lucas are the others – to win a state high school basketball championship (Thornridge, in Dolton, Ill.), an NCAA championship (Indiana, 1976), an NBA championship (Boston Celtics, 1984) and Olympic Gold Medal (Montreal, 1976).

But stopping there would be stopping far short of the totality of Quinn Buckner.

A basketball player who always valued the assist that led to a goal, that trait has followed Quinn into his post-athletic career and is why he is being recognized tonight as the 2016 Masquerade Honoree.

Consider his “other” pursuits:

Big Ten Advisory Commission, Center for Leadership Development, Community Health Network Foundation, First Tee of Indianapolis, Indiana University Board of Trustees, Indiana University Foundation, Indiana Youth Institute, Indianapolis Zoological Society, National Basketball Players Association, Old National Bank Advisory Board, Pacers Foundation, Special Olympics of Indiana, USA Basketball and the YMCA.

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Pacers Foundation Closes ’15-16 Fiscal Year

More Than $400,000 in Grants Awarded to 48 Youth-Serving Organizations

In fiscal 2015-2016, the Pacers Foundation awarded $256,850 in grants with additional commitments of $143,000 as part of multi-year commitments. Forty-eight youth-serving organizations statewide were recipients of funding.

In addition, Pacers Foundation awarded four $2,500 Linda Craig Memorial Scholarships to Indiana college students pursuing degrees in athletic training and/or sports medicine disciplines. The recipients were Jennifer Hussey, Purdue; Heather Senica, University of Indianapolis; Sarah Jarrett, Indiana University, and Tania Biehl, University of Indianapolis.

Multi-year grants are to Crossroads of America Boy Scouts Council, Gleaners, Indianapolis Parks Foundation, Indianapolis Police Foundation, and Boys and Girls Clubs of Indianapolis.

Pacers Foundation also made a commitment of $75,000 to Donors Choose to be paid in July of 2016. This was part of a grant with the Herbert Simon Family Foundation. Donors Choose provides school supplies and other educational aids to teachers throughout Indiana.

The Pacers Foundation also hosted Team Smile, a free dental clinic for Indianapolis area children.

Individual organizations receiving grants:
Arlington High School Athletics
Art With A Heart
Assistance League of Indianapolis
Coburn Place Safe Haven
Children’s Bureau
Child Advocates
Christamore House
Christel House Academy
College Mentors for Kids
Community Kitchen of Monroe Co.
Community Service Center of Morgan County
Cornerstone Center for the Arts
Dream Center Evansville
Dropping Dimes Foundation
Dyslexia Institute of Indiana (Camp Delafield)
Eskenazi Health Foundation
Forest Manor Multi-Service Center
Girls, Inc.
Hope Crisis Pregnancy Center
Indiana Black Expo
Indiana Plan Summer Camp
Indiana Repertory Theatre
Indiana State Museum & Historic Sites
Indiana Youth Institute
Indianapolis Public Library Foundation
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful
KIPP Indianapolis
LaPlaza
Murphy Mentoring Group, Inc.
Nine13 Sports
Ronald McDonald House
St. Mary’s Child Center
School on Wheels
Sheltering Wings
Shepherd Community Center
Social Health Association
Southside Youth Council
Starfish Initiative
The Independence Academy
The Villages of Indiana
Wellspring Interfaith Social Services

Bobbi Courtright
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Pacers Foundations Helps Renovate Christina Oaks Park Basketball Court

Indiana Fever Community Relations director Bobbi Courtright leads children from Indianapolis’s westside in a Get Fever Fit basketball clinic.

The clinic was the first event to take place on the newly renovated Christina Oaks Park basketball court. The renovation is part of a five-year partnership among the Pacers Foundation, Indianapolis Power & Light and the IndyParks Foundation to renovate IndyParks basketball courts throughout the city.

Christina Oaks is the seventh court to be refurbished and re-opened in the last three years.

Pacers Foundation Awards Nine Grants

Nine Youth-Serving Organizations Receive Assistance

INDIANAPOLIS – At its most recent quarterly meeting the Pacers Foundation board of directors awarded $43,000 in grants to nine youth-serving organizations.

Grant recipients were:

College Mentors for Kids, Christel House Academy, Dyslexia Institute of Indiana (Camp Delafield), Forest Manor Multi-Service Center, the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation, St. Mary’s Child Center,   Shepherd Community Center, Starfish Initiative and the Indiana Plan Summer Camp.

“We are delighted to continue to provide assistance to these deserving organizations who are so dedicated to improving lives and creating opportunities for Indiana youth,” said Rick Fuson, Foundation board chair and President and COO of Pacers Sports & Entertainment.

In addition to the grants, Pacers Foundation continues multi-year commitments to the IndyParks Foundation, the Indianapolis Police Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs of Indianapolis and Gleaners Food Bank.

The Pacers Foundation also recently joined the Herbert Simon Family Foundation in making a joint pledge to DonorsChoose to fund projects for schoolteachers throughout the state of Indiana.

For the fiscal year that will end June 30, the Pacers Foundation will have awarded more than $400,000 to 47 organizations in communities throughout Indiana.

Pacers Foundation relies on three primary sources of grant income: the annual Masquerade Gala honoring Indiana civic and sports leaders (basketball great Quinn Buckner is this year’s honoree for the Oct. 21 event at the Indiana Roof); its annual charity golf outing will take place September 21 at Brickyard Crossing Golf Resort; and its ongoing partnership with CNO Financial in which the company donates $50 for every Pacers’ made three-point shot during regular-season games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Breakfast
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TCU & Pacers Foundation Host Breakfast at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

On Wednesday morning, over 80 people attended a breakfast at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on the TCU Court, benefitting the Teachers Credit Union & Pacers Foundations.

Local WTHR sports anchor Dave Calabro was the emcee of the event, which raised over $8,000 to help high school kids in Indiana.

TCU’s Financial Empowerment Program is a free, teacher-developed curriculum that helps young adults achieve financial literacy through a unique, web-driven course. The goal is to give students the critical thinking skills needed to make informed financial decisions for a lifetime.

The featured speaker of the breakfast was Oliver Luck, the father of Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. Oliver Luck is the executive vice president of regulatory affairs at the NCAA.

The money raised to benefit the programs was done with the help of the silent auction doners: Comcast, Emmis Communication, Indiana Fever, Indiana Pacers, IU Sports Properties, Indianapolis Colts, Indianapolis Indians, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, TCU Travel Club, University of Notre Dame, USA Gymnastics, WTHR Channel 13, and WZPL 99.5.

Quinn Buckner Is 2016 Masquerade Honoree

Celebration of Basketball Great to Benefit Simon Youth Foundation and Pacers Foundation

INDIANAPOLIS — Quinn Buckner, long-time analyst for Indiana Pacers’ television games and one of only three men to win state high school, NCAA, NBA and Olympic basketball championships, will be the honoree at the 15th annual Masquerade on Friday, Oct. 21, at the Indiana Roof Ballroom.

The Masquerade is one of Indianapolis’s signature fund-raising events. In its first 14 years, more than $10 million has been donated to the Simon Youth Foundation and the Pacers Foundation in support of education and mentoring programs for at-risk youth.

Perhaps best known in Indiana for his role as captain of the undefeated, 1976 Indiana University national champion Hoosiers, Buckner serves as Vice President of Communications for Pacers Sports & Entertainment in addition to serving alongside Chris Denari on Pacers’ Fox Sports Indiana telecasts. Buckner also oversees all youth and high school basketball activities on behalf of PS&E.

He was inducted into the National College Basketball Hall of Fame last November.

Buckner is a former head coach of the Dallas Mavericks and played 10 seasons in the NBA, including 1983-84, when he was a member of Boston’s NBA Championship team.

An IU graduate with a business degree, Buckner won four Big Ten Basketball championships and captained the ’76 Hoosiers, voted the greatest team in the 75 years of the NCAA tournament.  Buckner then captained the 1976 gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic Basketball team.  While in high school, he also captained two Illinois state championships teams

Buckner’s many civic and community activities have included serving on the boards of various charities, including the Indiana University Foundation, Big Ten Advisors Council, Center for Leadership Development, Pacers Foundation, YMCA, Community Health Network Foundation, USA Basketball, National Basketball Players Association, First Tee of Indianapolis, Indiana Youth Institute, Special Olympics of Indiana, Indianapolis Zoological Society, as well as being a member of Old National Bank Advisory Board.

Last year’s Masquerade honoree was Indianapolis civic leader Jim Morris. Other past honorees include 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, tribute and live music. 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 15th year.

For ticket and sponsorship information, please contact Brandi Young at (317) 263-7694 or byoung@simon.com. 

About Simon Youth Foundation:

Simon Youth Foundation, a 4-star rated Charity Navigator national nonprofit, exists to help at-risk students who are on the verge of dropping out of high school stay in school. Through 26 Simon Youth Academies in 12 states and Simon Youth Scholarships, SYF advocates, creates and initiates educational opportunities for students so they can start here and go anywhere. In partnership with local public schools, SYF has maintained a 90% graduation rate at its Academies since inception, graduated more than 13,000 students, and awarded more than $15 million in scholarships. Learn more at syf.org.

About Pacers Foundation:

Pacers Foundation encourages Indiana’s youth to make winning life choices through contributions and community partnerships. Since its inception in 1994, the Pacers Foundation has provided more than $7 million to youth-serving Indiana agencies and has enabled thousands of youth to attend Pacers and Indiana Fever games through ticket donations. For more information, visit www.pacersfoundation.org.

CNO Financial Group to Again Support Pacers Foundation Through 3-Pointers Donations

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Pacers fans know that radio analyst Bob “Slick” Leonard accompanies each Pacers’ three-point basket with his colorful “Boom Baby” call. And once again this season, each Pacers three-point basket made during games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse will also carry an additional “boom, baby” for the Pacers Foundation, thanks to CNO Financial Group.

For the 17th consecutive season, CNO Financial Group has announced it will donate $50 for each of the Pacers’ three-point baskets made during home games.

At opening night ceremonies on Thursday, October 29 for the Pacers’ game with Memphis, Ed Bonach, CEO of CNO Financial Group, will present a check to the Pacers Foundation for $15,450 for three-pointers made during the 2014-15 season.

That will bring CNO Financial Group’s total donation over the past 16 seasons to $241,225.

“We are honored to partner with Pacers Foundation for another rewarding season of basketball and philanthropy,” said Bonach. “CNO Financial Group remains steadfast in our commitment to our community, and it is with great pride that we support the foundation in its mission to motivate and inspire Indiana’s youth toward academic success and civic responsibility.”

“There is no better partnership in the NBA than the Pacers and CNO Financial Group, and we are so fortunate to have Pacers Foundation as a major recipient of their generosity,” said Rick Fuson, Pacers Sports & Entertainment President/COO and Chair of Pacers Foundation. “Not only does every Pacers three-pointer electrify our Bankers Life Fieldhouse crowd, but it brings much-needed support to many youth-serving agencies in Indiana. That is a win-win. We are deeply grateful.”

This has the potential to be an especially bountiful year for the Foundation because of the Pacers’ new up-tempo offense and the full-time return of All-Star Paul George. In his last full season with the Pacers, George made 182 three-point baskets.

About CNO Financial Group

CNO Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: CNO) is a holding company. Our insurance subsidiaries – principally Bankers Life and Casualty Company, Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company and Washington National Insurance Company – primarily serve middle-income pre-retiree and retired Americans by helping them protect against financial adversity and provide for a more secure retirement. For more information, visit CNO online at CNOinc.com.

2015 Masquerade presented by the Simon Youth Foundation and Pacers Foundation

MEDIA ADVISORY

WHAT: 2015 Masquerade presented by the Simon Youth Foundation and Pacers Foundation

WHERE: JW Marriott Grand Ballroom, 3rd floor.

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 24, 6 p.m.-11:30 p.m.

WHO: Honoree is Pacers Sports & Entertainment Vice Chair and long-time civic leader James T. “Jim” Morris. Members of the Indiana Pacers team and coaching staff also will attend. Media desiring to cover should contact Bill Benner, Sr. VP of Corporate, Community & Public Relations, Pacers Sports & Entertainment at 317-917-2781 (o) or 317-714-3669 (cell) or bill.benner@pacers.com. Media interviews will only take place prior to the start of the program at 7 p.m.

About Simon Youth Foundation:

Simon Youth Foundation, a national nonprofit, exists to help at-risk students who are on the verge of dropping out of high school stay in school. Through 25 Simon Youth Academies in 12 states and Simon Youth Scholarships, SYF advocates, creates and initiates educational opportunities for students so they can start here and go anywhere. In partnership with local public schools, SYF has maintained a 90% graduation rate at its Academies since inception, graduated more than 13,000 students, and awarded more than $13 million in scholarships. Learn more at syf.org.

About Pacers Foundation:

Pacers Foundation encourages Indiana’s youth to make winning life choices through contributions and community partnerships. Since its inception in 1994, the Pacers Foundation has provided more than $7 million to youth-serving Indiana agencies and has enabled thousands of youth to attend Pacers and Indiana Fever games through ticket donations. For more information, visit www.pacersfoundation.org.

Pacers Foundation Awards $150,000 in Grants and Scholarships

INDIANAPOLIS – At its recent quarterly meeting, the Pacers Foundation Board of Directors awarded $157,500 in grants to 16 youth-serving agencies in Indiana.

The largest grant, $33,000, was to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Indianapolis. It is the first installment of a three-year, $100,000 pledge to BGCI for its new club being constructed at 38th and Post Road in Indianapolis.

For the second straight year, the Foundation awarded $25,000 to the Indiana Youth Institute for sponsorship of its annual Because Kids Count conference in December.

The Foundation also voted to renew its sponsorship of Pacers- and Fever-themed rooms in the Ronald McDonald House serving patients and families at Riley Hospital for Children.

Three of the grants are arts-related: to the KIPP Indianapolis School to support music education; to the Indiana Repertory Theatre in support of its Student Matinee and Exploring Stages programs; and to the Cornerstone Center for Arts in Muncie, Ind., for its Kids Financial Aid program.

“While we represent two great sports franchises in the Pacers and Fever, the Foundation board also believes it is important to demonstrate our support for music and arts, especially as many school systems have been forced to reduce programs in those areas,” said Rick Fuson, Foundation board chair.

The Foundation also designated funds from the Fever’s Be YOUnique fund to three agencies helping girls: Girls Inc. of Indianapolis, the Social Health Association of Indianapolis and the Hope Crisis Pregnancy Center in Connersville, Ind.

“As with many foundations, we consider a multitude of programs submitted by agencies for grants to bring much-needed services and programming to our Indiana youth in need,” said Fuson. “We attempt to spread our resources to impact as many of our children as possible.”

The Pacers Foundation draws its funding primarily from two events: Its annual golf outing, which takes place Sept. 24 at Brickyard Crossing Golf Course, and the Masquerade, which will be Oct. 24 at the Indianapolis Downtown Marriott and also benefits the Simon Youth Foundation. This year’s Masquerade honoree is Pacers Sports & Entertainment Vice Chair and long-time civic leader Jim Morris.

This Campaign has ended. No more pledges can be made.