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.

CNO Financial

CNO Financial Group to Present $19,000 Check to Pacers Foundation to Support Indiana Youth

Carmel, IN, — CNO Financial Group, the holding company for Bankers Life and other national life and health insurers that serve middle-income working Americans and retirees, will donate $19,300 to the Pacers Foundation through its three-point charity program.

For the 2016-2017 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.

A check presentation will be held at the Indiana Pacers’ home opener against the Brooklyn Nets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on October 18. During halftime, CNO Financial Group CEO Ed Bonach will once again pledge to donate $50 for each of the Pacers’ home three-pointers during the 2017–2018 NBA season.

“For 19 straight years, CNO has been a proud supporter of the Pacers’ Foundation as we share a common goal to improve the lives of young people within our community,” said Bonach. “It’s a great feeling to know that every three-pointer the Pacers score at home goes towards strengthening Indiana’s future.”

“The call of ‘Boom Baby’ from our former coach and current radio analyst Bobby Leonard that accompanies each Pacers fieldhouse three-pointer also represents a ‘boom, baby’ for the multiple organizations receiving Foundation grants to assist at-risk Indiana youth,” said Pacers Foundation Board Chairman Rick Fuson. “We are extraordinarily grateful to CNO for this long-standing program that gives us all reason to stand up and cheer.”

Since 1999, CNO Financial Group has donated nearly $278,000 to the Pacers Foundation to support its mission to improving the quality of life of youth in Indiana by encouraging them to make winning life choices through contributions and community partnerships.

Pacers Foundation Awards Grants to 15 Agencies

INDIANAPOLIS – At its recent quarterly board meeting, the Pacers Foundation awarded $52,500 in grants to 15 youth-serving agencies in Indiana.

“We are once again delighted to assist organizations that are making a positive difference in the lives of Hoosier youth, especially those at risk,” said Foundation Chairman Rick Fuson.

Grants awarded include:
• Arts For Learning, Indianapolis, for its Arts For Healing Program which brings live musical performances and creative arts experiences to patients at Riley Hospital for Children and Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.
• Art Mix, Indianapolis, for a program that helps youth with disabilities make, market and sell their own artwork.
• Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne, for after-school tutoring, engagement in arts and STEM, and exploration of post-secondary educational opportunities.
• Claude McNeal Productions, Indianapolis, for its ACT OUT ensemble which delivers anti-bullying messages to IPS students.
• Concord Community Center, Indianapolis, for its Math Hoops, chess and expanded computer programming.
• Happy Hollow Children’s Camp, Trafalgar, for its program that brings disadvantaged and special needs children to camp.
• Indiana Latino Institute for its Youth Education Summit.
• Indianapolis Black Alumni Council for its HBCU College Fair.
• IPS Longfellow Middle School, for a STEM program focused on space, science and technology.
• Johnson County Youth Services Bureau, Franklin, for its Safe Place program which provides temporary housing for children struggling with their home lives.
• Morning Dove Therapeutic Riding, Indianapolis, for its Lead Changes program focused on children experiencing behavioral difficulties in school or at home.
• Respect Team, Huntertown, for a program that speaks to middle and high school youth about self-respect and respect for others.
• Starfish Initiative, Indianapolis, for its Leadership Camp for economically disadvantaged youth.
• Sheltering Wings, Danville, for its Children’s Program for victims of domestic abuse, funded by the Fever Cares Fund.
• Youth Opportunity Center, Muncie, in support of its basketball league for youth who have been placed in the center by the state juvenile justice system.

Primary funding sources for the Foundation are the annual Masquerade Ball presented in partnership with the Simon Youth Foundation; the Pacers Foundation charity golf outing at Brickyard Crossing Golf Resort; the donation from CNO Financial Services Inc. of $50 for every 3-point shot made by a Pacer during games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and the newly launched Pacers Foundation license plate available through the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

The Pacers Foundation is committed to making a difference in the lives of youth in Indianapolis and throughout Indiana by funding programs that teach our young people how to make winning life choices. Since 1993, the Foundation has awarded more than $7 million to youth-serving non-profits.

Pacers Foundation Commits $5,000 to Project Indy

INDIANAPOLIS – Today, Mayor Joe Hogsett announced that the Pacers Foundation has committed $5,000 to Project Indy, the city’s youth summer jobs program. The Pacers Foundation, which has long worked to invest in the lives of Indianapolis youth, funds programs that teach young people how to make winning life choices.

“In striving to eclipse the success of the Project Indy program last year, we recognized the need to involve more community stakeholders – including private and philanthropic partners – in order to reach as many Indianapolis teens as possible,” said Mayor Hogsett. “Thanks to the generosity of the Pacers Foundation, we hope to grow resources, outreach, opportunities, and ultimately, jobs, for Indianapolis’ young people.”

Project Indy, Indianapolis’ first comprehensive youth jobs program, unites non-profit and corporate partners with job providers to offer Indianapolis teens job training, internships, and employment opportunities throughout the summer months.

“We are proud to lend our support to this innovative initiative and are hopeful that our investment and those of others can bring much needed opportunities to our city’s youth,” said Rick Fuson, Pacers Foundation chair and President and COO of Pacers Sports & Entertainment.

Mayor Hogsett first announced the Project Indy initiative in May of 2016, bringing together community partners to leverage resources and provide support. This year, Mayor Hogsett set the ambitious goal of reaching 2,000 teens with jobs, internships and soft-skills training during the summer of 2017. Thanks in part to private sector employers’ participation including Starbucks, Lowe’s and FedEx and the expansion of jobs within existing programs, Mayor Hogsett announced that this goal had been reached during this year’s State of the City.

The second year of Project Indy also includes an online portal and mobile app in order to seamlessly connect program participants to prospective employers who have joined Project Indy. Interested participants and employers should visit to register and apply. The system allows participants to search and apply for available jobs based on geographic location.

The Pacers Foundation is committed to making a difference in the lives of youth in Indianapolis and throughout Indiana by funding programs that teach our young people how to make winning life choices. Since 1993, the Foundation has awarded nearly $7 million to youth-serving non-profits.

Pacers Foundation, IPL Dedicate Indy Parks Basketball Courts

Youngsters play on the refurbished basketball courts at Indy's Beckwith Park.

Youngsters play on the refurbished basketball courts at Indy’s Beckwith Park.

On Tuesday morning, June 20, the Pacers Foundation and IPL continued their partnership with the Indy Parks Foundation by dedicating renovated full and half basketball courts at Beckwith Park on Indianapolis’s Northeastside.

The dedication brings to 10.5 courts the Pacers Foundation and IPL have refurbished over the last four years.

“The renovation of these courts perfectly marries the basketball being played by our Pacers and Fever with the mission to provide opportunities — in this case, opportunities to play basketball on state-of-the-art outdoor courts — for our area youth,” said Bill Benner, Foundation board member and Pacers Sports & Entertainment Senior Vice President for Corporate, Community and Public Relations. “We are grateful for the shared vision and support of IPL in this quest. And we hope that someday, one or more of the youngsters playing on these courts find their way into a Pacers for Fever uniform.”

Another court dedication at Tarkington Park is scheduled for this fall.

2017 Masquerade Honors John and Sarah Lechleiter

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.

John and Susan Leichleiter

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.

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