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.