News from Assistance League of Indianapolis
On Monday, October 16, 2017 the Operation School Program® clothed its 57,000th child! Shown in the photo above is A’Rayah Pastures, a 3rd grade student at Forest Glen Elementary School in Lawrence Township. A’Rayah’s personal shopper was Deb Myers, Operation School Bell-Apparel Chair.
Since 1984, Assistance League® of Indianapolis, through its Operation School Bell®-Apparel Program, has been CREATING A BRIGHTER TOMORROW for many children in Indianapolis.
Our goal for 2017 is to clothe 3,375 disadvantaged students. Children are referred by school personnel from Indianapolis Public Schools and The Metropolitan School Districts of Lawrence, Pike, Warren and Washington Townships.
Students are bussed to our shop, located in the IPS Forest Manor Professional Development Center, where they are treated to a unique shopping experience. The children are excited to receive special treatment from their own personal shopper, an Assistance League member, who will guide them in choosing their new school items. Each child receives a new warm winter coat, hat and gloves, socks, undergarments, and a belt. They also receive 2 pair of pants, or a jumper or skort, 3 collared shirts, hygiene items, a book and a duffel bag to hold all of their new items.
In addition to Operation School Bell – Apparel, Operation School Bell – Shoes began in 2000-01, providing new athletic shoes for 1,108 IPS school children. This program continues to grow and now includes children from IPS and the Metropolitan School Districts of Lawrence, Pike, Warren, Washington, and Wayne Townships. The program’s goal is to reach 2,850 students this year.
Operation School Bell® Beyond the Bell was made a permanent program of Assistance League® of Indianapolis in 2014. This program provides a supply of new clothing to IPS schools served by Operation School Bell – Apparel. Student recipients of Beyond the Bell items are homeless, displaced or new to their school and are not otherwise served by Operation School Bell.
The 2017 – 2018 goal for the 3 Operation School Bell® programs will be to serve 4,800 students.
Operation School Bell® helps children arrive in the classroom better prepared to learn. Studies show that children who come to school appropriately dressed show improvement in classroom performance, attendance and self-esteem. The poverty level of elementary aged children has grown significantly as measured by the number of children qualifying for the free/reduced lunch program. In the five school districts served by Operation School Bell, a staggering 43,451 students now qualify for free lunch.
Assistance League® of Indianapolis, with the support of their 200+ volunteer members strive to provide comfort to children and adults in the greater Indianapolis area. To learn more about our programs, please visit our Programs Page.
Recently, three members of Assistance League of Indianapolis have helped spread the word about the great things the organization is doing for our community.
On March 15, Ellen Bernstein and Carol Valentine spoke to the Sertoma Club of Broad Ripple. Valentine stated, "We appreciate that they are a long time supporter, and that without the generosity of donors such as Sertoma of Broad Ripple, we would not be able to help so many deserving families." Below is a section of their newsletter which summarizes what they learned from Bernstein and Valentine's visit.
Member Susan Tracy received the Helping Hands Award from the Ranj Puthran Agency in Carmel. Published in the March 2017 Carmel Monthly Magazine, the notification raises readers' awareness about the wonderful things Assistance League does.
As the new year moves forward, Assistance League of Indianapolis continues to be grateful for businesses in the central Indiana area that support our mission of commitment and caring. As 2016 was drawing to a close, Homewood Suites in Plainfield donated a very special gift to the the organization’s largest program Operation School Bell. Ninety-nine pairs of brand new warm and cozy gloves were collected by the hotel management with the goal to disperse them to a worthy charity that benefits children.
General Manager Linda Adams along with other employees decided on the holiday project as a way to reach out to those less fortunate. They asked guests to join in hanging gloves on the Christmas Tree in the lobby and also accepted monetary donations. After reviewing different charities listed in the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Giving Guide, Assistance League was chosen as the recipient of the gloves.
Elly Johnson, Operation School Bell Chairman, traveled to Plainfield to pick the gloves up. Assistance League is thankful for the kind support of places such as the Homewood Suites. The gloves will be put to good use as they warm the hands of the students we serve.
Assistance League® of Indianapolis was honored to be the designated charity to receive the funds raised from the Annual Hunt Construction Group, An AECOM Company, Charity Golf Outing held on September 8, 2016 at Eagle Creek Golf Club. A short downpour in the afternoon could not dampen the spirits of the golfers and volunteers. Nearly two-hundred golfers enjoyed playing on the beautiful course, but golf was not the only opportunity for participants to have fun. The event committee made sure there were plenty of amusements and games to entertain everyone throughout the day. Nate Wooten, Pam McNealy, Amber Pirtle, Paul Wojciechowski, Lena Kolesnikova, and Breta Koester of Hunt gave help and support throughout the many weeks of planning that made the event such a success.
The Honorable Mayor Joe Hogsett opened the festivities by speaking to the golfers and volunteers. He praised Assistance League and Hunt Construction Group for their support of our community, and helped present a very big check.
Ken Johnson, Executive Vice President, Division Manager from Hunt, presented Assistance League with a check for $26,821. The total amount raised from the golf event was approximately, $30,500. Adele Carr, President, accepted the check and thanked Hunt for their generous support and recognized all the golfers for coming out to participate.
Golfers started the day with bagels donated from College Park Einstein Bagels and coffee donated from Hubbard and Cravens. Thanks to Granite City, who for the third year, offered golfers a refreshing libation on the Sycamore course and to Sun King Brewery who donated beer for the beverage carts and treated golfers to a tasting of Sun King products on the Pines course. Darin Pinnick and Matt Houser from Woodland Country Club were available to hit drives for the golfing groups. Earth & Turf LLC generously supplied a live Prince Albert fir which was made into a gift card tree containing 18 local businesses’ gift cards with a combined value of $680. Raffle tickets for the gift card tree as well as the over 100 Birdie Raffle and five Eagle Raffle prizes were available from the start of the day. A 50/50 raffle was held and raised $1,010. Plenty of friendly competition contributed to the high spirits of the golfers as they took part in the varied activities throughout the day. The Marshmallow Mash tested swing skills as participants hit a jumbo marshmallow to see who could drive it the furthest. King Putt required golfers to make four putts from varied distances in 30 seconds. Shouts of glee were heard from Tipsy Toss contestants as they attempted to lob rings over their favorite bottles of liquor kindly donated by Southern Wine and Spirits.
The lucky winner generously donated his winnings back to Assistance League. Subway of Indiana charitably donated 275 box lunches for golfers and volunteers.
Golfers who partook in the raffles were enticed by fabulous prizes. The total value of the Birdie Raffle prizes more than $9,570 and included: a “Chef’s Tasting for Two” at The Oceanaire Seafood Room valued at $250; Bar Reception at Seasons 52 valued at $300; golf for 4 at the icon Brickyard Crossing valued at $400; plus much more! The total value of the Eagle Raffle prizes was $3,700 and included: a two night stay, with breakfast and dinner at the JW Marriott valued at $700; a foursome at Wolf Run Golf Club valued at $600; a one night stay for two at French Lick Springs Hotel, one round of golf for two at Donald Ross Course, and breakfast for two at the Colonnade Restaurant, and a $100 Speedway Gas card valued at $600; four suite tickets to the Indianapolis Colts game against Titans values at $1,200; and four tickets in the Penthouse Paddock for the 2017 Indianapolis 500 with a $75 Kroger gift card valued at $590.
At the awards ceremony and after party the fun continued. The Tipsy Toss continued to test the skills of golfers as the PGA BMW Championship was streaming live for all to enjoy. Golf team standings were announced and prizes were awarded.
Assistance League was proud to have a team participate this year, the team consisted of Rose Conrad, Laura Sanfrey, Carol Valentine and Sarah Copeland.
The funds raised from this wonderful event will benefit Assistance League’s largest program, Operation School Bell®, .as well as its other philanthropic programs: ALI Bears, ALI Friends, and Assault Survivor Kits®. The day would not be possible without the support of Eagle Creek Golf Club General Manager Matt Parrott and his staff who worked diligently with the Assistance League’s committee of: Kathy Kerr Wylam, Chairman; Carol Gambrel, Assistant Chairman; Annette Suggs, Vice President Resource Development; Barbara Hammer, Breakfast Specialists; Judy Powell and Lynne Hurlbut, Volunteers; Laura Ellis, Vicki Drake, and Susie Main, Golf Games; Nancy Bennett and Rhianna Fox, Special Tables; Barb Diehl, Kathy Detzler, Cindee Potterack, Raffle Items; Jane Edington, 50/50 Raffle; Eve Sweeney, Gift Card Tree; Andrea Arbore, PayPal and Meri Webber, Public Relations.
Assistance League of Indianapolis has been selected as an Indiana Philanthropy Awards winner of the 2016 Outstanding Civic Organization. The Indiana Philanthropy Awards are presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Indiana Chapter and recognize outstanding philanthropic efforts from around the state by selected individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations. To learn more about this award program please visit www.afpindiana.afpnet.org
“This is a wonderful honor for Assistance League of Indianapolis and highlights the dedication of our volunteers to making a difference in our community. Our hope is that this recognition will raise the awareness of the public toward our philanthropic programs and fundraising events to help bring about an even greater impact.”
The Association of Fundraising Professionals – Indiana Chapter will host a dinner and awards presentation on November 17, 2016 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. The event is sponsored by Blackbaud. For additional information please contact Sara Nash at the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Indiana Chapter.
Assistance League of Indianapolis is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization committed to serving the needs of children and adults through ongoing philanthropic programs developed and managed by its members. Their successful philanthropic programs include Operation School Bell®, ALI Bears, ALI Friends and Assault Survivor Kits®. To learn more about Assistance League of Indianapolis or to become involved with this organization please visit www.ALindy.org
The Association of Fundraising Professionals, which started in 1960, has been working to advance ethical and effective fundraising and support charities around the world that provide critical services to their communities. The Indiana Chapter started in 1978 and serves as a guide for best practices, mentorships and professional development.
For additional information please contact Assistance League of Indianapolis, at 317.872.1010 or at www.ALindy.org or Sara Nash, Chapter Administrator for the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Indiana Chapter at 317-824-0940 or firstname.lastname@example.org
.Assistance League of Indianapolis was honored to accept a grant award in the amount of $10,000 from The Indianapolis Rotary Foundation to help support Operation School Bell.
Rotary of Indianapolis has been a longtime supporter of Assistance League and we look forward to continuing our community relationship.
Lena Kolesnikova and Nate Wooten of Hunt Construction Group An AECOM
Company (Hunt) presented a $9,884 check from the Brees Dream Foundation to Kathy Kerr Wylam and Cindee Potterack, Assistance League® of Indianapolis members. The contribution was made through the participation of Hunt in the Corporate Partner Program and the Super Service Challenge.
The Corporate Partner Program is an extension of the Super Service Challenge
(SSC) that is solely focused on seeing business transformed through service.
Through the program, companies engage with the SSC in a unique way to more
fully impact their employees and community, while receiving a matching
donation for the nonprofits they serve.
Every participant is provided, free of charge, the resources to run and
promote the SSC within their company, including marketing materials, and a
dedicated resource for the planning, execution, and reporting of the
Challenge. Companies are encouraged to allocate funding for causes their
employees care about and to empower employees to come together as a team and
serve the nonprofits that are important to them. The Super Service
Challenge, founded in 2011, is a nationwide movement to transform business
through service. Driven by the idea that a company grows stronger when
employees join together to serve causes they care about, the Challenge
promotes service in the workplace by encouraging companies to donate their
time, share stories of service, and win funding for nonprofits in their
We at Assistance League of Indianapolis, greatly appreciate the
support of Hunt. Hunt has contributed nearly $150,000 to support our
philanthropic programs. The partnership between Hunt and Assistance League
is a relationship of mutual respect with shared goals. It is wonderful
example of how a large a company and a nonprofit organization can partner in
their efforts to help economically and socially disadvantaged of our community.
The yearly Hunt Construction Group, Inc. 7th Annual Charity Golf Outing to
benefit Assistance League, will take place on Thursday, September 8, 2016.
Please click here for an event brochure.
Attendees took a whimsical journey without leaving town during Assistance League® of Indianapolis’ 2016 Star Gala, “Around the World in 80 Days.” Held April 16th, at the beautiful JW Marriott in Indianapolis, the evening was packed with fun for all participants. Besides being the organization’s largest fundraiser, this yearly event is also an occasion to honor and celebrate the school systems, businesses, foundations and trusts that support Assistance League.
This year, One America Financial Partners, Inc. was the recipient of the Star Gala Award. When presenting the honor, Grant Chairman Carol Valentine voiced the organization’s appreciation of the financial support the company has given Assistance League since 2005.The honor was accepted by Scott Davison, CEO.
Other notables at the event were: Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee and his wife Dr. Edye Ferebee; Ramona Adams, Rotary Foundation Indianapolis; Lee Ann Kwiatkowski, Assistant to the Superintendent, Warren Township; David Hillman, Program Director, Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust; and Dorothea Genetos, Director, Shaw-Burckhardt-Brenner Foundation, Inc. Advisory Council member Kathleen Hart, an Indianapolis attorney, was also present as were several representatives from Hunt Construction Group, an AECOM Company.
Guests began to enjoy the party as soon as they entered the Grand Ballroom. After picking up nametags at the registration table, guests began bidding on the varied silent auction items such as sports memorabilia, local attraction packages, and even super items such as use of a villa in Provence France. While they monitored the status of their bids, attendees enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvres, wine donated by Monarch Beverage Company, and the evening’s signature drink “Up, Up, and Away”. Available for purchase were 50/50 and Gift Card Tower raffle tickets. In addition, participants could try their luck at the wine pull and get a complimentary photo taken in the facade of a hot air balloon.
As guests sat down to dinner, they were charmed by the beautifully decorated room and the colorful images on two huge television screens. Assistance League President Patricia Johnson welcomed everyone by speaking about Assistance League’s mission and informing attendees that 90 cents of every dollar the organization spends is returned to the community through one of its four philanthropic programs. She specified, “Donations from the Star Gala make such an impact by providing children with clothes that they need to attend school, give a grieving or sick child or adult a teddy bear to hug, by letting assault victims know someone cares by providing for them new warm clothing and by offering friendship to a lonely adult. Attendees presence and participation in the evening’s various activities help to generate funds needed to continue our efforts to help those in need in our community.”
Next, event Co-Chairmen Sharon Gleason and Dorian Poole introduced the Mistress of Ceremonies, local media personality Marianne Lyles from CBS affiliate Channel 4 morning news. Dr. Frank Beard, Senior Pastor of Castleton United Methodist Church, led the invocation. Following dinner, Jane Vawter presented the Fund-A-Cause video which explains the philanthropic programs of Assistance League and the positive impact they have on the community. A lively action followed as auctioneer Michael Mensendiek skillfully led the live bidding on items ranging from: vacation packages in Phoenix and Hilton Head; Dinner for eight made by Chef Tony Hanslits; to sports offerings such as a signed Andrew Luck Jersey and Lucas Oil Stadium suite tickets.
The evening concluded with music from violinist Colin Matthews. As guests left, they knew that besides attending a wonderful party, they also enabled Assistance League of Indianapolis to continue its mission of caring and commitment to the Indianapolis community through the organization’s philanthropic programs.
The wonderful event would not have been possible without the hard work of event Co-chairmen Sharon Gleason and Dorian Poole together with their sub-committee chairmen: Cashier/Check out, Mary Reid; Check-In, Leslie Pascoe; Decorations, Rose Conrad; Donor Acknowledgement, Nancy Bennett; Games, Karen Snider; Invitations/Program, Kathy Detzler; Live Auction, Barb Hammer; Photography, Annette Suggs; PR, Jane Edington, Jane Vawter, and Joanne Wallis; Qtego, Beth Lammers; Reservations, Andrea Arbore and Linda Buckner; Set-up / Tear Down, Rosy Crowley; Silent Auction, Laura Williams; Solicitations, Cindy Potterack and Kathy Wylam; and Treasurer, Ellen Bernstein.
Click HERE to view photos of the event.
Wishes really do come true! The money raised at the December 3, 2015 Holiday Luncheon & Style Show, “Wondrous Winter Wishes” will enable Assistance League® of Indianapolis to continue their mission of caring and commitment to Indianapolis area children and adults. The generosity of attendees at the event will have far reaching effects whether the funds go towards an ALI Bear given to a child suffering from trauma; a birthday present received by a senior citizen from ALI Friends; Assault Survivor Kit® clothing accepted by a crime victim; new school clothes selected from Operation School Bell® as well as handed out from Beyond the Bell; or athletic shoes placed on a student’s feet at Shoes: a Division of Operation School Bell®.
The event, held at the Ritz Charles in Carmel, was an occasion filled with fun and friendship as 530 members and guests enjoyed the beautifully decorated room while partaking in several fun activities. Participants placed bids on the silent auction’s offerings of festive gift baskets with contents ranging from children’s items to college logo objects, holiday baked goods, gift cards, and even premium bottles of wine in lovely seasonal bags. There was also a “Wine Pull” where a random cork purchased from a basket was matched up with a mystery wine to take home. Raffle tickets were available for a sparkling tree decorated with over $500 worth of local area business and restaurant gift cards which were donated by Service Plus Heating and Cooling in Carmel. The Secret Ingredient Boutique Indianapolis and Kits & Kaboodle Classic Toys Carmel set up mini stores which allowed for some merry holiday shopping for clothing, accessories, games, and toys. Both the Assistance League cookbook, Assistance in the Kitchen, and the gorgeous white poinsettia plants which decorated the room were for sale as well.
As the luncheon began, Holiday Luncheon Chairmen Jo Craig and Jane Williams extended a warm welcome to all. Representatives from businesses and charitable foundations that support Assistance League were recognized by Patty Johnson, President. In attendance were Danielle Biederman, Susan Bonner, Kendra Fauth-Edwards, Jill Hudson, and Kelly Jones from CarDon & Associates, the premier community sponsor of the event. Also on hand were Pam McNealy and Amber Pirtle from Hunt Construction Group, an AECOM Company as well as Jill Hall from Repro Graphix, Inc. who donated signage for the event. Other valuable community partners present were: Beth Casselman, Mary Ellen Moore, Erin Trisler, and Estherre Wohlenhaus from The Clowes Fund; Dorothea Genetos and Kathy Jenkins of the Shaw-Burckhardt-Brenner Foundation; Pat Alvis and Marjorie Wilkerson from Margaret Cole Russell Foundation; and Jacquie Winters from Sertoma Club of Broad Ripple. Advisory Council members Billie Breaux, Kathleen Hart, and Kelly Young were also present.
Carol Valentine, Chairman of Grants, announced two recent grants awarded to Assistance League. Ramona Banks and Kelly Tingle from the Indianapolis Rotary Foundation announced that Assistance League has been awarded a $10,000 grant. David Hillman, Lee Ann Hoy, and Jeff Small from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust presented Assistance League with a $20,000 check.
During the Fund-a-Cause presentation, a recently updated video highlighting Assistance League’s outreach to the Indianapolis community was introduced by Patty McGoff, Vice President Philanthropic Programs. She explained how grateful the organization is for the many caring individuals who continue to support these needed programs. In addition, she described the gratitude expressed by the agencies Assistance League aids.
The Secret Ingredient fashion show delighted members and their guests as they viewed models from the agencies, senior facilities, and schools that Assistance League serves through its philanthropic programs. Representing ALI Bears was Jill Pierce, Volunteer Coordinator of Brooke’s Place. Marketing Manager Joanna Low and Caregiver Program Manager, Candace Preston, both of Joy’s House, modeled on behalf of ALI Friends. Involved with both Assault Survivor Kits and ALI Bears were Holly Renz, Program Director of Madison County Sexual Assault Treatment Center and Kelsie Scaringe from IU Health Methodist Hospital, Center of Hope. Models who are involved with Operation School Bell were: Abigail Borders, Parent Involvement Educator in IPS; Angela Johnson, Parent Involvement Educator in IPS; Tracy Pruitt, Coordinator of Support Services for IPS; and Janie Smith, Dean of Students for Lakeside Elementary in the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township.
The Holiday Luncheon Steering Committee built a joy filled bond of camaraderie while planning the event. The committee was comprised of: Jo Craig and Jane Williams, Chairmen; Jane Edington, Decorations; Nancy Bennett and Margie Graham, Silent Auction; Ellen Bernstein and Karen Marie Taylor, Auction Tally; Kathy Detzler, Invitations; Sandy Speer, Models; Julie Yates, Publicity; Judy Tomke, Reservations; Nancy Farris, Programs; Patty McGoff, Fund-a-Cause; Barb Zurek, Gift Card Raffle Tree; and Susan Kwiatkowski, Vice President Resource Development. Although this fundraiser is over for another year, all who attended can know that they have played a part in helping Assistance League continue their spirit of caring and commitment in the Indianapolis community.
Assistance League of Indianapolis