INDIANAPOLIS – It was a record year for the Indianapolis Parks Foundation, which recently hosted the 15th Annual IPL Mayor's Lunch for Parks at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. This year’s luncheon boasted the most sponsors, matching gift partners, in-kind sponsors and individual donors to date. The luncheon raised a record-breaking $285,000 to support the work of the Parks Foundation.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett was the keynote speaker, highlighting to the nearly 700 community, business, and city leaders in attendance, the milestone year and stressing the vital role of private partnerships in keeping the city's park system prosperous and its programs for children, adults and families plentiful.
“It’s unfortunate, but the truth is, Parks is one of the first departments cut during any budget squeeze. And the effects of such cuts are felt beyond the office and the staff members who rely on the funding,” said Mayor Hogsett. “When someone asks me: Why Indy Parks? I remind them that an investment in our Parks in an investment in families. An investment in our Parks in an investment in the kinds of neighborhoods people want to live in. An investment in our Parks is an investment in the betterment of this city. Simply put, the Parks Foundation is investing in Indianapolis’ future.”
Indianapolis Power & Light Company has been the presenting sponsor of the IPL Mayor's Lunch for Parks, which serves as the premier fundraising event for the Parks Foundation, for all 15 years raising more than $2 million since 2003. This year, the Parks Foundation celebrates 25 years of building and maintaining Indy Parks, trails, greenways, and public spaces.
“For 25 years, the Parks Foundation has been proud to match resources with needs and invest in our city’s parks to help build stronger neighborhoods,” said Lori Hazlett, Parks Foundation President. “Thanks to the support of our generous sponsors and individual donors, we will continue to raise the standard for Indy Parks for current and future generations.”
While the funds won't go to any particular project, they will help keep the foundation's doors open and allow the staff to pursue grants and donations for the city's parks department.
“The money we raise at the IPL Mayor’s lunch For Parks allows our board and our staff to continue investing in projects and programs throughout the Indy Parks system," said Jenny Burrough, the foundation's vice president of development and public relations. “The support we get from the mayor and our philanthropic community and our corporate community through the IPL Mayor’s Lunch For Parks allows us to continue raising money to support the entire parks system for the next 25 years.”
The Indianapolis Parks Foundation is a leader in developing and maintaining Indy’s parks, trails, greenways, and public spaces by connecting resources to needs to better establish and maintain a safe and thriving community. The Parks Foundation is committed to increasing access and availability of park spaces and programming for all residents and visitors.
The March fundraiser brought in enough money to fund at least half of the 2017 staff.
The foundation can look ahead to collecting funding for a playspace project that will go along the downtown canal. There are several other fundraising events the foundation has throughout the year, click here for a list of events.