Kicking The Stigma event raises $4.5 million for mental health initiatives

Indianapolis Colts

INDIANAPOLIS – A unique event achieved the desired results.

The Irsay family’s virtual Kicking The Stigma fundraiser raised more than $4.5 million to raise awareness about mental health issues and address the stigma that often is associated with the related illnesses.

“We are incredibly grateful to our friends and fans – here in Indiana and from across the country – who donated their hard-earned dollars and spent time with us this week learning about the importance of mental health,’’ Indianapolis Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay said in a statement released by the team.’’

Notable donations included:

  • $1 million from Pacers Sports & Entertainment and the Simon Family.
  • $500,00 from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.
  • $500,000 from Candy and Eddie DeBartlolo Jr. and family.
  • Matching support up to $25,000 from local partners Faegre Drinker, Huntington Bank, Indiana University Health and Lucas Oil Products.

The actual fundraiser accounted for $2.273 million and the Irsay family matched it, pushing the total to $4.547 million.

The Kicking The Stigma Action Fund will support expanded programming by Mental Health America (MHA) Indiana, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Greater Indianapolis, Bring Change to Mind and Project Healthy Minds, as well as grants to other Indiana-based nonprofits working in education, support and advocacy of mental health.

“Although this week was a great success, we know our work is not done,’’ Irsay said. “So this won’t be the last time you hear from us about ‘Kicking The Stigma.’ The stigma surrounding mental health is literally a matter of life and death, and addressing this issue is a monumental task..

Donations still can be made at or by texting “COLTS’’ to 243725.

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