INDIANAPOLIS - In 2017, the Indianapolis Indians continued their long-standing tradition of supporting charitable causes and organizations across central Indiana, contributing more than $495,409 in fundraising and donations. The figure ranks as the largest in franchise history and encompasses everything from community outreach programs, player and mascot appearances, charitable fundraisers, ticket donations and non-profit awareness nights.
"We're very proud of the legacy we've built in our community," said Indians President and General Manager Randy Lewandowski. "We've been playing baseball in Indianapolis for more than 100 years, so going to an Indians game has become an experience that's shared across generations. We have a responsibility to give back with the same level of enthusiasm and support as our fans have shown us over the years."
Of the approximately $495,000 in charitable contributions in 2017, more than $266,000 came from gifts in-kind of donated tickets, merchandise and mascot appearances. Nearly $163,000 went to monetary donations when the Indians participated in community events or supported local organizations with events at Victory Field. Finally, $66,000 was given through in-stadium fundraising.
One of the most visible initiatives of 2017 occurred whenever Indians players wore specialty jerseys. For eight games last season the Tribe wore jerseys themed to that night's promotion, with themes like MARVEL Super Hero Night, Stars & Stripes on the Fourth of July, and Nickelodeon Weekend. Game-worn jerseys were auctioned off with proceeds going to local non-profit organizations. Last season, the Tribe raised nearly $49,000 for six non-profits.
Thursday Craft Beer Nights were also a recurring initiative at Victory Field. Proceeds from craft beer ticket packages benefited a different non-profit organization every Thursday night. In total, nearly $5,900 was donated back to seven non-profits in 2017.
The organization also supported the creation of a new 501(c)(3) non-profit called RightFit. The Indians worked with Indianapolis Public Schools and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, plus corporate partners and city government and public safety officials, to create the initiative focused on developing positive relationships with emergency and safety personnel. The program provided homework help, nutrition education, physical fitness, dinner and a ride home to 500-plus students at four Indianapolis elementary schools.
Tickets for the 2018 season at Victory Field are on sale now in full- and half-season plans, plus mini and flex plans. Single-game tickets go on sale March 1. For more on the Indianapolis Indians, visit IndyIndians.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.