Gift Creates FFA Endowment

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A Kentucky couple has donated $500,000 to the Indianapolis-based National FFA Organization. The gift from Don and Mira Ball will establish an endowment to provide FFA jackets to members who can't afford one.

February 21, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- Thanks to the generosity of a philanthropy-focused Kentucky couple, deserving FFA members will be getting a gift of blue for years to come.

Don and Mira Ball, who co-founded Lexington, Ky.-based custom home-building company Ball Homes more than 50 years ago, kicked off 2014 National FFA Week by inviting some National FFA and Kentucky FFA officers to their home and share details about an endowment they created to support the National FFA Organization's Give the Gift of Blue campaign.

The campaign relies on financial contributions to the National FFA Foundation used to provide a new, official FFA corduroy jacket to members who can't afford one. The Balls created a $500,000 endowment that will award up to 400 free FFA jackets each year to qualified members.

Don Ball grew up in western Kentucky. He is a former local and regional FFA officer – the jacket he wore was handed down to him so backing the Give the Gift of Blue campaign is especially meaningful to him – who went on to graduate from the University of Kentucky. Within five years of graduation, he and his wife started Ball Homes, which has flourished and allowed the couple to give back to a host of community organizations and endeavors, including FFA.

He believes that the experiences and values instilled in him through his involvement in FFA played a big role in his career and philanthropic successes. His training in parliamentary procedure, he said, served him well in his three terms in the Kentucky state legislature.

"If it wasn't for FFA, I wouldn't have made it out of my driveway," he said. "I'm proud that I have been able to give back to my community in ways I would have never imagined."

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 579,678 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,570 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

About National FFA Organization

The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 579,678 student members as part of 7,570 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online, on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.

Source: National FFA Organization