The Indiana Sports Corp. has selected nearly 20 youth-serving organizations from across the state for Susan Williams CHAMPS Grants. Some of this year's recipients include Happy Hollow Children's Camp, Early Learning Indiana and the Indianapolis Parks Foundation.

April 23, 2015

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Eighteen youth-serving organizations throughout Indiana have been selected as Susan Williams CHAMPS (Champions in Life) Grant recipients, awarded annually by Indiana Sports Corp.

Susan Williams CHAMPS Grants support organizations that provide underserved youth with the opportunity to participate in sports, fitness activities and life skills programming. The Susan Williams CHAMPS Grants are funded by the net proceeds of the annual Youthlinks Indiana Charity Golf Tournament and contributions by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation, Samerian Foundation, and United Water.

In September of 2012, Indiana Sports Corp renamed the CHAMPS Grant Program to the Susan Williams CHAMPS Grant program. The renaming recognizes the significant contributions of Susan Williams, who retired as the president of Indiana Sports Corp after more than seven years in the position. At Indiana Sports Corp, Williams made impacting the lives of youth a priority, helping to grow the number of youth influenced by Sports Corp programming significantly.

“Indiana Sports Corp’s mission includes encouraging opportunities for the young people in our community,” said Ryan Vaughn, Indiana Sports Corp president. The ability to support organizations that teach life skills and promote fitness through sports is a key initiative in fulfilling that mission. We greatly appreciate what these organizations do for young people each and every day, and we are proud to contribute to their impact.”

This year, grants have been awarded to organizations serving youth in the following Indiana counties: Boone, Clay, Delaware, Dubois, Hamilton, Hancock, Harrison, Hendricks, Jefferson, Johnson, Lake, Lawrence, Marion, Morgan, Monroe, Madison, Morgan, Putnam, Randolph, Shelby, Vigo, Wayne, and Whitley.

Since 1988, Youthlinks Indiana has generated more than $6.5 million that have been reinvested to support various youth sports programs and initiatives. A total of 230 youth-serving organizations have received more than $2 million in CHAMPS Grants since 1988. This year’s Susan Williams CHAMPS Grants are divided among 18 organizations that serve 5,374 youth.

The 28th Annual Youthlinks Indiana Charity Golf Tournament, hosted by Indiana Sports Corp, tees off on Monday, June 22 at the Sagamore Golf Club of Noblesville, Ind. The tournament will consist of morning and afternoon shotgun tee times. Teams will compete in a scramble-style tournament over the 18-hole course. Youthlinks Indiana is presented by CNO Financial Group.

The Sagamore Golf Club was designed by PGA Tour legend Jack Nicklaus and previously was a Top Ten Best New Private Courses in America by Golf Digest. For more information and to register for this year’s Youthlinks Indiana, contact Craig Lippincott at (317) 237-5034 or clippincott@indianasportscorp.org. Additional event information can be found at www.IndianaSportsCorp.org.

In 2014 alone, Indiana Sports Corp impacted 118,000 youth through programming such as Susan Williams CHAMPS Grants, the Geared for Health: Sports Equipment for Kids program, youth clinics, and other initiatives.

2015 Susan Williams CHAMPS Grant Recipients

Agape Therapeutic Riding Resources, Inc. – Agape Summer at Bradford Woods

Students of Agape Therapeutic Riding Resources are able to attain physical, mental, and emotional benefits through equine assisted activities and therapies. The Agape Summer Program at Bradford Woods will impact 603 youth: Stirrup Success, Agape Adventures and Special Olympics of Hamilton County.

Boys and Girls Club of Harrison-Crawford Counties – After Hours Rock Climbing

The Boys and Girls Club of Harrison-Crawford Counties enables young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. 120 youth will have the chance to experience the impact of the Boys and Girls Club through the After Hours Rock Climbing program.

Camptown, Inc. – Experience Nature

Experience Nature will provide an outdoor experience to 750 students. Partner organizations will have the opportunity to choose a day hike, a day canoe trip, a camp day, a teambuilding day, or a week of backpacking as enrichment to their summer program. Each Camptown program provides an opportunity for youth to experience the benefits of nature. Youth unplug from electronics and plug into nature. Students learn about themselves and their world by actively engaging in nature with their peers. In a Camptown program, youth will hike, canoe, camp, backpack and explore while learning essential life skills.

Children's Better Health Institute – Forever-Fit Summer Camp

Forever-Fit Summer Camp engages, educates and encourages youth and their families to adopt a healthier lifestyle. FFSC focuses on long-term behavioral change, not a quick fix for rapid weight loss. FFSC strives to equip campers with the tools they need to thrive in today’s world as active, healthy adults. Camp will impact 35 kids and their families each summer.

Concord Neighborhood Center – The Ride of a Lifetime

Concord Neighborhood Center has been a cornerstone of the south side community for more than 130 years. In partnership with Marian University’s Indy Cycloplex, 72 youth in Concord’s summer day camp program will have the opportunity to participate in a week-long cycling camp, called the Ride of a Lifetime.

Damar Services, Inc. – Damar Services Recreation Program

The Damar Recreation Program serves 260 youth and provides recreation, sports and fitness offerings on its campus. Damar’s Recreation Program enables children and youth to develop the social skills, confidence and appropriate behaviors necessary for independent living in the community. Expansion of the disc golf course equipment and expand the track and field program with a long jump pit, shot-put area and javelin to participate in and host Track and Field Special Olympics.

Early Learning Indiana – Summer Health & Water Safety Program

Early Learning Indiana Summer Health and Water Safety Program promotes healthy physical activities and nutrition for 525 children enrolled at its seven centers. Programs include: six weeks of water safety/swim instruction for youth 4-6 years old at the IU Natatorium and a focus on healthy nutrition complete with fresh local produce and lessons about healthy nutrition.

Happy Hollow Children's Camp – Archery Program

Campers get the chance during the camp week to participate in a group archery session, where they will learn proper shooting techniques, arrow retrieval, and other archery skills. Throughout the summer of 2015, the camp is expecting to serve 600 economically disadvantaged and special needs children from the Indianapolis metro area.

Hawthorne Social Services Association, Inc. – Hawthorne Summer Camp

Hawthorne Summer Camp provides programs and services that meet economic, social, education, recreational and civic needs of persons living in the Hawthorne service area. The summer camp will impact 215 youth this summer.

Horizons at St. Richard’s Episcopal School – Summer Program

Horizons at St. Richard’s Episcopal School exists to address three overarching goals: to eliminate summer learning loss, increase water safety and prevent obesity for 120 youth this summer. The summer program focuses on getting kids active in activities like soccer, basketball, lacrosse, football, watersports and other playground activities.

Indianapolis Parks Foundation – Swim Indy

Swim Indy teaches youth from low-income neighborhoods how to swim for lifelong health and safety. The target audiences for this program are 200 youth who attend Indy Parks’ six-week summer programming at the

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