ANDERSON, Ind. —
The city of Anderson, as a community, has extended a large hand of welcome to the Indianapolis Colts this summer.
On Wednesday the team extended its hand for a different reason — to put $25,000 into the hands of five local nonprofit organizations.
“We like to be part of the community and show our appreciation,” said Colts owner Jim Irsay during a brief ceremony at the Kardatzke Wellness Center at Anderson University after the team’s morning practice. “The economy here has been tough on jobs and tough on charities. From those who are given a lot is expected a lot.”
Mayor Kris Ockomon said the city had some say in where the money went.
“We submitted the names of five organizations we felt were in great need of help,” Ockomon said. “They (the Colts) used three of our suggestions. They had two they wanted to include themselves. This helps these people continue to have hope.”
Irsay was complimentary of the city and Anderson University in the way the team has been welcomed back.
“In talking to everyone on our staff, they all say the welcome has been tremendous,” said Irsay. “The makeover at the university has made this so different than it was in the ’80s and ’90s. We can bring literal money to the city and economic impact. But we can also bring inspiration. We want to do what we can even though we feel the impact as well.”
The Christian Center’s Scott Richards said the $5,000 donation will help keep Anderson’s homeless population off the streets.
“It costs money every day for us to keep our doors open for these men, women and children,” Richards said.
The Christian Center may use the money to pursue matching grants but is also in need of additional bedding, he said, and may put the funds toward that expense.
Marilyn Goree of the Anderson Black Expo said the organization is having a great year and hopes to focus on education and helping children.
“Reading is a very important process this year,” she said.
The group included a Kids World festival at last weekend’s Black Expo, she said.
Rodney Chamberlain, Anderson city councilman and vice president of the Expo, said the money will help to grow the Expo.
“This $5,000 is going to help us add to the events at the Expo.”
Five local nonprofits will share the $25,000 Colts’ donation equally
- Salvation Army
- The Christian Center
- The YMCA
- Anderson Black Expo
- Anderson Public Library
Brandi Watters contributed to this report.