This week’s Statehouse Market is extra special as the myriad food trucks and produce vendors will be joined on Robert D. Orr Plaza by numerous dignitaries and state employees for the formal kickoff of one of the year’s most important — and most anticipated — programs.
Indiana Department of Revenue Commissioner Adam Krupp is heading that statewide initiative — the 2018-19 State Employees’ Community Campaign (SECC). The SECC is a charitable effort that sees thousands of state employees donate to nonprofit organizations each year.
Taking charge immediately, the dynamic and driven Krupp helped set a new goal for this year’s SECC that hopes to net at least $1.5 million dollars.
Krupp’s chosen charity is Project 44, a nonprofit that encourages bone marrow donor registration at Be the Match, the goal being to connect potential donors with compatible transplant recipients. Project 44, so named in honor of former Butler basketball star Andrew Smith who wore the jersey number during his collegiate career with the Bulldogs, hopes to save at least 44 lives.
During Smith’s tenure, the team reached back-to-back NCAA Basketball Championship games. The 6’11 center was instrumental in those tournament runs and was popular with students and fans. Tragically, the talented Zionsville native Butler faithful often called “Moose” died from an aggressive form of cancer in 2016. He was only 25-years-old.
After his passing, Andrew’s wife, Samantha, worked to create the charity that bears his number. Andrew Smith had received a bone marrow transplant in 2015 that family members believe extended his life.
The charity made news when one of the first matches facilitated through Project 44 led to a 2-year-old boy with leukemia receiving a needed bone marrow transplant. The donor? One of Smith’s Butler teammates.
That’s close to a storybook start for a nonprofit hoping to raise awareness of a life-saving process that organization members believe all-too-often goes “under the radar” of many Americans: the continual need for blood stem cell donors and recipients.
It’s truly an effort aimed at saving lives.
In addition to Project 44, dozens of other charities can be the recipients of donations from State of Indiana employees. The results of those donations are real, tangible and often come at just the right time for those in need. Read about the impact of last year’s campaign here.
With plenty of motivation to give back to organizations that fight everything from food insecurity to homelessness, it appears Krupp’s lofty goal is a reachable one.
Last year’s campaign, which was headed by Indiana Department of Environmental Management Commissioner Bruno Pigott, brought in about $1.4 million that was divided among more than 1,600 nonprofit agencies.
Those are the kinds of stories that inspire others to do good in the communities in which they live.
This year’s kickoff will continue to highlight that important point through a series of games and events that coincide with the already-fun and festive Statehouse Market. Indiana First Lady Janet Holcomb and First Dog Henry Holcomb are expected to appear at the event, which will feature a dunk tank, a pie-in-the face event and plenty of informational booths from several charities. Samantha Smith is also set to appear at Thursday’s SECC “kickoff party.”
What’s more, several vendors and food truck owners have decided to donate a portion of their proceeds toward the SECC! Check out the links below to read all about this week’s lineup and the featured items that can be purchased to give a boost to the campaign.
Great food + helping those in need = win-win for all.
It’s sure to be a fun time, so make plans to have lunch outside this Thursday to learn more about a great cause while enjoying the amazing eats and treats only the Hoosier State’s finest farmers and entrepreneurs can provide.
Droopy’s BBQ — Got a hankering for some mac ‘n cheese? How about barbecue mac ‘n cheese? Droopy’s BBQ will donate $.50 from each barbecue mac ‘n cheese dish sold Aug. 30!
Chomp’Z — Who doesn’t like a delicious tenderloin? It’s called “Hoosier Comfort Food” for a reason, after all. Chomp’Z will donate $1 from each tenderloin sold Aug. 30!
We’ll see you on Robert D. Orr Plaza Thursday, Aug. 30!