First Lady Karen Pence Hosts Third Annual Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation

First Lady's Charitable Foundation_1Indianapolis – First Lady Karen Pence hosted the third annual fundraising luncheon to support the Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation, which strives to support and recognize communities and organizations that promote the well-being of Hoosier children and their families. There, she presented a check for $100,000 to the Indiana Bicentennial Commission to Perry Hammock, Executive Director of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, and co-chairs former Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman and former Congressman Lee Hamilton. The donation will fully fund “Treasures of the Statehouse,” an interactive display that will be located in the new Indiana State Library Statehouse Education and Welcome Center and will be dedicated in October. 

“We started the Foundation to shine a light on the people and organizations that are working every day to benefit our children and Hoosier families,” said First Lady Karen Pence. “Our hope is that by promoting these organizations, we can help them further their efforts and reach more families across Indiana. The First Lady’s Luncheon is a culmination of our efforts and serves as the primary fundraising event for the Foundation. I am so pleased and honored Indiana former First Ladies, Judy O’Bannon, Susan Bayh, Maggie Kernan, along with Shelley Whitcomb, daughter of former First Lady Patricia Whitcomb, were able to be a part of this special day.” 

First Ladies Bayh, Pence, O'Bannon and Kernan
First Ladies Bayh, Pence, O’Bannon and Kernan

The First Lady’s Luncheon, themed “Celebrating Indiana’s Bicentennial,” was held at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis. Approximately 500 people were in attendance, including statewide elected officials Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb, Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz. Former Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann, former Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman, and former Congressman Lee Hamilton were also in attendance. 

“This event and the fundraising success we have had with the Foundation is a testament to the hard work and the amazing talents of my board of directors who guide our efforts at the Foundation. I especially want to thank the committee of women who planned the luncheon and made this dream a reality,” said First Lady Karen Pence. 

In addition to the check presentation to the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, the luncheon was filled with many surprises for guests, including entertainment provided by Indiana-native singer-songwriter, Jon McLaughlin. 

”I’m thrilled to be working with the Indiana Bicentennial and this wonderful display, ‘Treasures of the Statehouse.’ I’m so thankful for the work of The Indiana Bicentennial Commission and the benefits this display will provide to children and families across the state,” said First Lady Karen Pence. “On behalf of the Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation’s Board and Luncheon Committee, we are extremely thankful for the generous hearts of today’s sponsors and attendees that make it possible to present the major grant award of $100,000 to fully fund the Indiana Bicentennial Commission’s display, ‘Treasures of the Statehouse.’ I am confident it will continue to touch many Hoosier children and families for generations to come.”   

“The Bicentennial Commission is very appreciative of the support and leadership of First Lady Karen Pence,” said Perry Hammock, Executive Director of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission.  “Not only does she perform countless hours of work in her role as Official Bicentennial Ambassador, but through the First Lady’s Charitable Foundation she helps make meaningful projects come to life. With the help of this grant, tens of thousands of Hoosier students who visit Indiana’s capitol every year will have a more in-depth educational experience and learn more about the three branches of government, Indiana history, and the treasure that is our beautiful Statehouse.”  

Each year, the Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation selects a different organization as a major grant recipient to highlight at the First Lady’s Luncheon. The Foundation also awards smaller grants throughout the year.

 “We are very excited to continue announcing the recipients of our grants for 2016. There are so many worthwhile organizations doing wonderful work across Indiana. Since its formation in 2013, the First Lady’s Foundation has awarded grants to 175 organizations and charities across Indiana impacting all 92 counties. It was an honor and a pleasure to be able to support them and to share their good stories through the Foundation,” said First Lady Karen Pence.


About the First Lady’s Luncheon

The Indiana First Lady’s Luncheon, which serves as the primary fundraiser for the Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation, is modeled after the U.S. First Lady’s Luncheon held every year in Washington, D.C. and includes similar features, such as a surprise guest entertainer, center pieces, linens and bags made specifically for the event, and a showing of bipartisan support. 

Luncheon co-chairs Patti Coons and Jennifer Ping hope the First Lady’s Luncheon will become a valued tradition for Indiana for many years to come. Indiana is the only state to have a First Lady’s Luncheon. Grant applications may be submitted at 

The Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. The First Lady receives no compensation. Donations are tax deductible. Learn more about how to make a donation or request a grant on the Foundation’s website at:


About the Indiana Bicentennial Commission’s Interactive Station, Treasures of the Statehouse

The Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation’s contribution to the Indiana Bicentennial Commission will be used to fully fund an interactive display entitled “Treasures of the Statehouse.” The interactive station will allow all guests, including Indiana fourth grade students and their families, the opportunity to capture the history of our great state of Indiana in an even grander magnitude on their visit to the Statehouse.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 WYRZ and Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at

Check Also

Gov. Holcomb, INDOT, ISP mark start of 2024 construction season, urge drivers to travel safely in work zones

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Earlier today the Indiana Department of Transportation officially marked the start of its 2024 …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *