From left: HCCF Board President Rhonda Wiles presenting grant check to Angela and Michael Nelson of Rock Steady Boxing, with HCCF Program Officer Eric Hessel. The grant was presented at the Rock Steady fundraiser "Boxing and Brunch" held at Don Schumacher Racing on November 5th.

Hendricks County Community Foundation Awards Grant to Rock Steady Boxing for 20th Anniversary Celebration

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To celebrate 20 years of service to Hendricks County, the Community Foundation is awarding $1,000 grants to nonprofits in 2016.  These 20th Anniversary Board Engagement Grants allow each member of the HCCF Board of Directors to designate a Hendricks County nonprofit that is important to them and to the community.

The tenth 20th Anniversary Grant was presented to Rock Steady Boxing in Brownsburg on behalf of Rhonda Wiles, HCCF Board President.   Rhonda chose Rock Steady because of its personal connection to her and her family.  Rhonda’s father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2008, and she knows firsthand the frustrations and symptomatic limitations of this disease. Parkinson’s is a neurological movement disorder that causes deterioration in motor skills, balance, speech and sensory functions.  There are currently a million diagnosed cases of Parkinson’s in the US and 60,000 more are diagnosed each year.   Certain types of exercises have been determined to be neuro-protective and slow the disease’s progression.  Rock Steady offers that type of exercise through boxing.

“My father was diagnosed eight years ago with Parkinson’s disease. His neurologist suggested Rock Steady Boxing,” said Rhonda.  “My family has seen a tremendous improvement physically, mentally and socially in my dad. We have also been able to connect with other caregivers which has helped us to be better informed caregivers to my dad.  At the Brownsburg gym, there have been double digit increases in participation over the last two years–indicating a real need for this program.”

Rock Steady Boxing opened in Brownsburg in 2014, and has experienced tremendous growth and success in just 2 years.  But with this growth has come some organizational and financial challenges.  Many of those served by Rock Steady are retired and on fixed incomes, and cannot afford the full monthly membership fees.  Also, by nature of this type of exercise, the equipment wears out quickly and needs to be replaced.  This grant will go to help offset the monthly costs to the clients who cannot afford to pay, as well as to replace the boxing equipment.

With locations in Brownsburg and Indianapolis, Rock Steady Boxing is a non-profit organization devoted to helping those with Parkinson’s fight back against the disease.  Under the care of former professional boxers and certified personal trainers, the programs at Rock Steady are designed to meet the fitness levels at all stages of Parkinson’s.  HCCF Executive Director William Rhodehamel said, “Rock Steady is a great example of a community-based nonprofit meeting a real need here in Hendricks County.  It is exciting for us to partner with impactful organizations like this because that’s really at the core of what our mission is at HCCF–partnering with generous people to realize their charitable goals while addressing community needs in meaningful and lasting ways. That’s what the Community Foundation has done for 20 years and we look to continue for years to come.”

The Hendricks County Community Foundation partners with generous people to realize their charitable goals while addressing community needs in meaningful and lasting ways.  The Community Foundation manages assets of over $11 million in a collection of funds created by individuals, families, businesses and organizations for charitable purposes. In 2015, the Community Foundation gave over $825,000 in grants to charitable organizations and scholarships to local students. For more information, call 317-268-6240 or visit www.hendrickscountycf.org. 

From left:  HCCF Board President Rhonda Wiles presenting grant check to Angela and Michael Nelson of Rock Steady Boxing, with HCCF Program Officer Eric Hessel. The grant was presented at the Rock Steady fundraiser "Boxing and Brunch" held at Don Schumacher Racing on November 5th.
From left: HCCF Board President Rhonda Wiles presenting grant check to Angela and Michael Nelson of Rock Steady Boxing, with HCCF Program Officer Eric Hessel. The grant was presented at the Rock Steady fundraiser “Boxing and Brunch” held at Don Schumacher Racing on November 5th.

About Brian Scott

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

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