500 Festival Foundation

Supporting the Advancement of the 500 Festival's Youth Initiatives



The mission of the 500 Festival Foundation is to generate funds to support the mission of the 500 Festival, Inc.





The 500 Festival Foundation was established in 1996, the 500 Festival’s 50th anniversary. That year, the Foundation spearheaded the dedication of a permanent structure entitled The Tent. The Tent was created by internationally renowned artist Donald Lipski to celebrate community and volunteer spirit. It is located in White River State Park.


Today, the 500 Festival Foundation is comprised of civic and business leaders committed to supporting the 500 Festival’s mission to enrich lives and have a positive community impact while celebrating the Indy 500. The Foundation has a specific interest in the advancement of the 500 Festival’s youth initiatives. From college scholarships for Indiana’s brightest college leaders to a free curriculum for our state’s 4th grade classrooms to a a free program designed to combat childhood obesity and teach kids the importance of leading a healthy, active lifestyle – the 500 Festival Foundation’s investments help enhance the education of Indiana’s youth and provide a calendar of community activities that invite the participation of all Hoosiers and showcase Indianapolis on a global stage.



Donations to the 500 Festival Foundation are fully tax deductible as allowed by law. 

Make a Donation


500 Festival Foundation Board of Trustees

Chairman: Al Wurster

Vice Chairman: Scott Thiems


John Ackerman: Managing Director, Cardinal Equity Partners

Gary Aletto: Chief Operating Officer, Bright Sheet Metal

Mary Clare Broadbent: President, The Broadbent Company

John Crisp: Executive Director, Cushman & Wakefield

Ted Dickman: CEO, BKD, LLP

Greg Fennig: Vice President of Public Affairs, IPL

Nadine Givens: Senior Vice-President/Director, PNC Wealth Management

Frank Hancock: President, Sport Graphics

Pat Kennedy: President, Kennedy Tank & Manufacturing Company, Inc.

David Kosene: President & CEO, Kosene & Kosene Development Company

Connie Lund: (Retired) Senior Vice President of Corporate Finance and Treasurer, OneAmerica Securities, Inc.

Natalie Roberts: Senior Vice President, Monarch Beverage

Steven J. Schenck: Senior Partner, The Schenck Group, Merrill Lynch

Jerry D. Semler: Chairman Emeritus, OneAmerica Financial Partners

Marlyne Sexton: President, The Sexton Companies

Howard Shearon: Partner, Ernst & Young (retired)

Cindy Simon Skjodt: Civic Volunteer

Paul Sinclair: Partner, Ice Miller

Al Smith Jr.: Chairman, Chase Indiana

Betty Stilwell: Chief Philanthropy Officer, IU Health (retired)

Scott Thiems: EVP Business Banking, Regions Bank (retired)

Al Wurster: President, Wurster Construction


Contact Us

Want to know more about the work of the 500 Festival Foundation and how you can help?

Francene Thomas
Director, Foundation & Special Projects
(317) 614-6121


500 Festival Foundation
21 Virginia Ave.
Suite 500
Indianapolis, IN 46204