News release from GiGi’s Playhouse:
First Lady Karen Pence Awards Grant to GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Wayne
Award will support the free educational and therapeutic programs for individuals with Down syndrome
Indianapolis (September 23, 2015) – First Lady Karen Pence hosted the fifth award reception for grant recipients of the Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation at the Governor’s residence on Tuesday, where she awarded $19,500 to 25 organizations and charities that serve Hoosier families and children across the state. GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Wayne was represented by Cindy and Doug Atkinson, who were on hand to receive the award.
“When Mike was elected Governor, I was overwhelmed with requests from so many worthy organizations to get involved in their efforts. However, it quickly became clear that I couldn’t be at every event nor could I champion every cause. That is why I, along with a team of dedicated board members, started the Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation as a way to shine a light on the organizations across Indiana who lift up our communities and make our state strong,” First Lady Karen Pence stated.
“GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Wayne is one of those organizations that is doing great work for our Hoosier children and families, and it is an honor to recognize them today,” said First Lady Karen Pence.
First Lady Karen Pence started the Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation in August of 2013 as a way to recognize organizations and charities across the state. At the inaugural First Lady’s Luncheon held in April 2014, the Foundation awarded its first major grant of $100,000 to the Art Therapy Program at Riley Hospital for Children. This year’s luncheon recipient was Feeding Indiana’s Hungry with a grant of $65,000, which supports food banks and food pantries in all 92 counties. Throughout the year, the Foundation will award smaller grants to organizations across the state. The third annual First Lady’s Luncheon will be held March 8, 2016.
“Whether helping a child develop a love for reading or supporting families in need or encouraging a child to go further in the arts, these organizations are the backbone and the heart of our communities. They represent the very best of what it means to be a Hoosier, and we thank them for their service,” said First Lady Karen Pence.
The mission of GiGi’s Playhouse is to increase positive awareness of Down syndrome through national campaigns, educational programs, and by empowering individuals with Down syndrome, their families and the community.
“We are honored to have been chosen for the award from the First Lady’s Foundation. It will be so helpful in supporting our free programs and providing educational supplies,” says Doug Atkinson, President of GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Wayne, LLC.