By Dyan Duncan
French Lick Resort
The results are in: French Lick Resort has been named Best Historic Hotel in the Readers’ Choice Awards – topping properties nationwide such as Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside, Calif. and Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.
Out of the 260 hotels recognized by Historic Hotels of America, Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director of the organization, narrowed down the field to just 20 nominees for the “Best Historic Hotels” category.
After the field was narrowed to 20, readers of USA TODAY and 10Best had the opportunity to vote for their favorite historic properties. After four weeks, the top 10 winners were announced, and French Lick Resort was awarded the title of Best Historic Hotel.
“For USA TODAY’s savvy world travelers to single of French Lick Resort amongst the prestigious list of historic properties speaks volumes about how far we’ve come since our re-opening just nine years ago,” said VP of Resort Operations Joe Vezzoso. “With a readership of 3.1 million, there’s huge opportunity for us to get our property in front of a lot of potential visitors.”
French Lick Resort features two grand hotels nestled in the Hoosier National Forest of southern Indiana. French Lick Springs Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, while the West Baden Springs Hotel, a National Historic Landmark, consistently makes Condé Nast Traveler’s “Best Places to Stay in the World” and has been ranked the No. 1 Hotel in Indiana by US News & World Report in 2013 and 2014.
There are 45 holes of golf, including the fully restored 1917-designed Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort and the 18-hole Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort, two world-class spas, Vegas-style gaming, horseback riding, activities for kids and meeting and event space totaling 200,000 square feet.
This prestigious award comes less than a week before the resort is set to host the 2015 Senior PGA Championship, May 19-24, 2015, presented by KitchenAid. The championship is expected to draw upwards of 25,000 people to the area and will be broadcast to 250 million homes in 160 countries and territories.
About French Lick Resort
French Lick Resort is a $560 million historic restoration and casino development project that includes the West Baden Springs Hotel, French Lick Springs Hotel and the French Lick Casino. This premier resort and casino destination in Southern Indiana features 686 guest rooms and suites; a 51,000-square-foot, single-level casino; 63 holes of golf, including the fully restored 1917-designed Donald Ross Course at French Lick and the 18-hole Pete Dye Course at French Lick; two full-service spas with a combined 36 treatment rooms totaling 42,000 square feet; meeting and event space totaling 200,000 square feet and an array of dining and entertainment options.
For more information, visit http://frenchlick.com/, or call 812-936-9300.
By John Dedman
Indiana Sports Corporation
Eighteen youth-serving organizations throughout Indiana have been selected as Susan Williams CHAMPS (Champions in Life) Grant recipients, awarded annually by Indiana Sports Corp.
Susan Williams CHAMPS Grants support organizations that provide underserved youth with the opportunity to participate in sports, fitness activities and life skills programming. The Susan Williams CHAMPS Grants are funded by the net proceeds of the annual Youthlinks Indiana Charity Golf Tournament and contributions by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation, Samerian Foundation, and United Water.
In September of 2012, Indiana Sports Corp renamed the CHAMPS Grant Program to the Susan Williams CHAMPS Grant program. The renaming recognizes the significant contributions of Susan Williams, who retired as the president of Indiana Sports Corp after more than seven years in the position. At Indiana Sports Corp, Williams made impacting the lives of youth a priority, helping to grow the number of youth influenced by Sports Corp programming significantly.
“Indiana Sports Corp’s mission includes encouraging opportunities for the young people in our community,” said Ryan Vaughn, Indiana Sports Corp president. The ability to support organizations that teach life skills and promote fitness through sports is a key initiative in fulfilling that mission. We greatly appreciate what these organizations do for young people each and every day, and we are proud to contribute to their impact.”
This year, grants have been awarded to organizations serving youth in the following Indiana counties: Boone, Clay, Delaware, Dubois, Hamilton, Hancock, Harrison, Hendricks, Jefferson, Johnson, Lake, Lawrence, Marion, Morgan, Monroe, Madison, Morgan, Putnam, Randolph, Shelby, Vigo, Wayne, and Whitley.
Since 1988, Youthlinks Indiana has generated more than $6.5 million that have been reinvested to support various youth sports programs and initiatives. A total of 230 youth-serving organizations have received more than $2 million in CHAMPS Grants since 1988. This year’s Susan Williams CHAMPS Grants are divided among 18 organizations that serve 5,374 youth.
The 28th Annual Youthlinks Indiana Charity Golf Tournament, hosted by Indiana Sports Corp, tees off on Monday, June 22 at the Sagamore Golf Club of Noblesville, Ind. The tournament will consist of morning and afternoon shotgun tee times. Teams will compete in a scramble-style tournament over the 18-hole course. Youthlinks Indiana is presented by CNO Financial Group.
The Sagamore Golf Club was designed by PGA Tour legend Jack Nicklaus and previously was a Top Ten Best New Private Courses in America by Golf Digest. For more information and to register for this year’s Youthlinks Indiana, contact Craig Lippincott at (317) 237-5034 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional event information can be found at www.IndianaSportsCorp.org.
In 2014 alone, Indiana Sports Corp impacted 118,000 youth through programming such as Susan Williams CHAMPS Grants, the Geared for Health: Sports Equipment for Kids program, youth clinics, and other initiatives.
2015 Susan Williams CHAMPS Grant Recipients
Agape Therapeutic Riding Resources, Inc. – Agape Summer at Bradford Woods
Students of Agape Therapeutic Riding Resources are able to attain physical, mental, and emotional benefits through equine assisted activities and therapies. The Agape Summer Program at Bradford Woods will impact 603 youth: Stirrup Success, Agape Adventures and Special Olympics of Hamilton County.
Boys and Girls Club of Harrison-Crawford Counties – After Hours Rock Climbing
The Boys and Girls Club of Harrison-Crawford Counties enables young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. 120 youth will have the chance to experience the impact of the Boys and Girls Club through the After Hours Rock Climbing program.
Camptown, Inc. – Experience Nature
Experience Nature will provide an outdoor experience to 750 students. Partner organizations will have the opportunity to choose a day hike, a day canoe trip, a camp day, a teambuilding day, or a week of backpacking as enrichment to their summer program. Each Camptown program provides an opportunity for youth to experience the benefits of nature. Youth unplug from electronics and plug into nature. Students learn about themselves and their world by actively engaging in nature with their peers. In a Camptown program, youth will hike, canoe, camp, backpack and explore while learning essential life skills.
Children’s Better Health Institute – Forever-Fit Summer Camp
Forever-Fit Summer Camp engages, educates and encourages youth and their families to adopt a healthier lifestyle. FFSC focuses on long-term behavioral change, not a quick fix for rapid weight loss. FFSC strives to equip campers with the tools they need to thrive in today’s world as active, healthy adults. Camp will impact 35 kids and their families each summer.
Concord Neighborhood Center – The Ride of a Lifetime
Concord Neighborhood Center has been a cornerstone of the south side community for more than 130 years. In partnership with Marian University’s Indy Cycloplex, 72 youth in Concord’s summer day camp program will have the opportunity to participate in a week-long cycling camp, called the Ride of a Lifetime.
Damar Services, Inc. – Damar Services Recreation Program
The Damar Recreation Program serves 260 youth and provides recreation, sports and fitness offerings on its campus. Damar’s Recreation Program enables children and youth to develop the social skills, confidence and appropriate behaviors necessary for independent living in the community. Expansion of the disc golf course equipment and expand the track and field program with a long jump pit, shot-put area and javelin to participate in and host Track and Field Special Olympics.
Early Learning Indiana – Summer Health & Water Safety Program
Early Learning Indiana Summer Health and Water Safety Program promotes healthy physical activities and nutrition for 525 children enrolled at its seven centers. Programs include: six weeks of water safety/swim instruction for youth 4-6 years old at the IU Natatorium and a focus on healthy nutrition complete with fresh local produce and lessons about healthy nutrition.
Happy Hollow Children’s Camp – Archery Program
Campers get the chance during the camp week to participate in a group archery session, where they will learn proper shooting techniques, arrow retrieval, and other archery skills. Throughout the summer of 2015, the camp is expecting to serve 600 economically disadvantaged and special needs children from the Indianapolis metro area.
Hawthorne Social Services Association, Inc. – Hawthorne Summer Camp
Hawthorne Summer Camp provides programs and services that meet economic, social, education, recreational and civic needs of persons living in the Hawthorne service area. The summer camp will impact 215 youth this summer.
Horizons at St. Richard’s Episcopal School – Summer Program
Horizons at St. Richard’s Episcopal School exists to address three overarching goals: to eliminate summer learning loss, increase water safety and prevent obesity for 120 youth this summer. The summer program focuses on getting kids active in activities like soccer, basketball, lacrosse, football, watersports and other playground activities.
Indianapolis Parks Foundation – Swim Indy
Swim Indy teaches youth from low-income neighborhoods how to swim for lifelong health and safety. The target audiences for this program are 200 youth who attend Indy Parks’ six-week summer programming at the neighborhood park locations. During Swim Indy classes, the youth participants will learn how to swim, increase their knowledge of water safety, and be able to complete different levels of swimming (beginner, intermediate or advanced). The program will run for six weeks and every park will be scheduled for one two-hour session each week. Youth will engage in either water safety, fundamentals of swimming, or advanced swimming technique during class.
Jackson Center for Conductive Education – Summer Camp Field Trips
Children who attend the Jackson Center have severe motor disabilities, limiting their opportunities to participate in summer camp programs. 20 youth will experience summer camp field trips with the Susan Williams CHAMPS Grant. Summer camp outdoor activities include water play, adaptive bike riding, adapted obstacle courses, modified volleyball, badminton or baseball.
Jameson Camp – Summer Camp
Jameson Camp enriches the lives of Indiana youth by inspiring them to discover their strengths. Jameson Camp will impact over 500 youth through day camps and programs that include opportunities like the Challenge Course, with a team-building area, a climbing wall, a zipline, and a high ropes course that is 40 feet off of the ground.
Joseph Maley Foundation – JM Fitness
The Joseph Maley Foundation JM Fitness program utilizes sports activities including baseball, track, and watersports to nurture a strong sense of self-esteem and positive self-image in children with disabilities. The program will impact 188 youth.
National Junior Tennis & Learning of Indianapolis – Summer Youth Tennis Program
NJTL offers youth tennis and education programs for children 5 and up, and for teenagers up to 18 years old. NJTL helps develop the character of young people through tennis, life skills, educational enrichment and healthy living choices. Their summer youth tennis program will impact 1,000 youth.
Richard E. Jeffers Boys & Girls Club
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County have teamed up with the Reid Hospital and the United Way to create ClubFit, a new program for the youth of Wayne County. ClubFit promotes healthier lifestyle activities and programming. 200 youth will have a chance to earn multiple prizes and awards as ClubFit members are awarded points for every program session they attend and fitness challenge they complete.
The People’s Burn Foundation – Camp Saturday
The People’s Burn Foundation supports burn survivors and their families through camp and other therapeutic activities. Camp Saturday is a week-long specialized camp for burn survivors from the ages of 5 to 18. The camp takes place in June and will impact 35 youth.
Tab Recreation – Friday Night Lights High School Football
Tab Recreation is an urban youth sports league that offers a 7-on-7 flag football program for high school football players. These events are played in May and June and are hosted on Tab’s field. The Tab Recreation Friday Night Lights events will impact 160 high school athletes.
About Indiana Sports Corp.
Indiana Sports Corp’s mission is to create positive impact by hosting world-class sporting events that enhance vibrancy in the community, build civic pride, drive economic impact and media exposure, and encourage opportunities for youth. A not-for-profit organization, Indiana Sports Corp was founded in 1979 as the nation’s first sports commission. Our recent and upcoming schedule of events includes NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Fours, Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, Big Ten Football Championship Games through 2021, Big Ten Basketball Tournaments, 2015 P&G Gymnastics Championships, 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Diving, and much more. For more information, visit www.IndianaSportsCorp.org. Follow us on Twitter at @IndSportsCorp.
By Jed Stockton
Fair Oaks Farms
Fair Oaks Farms Master Cheesemaker Bruce Workman’s Havarti took home first place honors at the U.S. Cheese Championship on March 17-19, 2015 in Madison, Wisconsin.
Fair Oaks Farms Havarti Dill and Gouda also took home second place honors, while Fair Oaks Farms Smoked Gouda and Havarti Onion placed fourth.
“Fair Oaks Farms is committed to offering unparalleled quality in all of its products,” said Julie Basich, Fair Oaks Farms General Manager, “We are proud that Bruce’s efforts and Fair Oaks Farms Fine Cheeses have earned championship recognition.”
The 2015 U.S. Cheese Championship saw 1,892 entries of cheeses and cultured dairy products from 28 states.
Fair Oaks Farms, an agri-tourism destination, is located at 856 N County Rd 600 East,
Fair Oaks, Indiana, in Newton County (northwest Indiana).
Chocolate for the Spirit
Hosted by the International Chocolate Salon, the annual Top Chocolate Bar award competition honored Chocolate for the Spirit’s Mayan Spice Bar with two bronze medals, one in the “Most Unique” category, and another for “Best Ingredient Combinations.” Indianapolis-based Chocolate for the Spirit artisan chocolate company is owned and managed by certified artisan chocolatier Julie Bolejack.
The International Chocolate Salon holds a number of product-specific competitions in four venues around the world, annually naming the best toffees, caramels, truffles, chocolate beverages, and more. The Salon’s 15-judge panel of chocolatiers, food writers and bloggers and chefs, included experts from the Huffington Post, Candy Industry Magazine, Chocolate Covered, Gastrolust, TheChocolateAddict.com, Viva Cocolat, and Serious Eats for this competition selecting the Best Chocolate Bar.
Chocolate for the Spirit’s Beauty Bark, bonbons and truffles were recognized in 2010 by Indiana Artisan, the statewide organization that identifies and promotes Indiana’s highest-quality foods and art. As an Indiana Artisan, Bolejack regularly submits additional work for review, and her Mayan Spice Bar also is part of the Indiana Artisan brand.
As Chocolate for the Spirit’s founder/owner and its certified artisan chocolatier, Bolejack develops all recipes and sources the chocolate and ingredients for her work. All Chocolate for the Spirit gourmet chocolates are her personal creations, and she has received numerous honors: named among the Top 5 at the New York Chocolate Show; participation in Salon du Chocolat Paris, the world’s most prestigious chocolate event; showcased at the MTV Movie Awards, Kentucky Derby celebrity events, Rolling Stone magazine’s Super Bowl bash, and ESPN’s National College Championship football party, to name a few.
Chocolate for the Spirit’s awards from the International Chocolate Salon reinforce the high quality of foods produced in Indiana today. Since Indiana Artisan was launched in 2008 by Lt. Governor Becky Skillman, jury panels have reviewed applications from nearly 1,800 art and food artisans. Because the brand defines the best work coming from the State, the review is rigorous and fewer than 20 percent of applicants are named Indiana Artisans.
Chocolate for the Spirit retails from two locations: the Indianapolis City Market, in downtown Indy at 222 East Market Street, and in Carmel at 301 East Carmel Drive, Suite A700. For more information, visit http://chocolateforthespirit.com/, or call 317-518-8842.
By John Hughey
The Center for the Performing Arts
An “American Idol,” a Broadway star and a Canadian virtuoso have joined the entertainment lineup for the Encore Gala Weekend presented by Krieg DeVault. The June 20-21, 2014 benefit for the Center for the Performing Arts also serves as the setting for the 3rd annual Great American Songbook Hall of Fame induction. Nat King Cole, Linda Ronstadt, Shirley Jones, and Johnny Mathis represent the 2014 class of the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame.
The Saturday, June 21 evening of the gala weekend is led by Michael Feinstein as he inducts a new round of honorees into the Songbook Hall of Fame. The concert performance will honor the musical contributions of Nat King Cole, Linda Ronstadt, Shirley Jones and Johnny Mathis. Feinstein, the Center’s artistic director, will be joined by “American Idol” vocalist Jessica Sanchez, Broadway star Laura Osnes, singer-songwriter-pianist Peter Cincotti, and Canadian vocalist Denzal Sinclaire will pay tribute to the honorees. Julia Goodwin, the 2013 winner of the Great American Songbook High School Vocal Competition also will perform. Natalie Cole will accept the Hall of Fame award on her father’s behalf. Together, Feinstein, the artists, and an orchestra will showcase the inductees’ musical contributions to the Great American Songbook.
Conceived as an enduring testament to the Great American Songbook, the Hall of Fame honors performers and composers responsible for creating America’s soundtrack. Saturday evening will include the Katz, Sapper & Miller After Party. For the third year, the Encore Gala Weekend is presented by Krieg DeVault, with support from Katz, Sapper & Miller LLP, and First Merchants. The silent and live auction on Friday, June 20 will allow guests to bid on vacation packages, exotic trips, unique experiences and one-of-a-kind memorabilia from artists seen at the Palladium. All proceeds from the weekend will benefit the Center for the Performing Arts. Preview auction items and online bidding starts June 9 at the Center’s website.
Friday, June 20: Indiana Roof Ballroom
The gala weekend kicks off with a red-carpet arrival, cocktail reception, and silent auction sponsored by First Merchants Bank, followed by dinner and dancing to a big band orchestra led by New York’s acclaimed Tom Postilio. Plus, a special performance by Michael Feinstein.
Saturday, June 21: The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts
Experience history in the making as artists Johnny Mathis, Linda Ronstadt, Nat King Cole, and Shirley Jones are inducted into the Songbook Hall of Fame. The evening’s host, Michael Feinstein, will be joined by special guests including Jessica Sanchez from “American Idol,” 2013 Great American Songbook High School Vocal Competition winner Julia Goodwin, and other guests as they honor this year’s inductees.
After the performance, the Palladium is transformed for the Katz, Sapper & Miller After Party with five themed clubs paired with food and drinks. Enjoy the Cool City Band in the Great American Songbook Lounge, learn salsa dancing in the Latin-inspired Caliente Club, dance to the music of the Souled Out Band in The Club Katz, sip bourbon and savor cigars in the Humidor Lounge, and end the night with a nightcap in the Sidecar Lounge. The evening will be packed with music, dancing, photo booths, and stilt walkers.
Saturday only tickets are $200. Purchase online at www.TheCenterPresents.org or the box office at 317-843-3800.
Songbook Hall of Fame honorees are selected by the following criteria:
Awarded posthumously to an artist who made a significant contribution to the Golden Age of American popular music, typically defined as the period from the early years of the 20th century through the 1960s. Inductees: Nat King Cole, 2014. Previous honorees: Frank Sinatra, 2013; Cole Porter, 2012.
Awarded to the artist, songwriter and/or performer, who continues to create the soundtrack of our lives by writing and/or performing music that will stand the test of time and become the pop standards of tomorrow. Inductee: Linda Ronstadt, 2014; Shirley Jones, 2014; Johnny Mathis, 2014. Previous honorees: Liza Minnelli, 2013; Rita Moreno, 2013; Barry Manilow, 2012.
The Center for the Performing Arts is located at 1 Center Green in Carmel, Indiana. For more information, visit http://thecenterpresents.org/, or call 317-843-3800.
The Great American Songbook Hall of Fame will elevate the Great American Songbook. The Great American Songbook Hall of Fame will induct new members annually. The Palladium concert hall in Carmel, Indiana serves as the official home of the Great American Songbook Foundation and the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame. The awards will be displayed in the Shiel Sexton Lobby on the gallery level of the Palladium concert hall.