500 Festival gives VIP gift bags to frontline workers instead of traditional Off the Grid gala

Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS — For the second year in a row, the 500 Festival non-profit organization is giving away VIP gift bags to healthcare workers instead of hosting their annual Off the Grid gala. 

The gala is one of 500 Festival’s biggest events and isn’t happening this year again because of COVID, but that’s not stopping organizers from making an impact.  

President and CEO of the 500 Festival, Bob Bryant, says the idea is to give those working in healthcare an Off the Grid gala in a box.  

It’s a cooler bag filled with treats like wine, food and other things for them to pamper themselves.  

Last year their goal was to give out 500. This year, they’ve opened the event up to take donations to be able to give out even more.  

“Not everybody understands that the 500 Festival is a non-profit community organization. We’re separate from the Indy 500. We do rely on funders – we have corporate partners, we have corporate members, we have individual donors, and we have some foundations’ support,” Bryant explained.

They have partnered with hospitals and health care providers throughout the state to gift the VIP bags. 

“We came up with the idea, with our partners support, to provide an opportunity where someone can have that kind of fun and we thought about who’s the most deserving of that or who could use that right now and certainly health care workers were top of mind.” 

They will be assembling them next Tuesday and start deliveries Thursday.  They will be taking donations up until Monday. Click here for more information about donating. 

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