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Andrew Luck Takes "Change The Play" Program Around State Of Indiana

Intro: On Monday, Andrew Luck and Riley Hospital partnered to take their “Change The Play” program to South Bend, Indiana. Luck will also make stops in Evansville and Fort Wayne this week.


INDIANAPOLIS – Monday afternoon was not Andrew Luck's first victory in the city of South Bend, Ind.

Luck has left South Bend before a convincing winner.

This time though, Luck's win brought plenty of smiles to those under the shadow of The Golden Dome.

The Colts quarterback took his "Change The Play" program to northern Indiana on Monday, holding a camp for more than 200 youth.

Partnering with Riley Children's Health, Luck and the world-renowned Indianapolis hospital has impacted nearly 40,000 kids in their four years together.

"When you move to Indianapolis and you live downtown, you see Riley Children's Hospital all the time and you see the great work they do in this state," Luck said on Monday afternoon at South Bend St. Joe's High School, the first stop on this week's three-camp tour around Indiana. "I had a chance to partner with (Riley) on this "Change The Play" concept and it's evolved each year. It gets bigger and better and we are affecting more kids and families, which is the end goal.

"It's an easy partnership. Both sides are passionate about children's health and making it fun. That's what I believe in."

The last time Luck ventured to South Bend, he left victorious with the Stanford Cardinal in a 2010 contest versus Notre Dame.

This trip though had a different purpose.

Monday's camp was not position or sport specific.

Instead, Luck was trying to instill the necessary values young kids should start to learn in how to approach whatever activities they are involved in, no matter their life endeavors

"Take control of your own lifestyle and make it healthy," Luck said of the objective at these camps.

"It's more than just exercising. It's what you fuel your body with. It's what you eat, what you drink, how much sleep you are getting, what you're doing to relax."

Andrew Luck was at his first of three "Change The Play"events this year.

With around 250 local South Bend kids present on Monday, campers took part in six different stations focusing on a variety of wellness habits.

Luck was positioned primarily at Station 6, where kids caught passes from the Pro Bowl quarterback.

When such an idea like "Change The Play" was first floated around, Luck didn't want to simply have his name associated with it.

An architectural major at Stanford, Luck had his own blueprint in mind.

Dr. Paul Haut, chief medical officer of Riley Children's Health, was all ears to Luck's proposal.

"Andrew said, 'If we are going to do this together, I want to help design (the program),' Haut said on Monday. "He was intimately involved in helping us figure out how to run this program."

"Kids across the state and across this country look up to him, so when he talks about the way he grew up, about healthy eating, fitness and having fun, and not playing just one sport, people really listen to that."

Unfortunately, some kids signed up for Monday's camp didn't get to hear Luck's entire message.

Severe thunderstorms in South Bend cancelled the second session.

But Mother Nature couldn't stop Luck from seeking out those who were scheduled to attend.

With the rain moving its way out of the South Bend area, Luck went outside to see if any campers were still hanging around St. Joe's High School.

Luck quickly found one in Jane Mahoney's eight-year-old grandson.

As Mahoney was crossing a local street with her grandson, thinking it was time to head back home without seeing the camp's star, she heard a voice from behind.

"I was going to get a t-shirt from the (Riley staff) and they said, 'I'm sorry. (Luck) left,'" Mahoney said.

A few seconds later, unbeknownst to the camp staff, here came Luck.

"I turned around and there (Luck) is," a beaming Mahoney said with her grandson, displaying a new autograph from No. 12.

"I was just so excited. My grandson I know is excited."

Luck stopped to chat and it didn't take long for kids to appear from down the street and around the parking lot.

With the line growing to a couple dozen campers, Luck took time to try and salvage more than a few memorable moments for the youngsters.

"For one thing, he's an outstanding man," Mahoney said after talking with the franchise quarterback. "This community of South Bend is wonderful in community work. It's been through some hard times, but we have to show the children. We are their predecessors. They need to follow us.

"Seeing an athlete, which all these kids admire today, who's friendly and approachable…that's the perfect role model."

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