Celebrity Showdown Raises $134,000 for Indianapolis Students
INDIANAPOLIS - Tony Dungy hardly could have been more pleased.
Dungy, the Colts' head coach, and his wife Lauren, helped host the fourth annual Colts Celebrity Showdown at the Colts' Pavilion at the team's training facility in Indianapolis on Wednesday night. The event raised $134,000, Dungy said Thursday.
The Colts' Celebrity Showdown benefits one of Dungy's primary charities, the Indianapolis chapter of the Carson Scholars Fund, which promotes academic excellence in public schools by awarding annual college scholarships to students in grades 4-11.
"It was really, really a great night," Dungy said.
Dungy said the format of the Celebrity Showdown – a "Family Feud" style competition pitting Colts offensive players against defensive players – made the event popular for participants and guests. Forty-eight players attended the event.
The Carson Scholars Fund is a non-profit public charity, founded in 1994 by world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson and his wife, Candy. The purpose of the fund is to reward students in grades 4-11 who demonstrate academic promise (3.75 GPA or higher) and humanitarian service with $1,000 scholarship awards that are invested for their college education.
"That was (Carson's) point, that if your team wins a state championship or a city championship, you get a trophy and you have a celebration," Dungy said. "But you get someone who gets a 4.0, how is that received? To encourage people when they're in third or fourth grade, we want to say, 'Hey, there is something to this. You do a good job and you can have benefits the same way as if you're a good piano player or a good athlete.
"It's a really good idea, and catching them when they're young – to make it exciting to study and learn when you're young – is a great time.
Since its inception, the Carson Scholars Fund has awarded over 3,400 scholarships totaling $3.4 million.
The Indianapolis Chapter of the Carson Scholars Fund has created five endowments benefiting Indiana students. Schools endowed include: Northwest High School, Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet, Farrington Middle School and Gambold Middle School.
In addition to the five endowments, the Colts have handed out 30 scholarships since 2005.
Food for the Colts Celebrity Showdown was provided by O'Charleys and beverages were courtesy of Budweiser and Coca-Cola.