Indy Hats Race to Raise Funds and Awareness

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Former Cathedral Stand Out and Cincinnati Bengals Center Teddy Karras Launches Indy 500 Merchandise to Benefit the Village of Merici

Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman Ted Karras launched The Indy Hat online merchandise store to support adults with developmental disabilities in Indianapolis through the Village of Merici. These items are just in time for the month of May in Indianapolis. The Indy Hat website sells hats, polos, and t-shirts with a signature logo featuring a checkered flag.

The Cincy Hat is also a philanthropic endeavor to benefit the Village of Merici. Bengals fandom quickly took notice of the hat, and sales skyrocketed. To date, Karras has sold over 10,000 hats with a revenue of $375K. Karras contributed an impressive $100K of his own money to the project to get the ball rolling. 

Karras has been a longtime supporter of Village of Merici, its mission and the people it serves. The organization provides direct support services, learning opportunities, and independent living through partnerships with various developers. Village of Merici currently supports more than 75 people throughout Indianapolis with a goal of self-reliance.

Matt Renie, longtime friend of Karras and partner in The Cincy Hat project, said with the explosion of sales, it seemed only natural to add an Indy hat to the mix. The month of May is the best month of the year for many Indianapolis with the Indy 500. With that being top of mind, Renie says they decided to design The Indy Hat. The hat features the iconic checkered flag race fans know and love. Sales of The Indy Hat began April 6 and have sold about $20K in revenue so far. 

"My family is a big Indy 500 family, and it's always top of mind this time of year," Renie says. "The Indy Hat project is more of a grassroots effort than The Cincy Hat. So, we knew it wouldn't be an explosion of sales like The Cincy Hat, but I'm proud of what we've already accomplished." 

Karyl Davis, Director of Development for Village of Merici, says The Cincy Hat has been instrumental to the organization's success. The funds raised from the sales of the hats and donations will help to finish a third building full of affordable housing for individuals with disabilities.

About the Village of Merici

Village of Merici (VOM) provides an innovative approach to services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities focused on independent living. Merici's mission focuses on three main areas: one-on-one direct service support, affordable housing, and a variety of learning opportunities. VOM currently serves approximately 75 individuals within the local Indianapolis community with plans to significantly increase the number of individuals served over the next two years with two additional housing projects currently underway. By the end of 2023, VOM will transition from managing 20 affordable apartments to overseeing 100 units in Lawrence and Carmel communities.

Contact Information:
Karyl Davis
Director of Development

Original Source: Indy Hats Race to Raise Funds and Awareness

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