The month of May looked very different than usual in Indiana. Most noticeable, perhaps, was the lack of cars buzzing around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and an Indiana dairy farmer waiting for the champion in victory lane. With all of that moved back to August, American Dairy Association Indiana (ADAI) decided on a different campaign for May: to honor Hoosier heroes.
ADAI reached statewide and across industries for nominations of Hoosiers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty for their communities during the COVID-19 crisis. Over the three-week campaign, ADAI received nearly 100 nominations for individual heroes. After reading the first nominations to come in, it was obvious people were doing what they could with what they had and their neighbors, family and colleagues were eager to share their inspiring stories.
With each nomination, partners and individuals were given the chance to donate money to help stock food banks throughout the state through Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. All funds raised are being passed straight through to help purchase additional dairy foods for those in need. Founding partners Corteva and Farm Credit made generous donations to kickoff the efforts. Collectively, ADAI partners and individuals donated over $10,000 in honor of their communities’ Hoosier Heroes.
In appreciation for their selfless acts during this time, each nominated hero will be receiving a custom Hoosier Hero milk bottle and commemorative poster as a thank you for their service. In addition, five lucky heroes have been selected to receive a “Winners Drink Milk” prize pack that includes a larger, special edition etched milk bottle. One additional recipient will receive an exclusive VIP Experience with reigning IndyCar Series Champion Josef Newgarden at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“Winners Drink Milk” Prize Recipients
- Leonora Simonton, Bed and Breakfast Owner, Indianapolis
- Ann Lira, Teacher, Granger
- Melissa Funk, Purdue University College of Agriculture, Otterbein
- Jody Garst, Registered Nurse, Thorntown
- Ross Katz, Restauranteur, Indianapolis
VIP Experience Winner
- Sylvia Higginbotham, Director of Nursing, Edinburgh
Prize winners were selected across industries based on character, response to pandemic, generosity of resources, and empathy for others.
“American Dairy Association Indiana and its Hoosier dairy farm families are thrilled by the response to Hoosier Heroes, and the funds that it helped raise for communities and families in need during these difficult times,” said ADAI CEO Jenni Browning. “We celebrate the collective strength of Indiana and toast to the partners, nominees and heroes involved for their commitment to each other, knowing that now more than ever, ‘Winners Drink Milk’!”