Luck’s first local sponsorship starts with one short pass—and one brave kid

November 1, 2012
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It was just a pass. Something that Andrew Luck had done a million times.

But this pass during the Indianapolis Colts Fan Fest at Lucas Oil Stadium last August was different.

Luck’s toss of a few yards to 8-year-old Holden Harless, a Riley Hospital for Children spinal cord patient, made a special connection.

“To see the fight that he goes through and his struggle and his positive attitude was very inspirational,” Luck told IBJ this week. “I will never forget that first encounter.”

By now, most know that Luck, the Colts rookie quarterback, has signed his first significant local commercial partnership with Riley. But few know the back story.

Luck told IBJ that he was introduced to Riley through his meeting with Harless, who was just 2 when a tumor was found on his spinal cord. Holden’s family said the setback hasn’t dampened his spirit. The work that Riley had done for young Harless made Luck interested in making a connection with Riley as well as the Indiana youngster.

“That’s the first time I heard of Riley Hospital,” Luck said of his meeting with Harless.

The result of that meeting between Luck and Harless is a four-year pact between the Colts quarterback and Riley.

Luck and Riley officials said the partnership is aimed at helping improve the health and wellness of area children. The Riley/Luck “Change the Play” initiative will include programs such as sports performance camps, educational tools for kids and Luck speaking engagements. Already, Luck has made several appearances at Riley to visit one-on-one with patients.

“We think this relationship has tremendous potential to grow,” Riley CEO Jeff Sperring said. “I hope this partnership extends well beyond his playing days.”

There’s already talk of Luck becoming involved in various Riley programs. There’s even discussion that the Stanford University architecture major could be involved in helping design some of the expansions the hospital is undergoing, Sperring added.

Luck said he was attracted to the deal in part because it’s a far-reaching, statewide initiative.

Sperring hopes the deal is the start of a lifelong relationship with Luck.

It started with one kid. And one pass.


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  1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

  3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.