Lilly, Simon receive top philanthropic awards

May 25, 2009

Two global companies based in Indianapolis have been recognized for their philanthropic efforts. Eli Lilly and Co. was recently given United Way's Spirit of America Award, the giant philanthropic organization's top honor.

Lilly is the first Indiana company to receive the award. In 2008, Lilly and its employees gave $11.4 million, or 20 percent of their cash donations, to United Way of Central Indiana. The company has provided nearly 25 percent of contributions to UWCI's annual campaign the past 35 years. Lilly employees have also volunteered by the hundreds for local United Way initiatives, such as ReadUp.

The International Council of Shopping Centers has named Simon Property Group Inc. "Best of the Best" in community service for its support of Simon Youth Foundation.

The foundation supports alternative high schools near Simon malls and grants college scholarships. In 10 years, enrollment at the 24 schools Simon supports has reached more than 14,500 and the cumulative graduation rate is 90 percent. The foundation awarded close to $1.5 million in scholarships in 2008, the first year giving surpassed $1 million.

ICSC announced its inaugural "Best-of-the-Best Awards" during a gala May 17 in Las Vegas. Other winners were Atrio of Villach, Austria, for sustainability, Westfield San Francisco Centre for design and development, and Cirque du Soleil at CentrO in Oberhausen, Germany, for marketing.

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