500 Festival hosts donation ‘drive-thru’ fundraiser

CBS4 This Morning

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indy 500 is always a big fundraiser opportunity for area non-profits.

But many non-profits have had to come up with new creative ways to bring in the big bucks. That includes the 500 Festival.

Today, a donation “drive-thru” fundraiser benefiting the 500 Festival Foundation will be held at the McDonald’s restaurant located at 6056 W. 71st St. in Indianapolis.

A special drive-thru lane will be staffed by 500 Festival princesses and employees for the community to make donations to the Foundation. The restaurant will also donate a portion of that day’s sales to the 500 Festival Foundation. The event runs only at that McDonalds location from 6 a.m. – to 5 p.m.

But this is not the only thing the 500 festival has done this year to adapt to this new environment.

Each year 500 princesses are chosen to represent the nonprofit and engage with the community leading up to the race.

This year, the program was forced to go virtual.

But that didn’t stop 500 princess queen scholar Kathleen Sollar from completing her duties.

She came up with virtual arts and lessons, crafts and reading activities to do with children, including Make-a-Wish recipients.

“I am a Make-a-Wish kid, so to be able to talk to those kids, just felt great because I know how they are feeling. They are super excited for their wish. To have it pushed back is kind of disappointing,” she explained,,

One of those kids is Marley Ohmer from Carmel.

The 5-year-old’s wish has been put on hold due to the virus.  Marley, though, was still able to get into the 500 spirit by connecting virtually with a 500 princess to decorate her own crown and sash.

“They would color it together and put stickers on it the same time, Marley had her sash on. It was a lot of fun,” explained Marley’s mom, Lindsay Ohmer.

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