Home Community News Bob and Judy Griffin Named 2023 Champions of Youth First

Bob and Judy Griffin Named 2023 Champions of Youth First


Youth First, Inc. honored community philanthropists Bob and Judy Griffin at its 2023 Breakfast of Champions event on Tuesday, October 24 at Friedman Park Event Center in Newburgh.

Bob and Judy received the Dr. William Wooten Champions of Youth First Award at the event, sponsored by German American. In addition to recognizing the Griffins, the organization celebrated its donors, school partners, and volunteers with approximately 300 guests in attendance. 2023 marks Youth First’s 25th anniversary which was highlighted at the event as well.

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke proclaimed October 24, 2023 as “Bob and Judy Griffin, Champions of Youth First Day.”

These role models in business and philanthropy inspire others to invest in children, families, and the future workforce by serving as advocates of Youth First’s mission.

Bob and his business partners built Evansville-based Escalade, Inc. to become a leader in the manufacturing of sports equipment for archery, table tennis, billiards, and more. An Illinois native with degrees from Notre Dame and Northwestern Universities, Bob is also a strong supporter of local higher education institutions, the University of Southern Indiana, and the University of Evansville.

Judy is also devoted to serving others, especially children, so that they reach their full potential no matter their circumstances. An Evansville native, Judy is a graduate of Mater Dei High School and Indiana University and holds a Master’s degree in education from UE. In addition to teaching, she studied art and psychology, ran a popular Newburgh tearoom, and has served on several nonprofit Boards, including Youth First’s.

Bob and Judy are the proud parents of four and grandparents of eleven.

Breakfast of Champions attendees enjoyed remarks from Dan Hoefling, Youth First Board Chair-Elect and President, KOCH Finishing Systems; Very Rev. Alex Zenthoefer, Diocese of Evansville Vicar General; Lindsay Botsch, German American Market President; David Bower, President, USI Foundation; Kevin Hammett, President & CEO, Regency Properties; Sr. Anne Catherine Burleigh, O.P., Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Vicaress General; Patrick Griffin, son and Vice President, Escalade, Inc., Lauren Kaiser, Youth First Board Chair and Chief Human Resource Officer, Tri-State Orthopaedics; Parri O. Black, Youth First President & CEO; Dr. William Wooten, Youth First Founder, as well as family and friends of the Griffins.