First Lady’s foundation donates $100,000 to Riley



By Andi TenBarge

INDIANAPOLIS –Indiana’s current first lady and former first ladies came together Wednesday to present a $100,000 check to the Riley Hospital for Children’s Art Therapy Initiative.

After becoming Indiana’s first lady, Karen Pence said she wondered how she could make a difference in Indiana. In November 2013, Pence announced the formation of the Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to recognize and support local organizations and communities that support and promote Hoosier children’s’ well-being. Wednesday’s donation was the foundation’s first.

“As the other ladies up here will attest, my days as First Lady are limited. I was raised to believe that we should number our days that we might gain a heart of wisdom,” Pence said. “I decided to follow the advice of my friend, Patti Coons who suggested that I host an Indiana First Lady’s Lunch to raise money for Indiana charities.”

Pence said Riley’s art therapy initiative is only funded through private donations, but has a major impact on children and their treatment at Riley. The therapy helps patients open up to their doctors and relieves stress from their condition.

Throughout the year, the foundation will offer other grants and scholarships to similar organizations. Pence urged attendees at today’s luncheon to encourage their favorite organizations to apply for the awards at

Andi TenBarge is a reporter for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.