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114th Indiana Society Dinner to honor state’s 200th birthday

An exciting program is on tap for this year’s Indiana Society Dinner on December 7 honoring some of the most consequential Hoosiers in Indiana’s history. The 114th Annual Dinner will be held at Loews Chicago Hotel, a new venue this year, located at 455 N. Park Drive.

Indiana University, celebrating its 200th anniversary on January 20, 2020, will be honored as the 2019 Hoosier Institution of the Year for its vast contributions to Hoosier students and the Indiana economy, along with its significant discoveries and achievements in every field of academia. IU has grown into a diverse student community of more than 110,000 from 139 countries. President Michael A. McRobbie will accept the award on behalf of IU.

The Simon Family, known for its business, civic and prolific philanthropic leadership, will be honored as 2019 Hoosier of the Year. The Simon family owns and operates Simon Property Group, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, along with Pacers Sports & Entertainment.  SPG is a global leader in the ownership of premier shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations and an S&P 100 company. The Simon family operates Simon Youth Foundation that helps students reach graduation day and partners with public school districts to help curb the dropout epidemic, along with several individual family foundations that support education, healthcare and cancer research, the arts, among others. Several family members, led by Cindy Simon Skojdt, will accept the award.

For only the second year, the Indiana Society will present a special Hoosier Hero Award.  This year’s recipient, Tyler Trent, will be honored posthumously for his courage while battling osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. He died earlier this year at the age of  20. Tyler was known for his enthusiasm for Purdue football while battling his disease and accurately predicted a Purdue 2018 win over #2 ranked Ohio State. Both in life and in death, Tyler inspired millions to donate to cancer research. Tyler’s parents, Kelly and Tony Trent, will be in attendance to accept the award.

Governor Eric Holcomb will attend to help kick off the program, along with First Lady Janet Holcomb.

“We are excited for this year’s event where we can celebrate the contributions of three extraordinary Hoosier individuals and institutions who have been at the forefront of Indiana’s history, character and success,” said Scott Bove, president of the Indiana Society of Chicago. “The Society looks to build upon recent success in attracting new members, providing high energy musical entertainment, and streamlining the program while maintaining many of our time-honored Hoosier traditions.”

The Indiana Society of Chicago, a social organization celebrating all things Hoosier, was founded more than a century ago by acclaimed writer George Ade, the Pulitzer Price-winning cartoonist John T. McCutcheon and the federal court clerk Edward M. Holloway.  Since then, leaders have gathered in Chicago the first Saturday in December for a black-tie gala to recognize and celebrate exceptional Hoosier individuals and institutions that are making outstanding contributions to the state and nation.

Proceeds from the 2019 event go to scholarships for Chicago-area students attending IU.

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