Ellen Clippinger honored as Sagamore of the Wabash

Across the country, the results of thedsc_0406 2016 elections remain top of mind.  At AYS, we of course have many different opinions about who should be in leadership positions – but there’s one person we will always stand behind:  Ellen Clippinger.

Those of you who are new to AYS may not know that Ellen is our nonprofit’s founder.  She launched our organization more than 30 years ago and grew it from a provider that served just 10 children in a single after-school program, to one that now serves 3,000 students in five counties every year.

During her tenure with AYS, Ellen worked tirelessly to expand the scope of services we offer, while ensuring that our high-quality programs adhered to national standards.  A trailblazer in her field, Ellen went to both the Statehouse and to Washington to ensure that our children were getting the programs they needed, and the quality of care they deserved.  Ellen was so influential that, upon her retirement, the AYS Board of Directors renamed our financial assistance fund to honor her legacy.

dsc_0306In October, we held our first-ever Lights On Luncheon: A Celebration of Afterschool, and all $20,000 raised from the event will go toward increasing the capacity of the Ellen Clippinger Financial Assistance FundThis fund provides scholarships for more children to attend AYS’ before- and after-school programs, and $20,000 means 31 kids will benefit.  Thank you, again, to our sponsors for their support of this tremendous fundraiser, and to our luncheon guests.

Also during this special event, State Rep. Greg Porter surprised Ellen with a significant recognition.  Rep. Porter announced to Ellen and luncheon attendees that she was the recipient of the prestigious Sagamore of the Wabash – the state’s highest award.
We are so grateful to Rep. Porter for securing this honor, and to Gov. Mike Pence for agreeing that Ellen is truly a Hoosier treasure.

Feel free to congratulate Ellen in the comments section below.  You can also donate to the financial assistance fund named after her here.

Thank you to Ellen, to Rep. Porter, and to all of those who choose to step up and be leaders.


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