Local child helps with pre-race festivities


For the first time ever, the pageantry and fanfare at the beginning of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” included kids. Thirty-three current or former Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health patients took part in the flag presentation for the national anthem at last month’s Indianapolis 500.

Riley at IU Health solicited entries from current and former patients who love racing and were between the ages of 3-18. The names of 33 kids, to represent the 33 drivers in the race, were randomly selected to participate.

The selected Riley kids came from all over Indiana: Avon, Beech Grove, Bloomington, Bristow, Brownsburg, Carmel, Connersville, Fishers, Fort Wayne, Franklin, Greenfield, Huntington, Indianapolis, Marion, Muncie, Noblesville, Plainfield, Princeton, Solsberry, Valparaiso, Wabash, West Lafayette, Westfield, Whiteland and Zionsville.

This is the first time in the nearly 100-year history of the Indianapolis 500 that children participated in the national anthem ceremony.

For more than 85 years, Riley at IU Health has been one of the nation’s leading children’s hospitals. Each year, Riley at IU Health provides compassionate care, support and comfort to 215,000 inpatients and outpatients from across Indiana, the nation and the world. Part of Indiana University Health, our unique partnership with the Indiana University School of Medicine gives our highly skilled physicians access to innovative treatments using the latest research and technology.