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Monday, September 20, 2021

Mary Rigg Center to observe centennial

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Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center, 1920 W. Morris St., will celebrate 100 years of providing families with help and hope at an 8 a.m. breakfast Sept. 15 in the JW Marriott Hotel, 10 S. West St.

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m.

The JW Marriott was constructed on the original site of the 1911 establishment of Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center; at that time, the charitable organization functioned under the names Foreign House and Immigrant Aid Association and served as a center of learning and recreation for immigrants who had made their way to Indianapolis.

Mary Rigg, after whom the center was later renamed, was a longtime director of the center and was one of the first professionally trained social workers in Indiana. Rigg served at the center from 1924 to 1960.

Today, 100 years of positive growth and change have greatly expanded services offered by the center. The center currently serves more than 8,000 individuals and families each year, providing basic-needs help, such as emergency food and homeless prevention programming, programs for youth and young adults, including after-school programs and community-school services, and programs focused on employment training and money coaching.

All of the center’s services are designed to help families impacted by under-education, unemployment, and urban poverty move forward toward greater economic stability.

Ron Hunter will be the keynote speaker at the breakfast. He is the current head basketball coach at Georgia State University and was the IUPUI basketball coach of 17 seasons.

Hunter is nationally known not only as an NCAA Division I basketball coach but is also recognized for his dedication to children in Indianapolis and across the world who are in need of shoes. His “barefoot coaching” has attracted donations of thousands of shoes for Samaritan’s Feet, which has been a partner of Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center for the past two years.

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