Ted Karras Cathedral High School and Bengals NFL player
Photo (c) 2023 Charles Justin Sicking www.justinsicking.com 2024-04-11 Cincy and Indy Hats Merici

Indy Hats Race to Raise Funds and Awareness

Former Cathedral Stand Out and Cincinnati Bengals Center Teddy Karras Launches Indy 500 Merchandise to Benefit the Village of Merici

Writer/Renée Larr

Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman Ted Karras today launched The Indy Hat online merchandise store to support adults with developmental disabilities in Indianapolis through the Village of Merici. Just in time for the busy month of May in Indianapolis, The Indy Hat carries hats, polos, and t-shirts with a signature logo featuring a checkered flag.

The Cincy Hat was a philanthropic endeavor to also benefit the Village of Merici. Bengals fandom quickly took notice of the hat, and sales skyrocketed. To date, Karras has sold over 10,000 hats with a revenue of $375K. Karras contributed an impressive $100K of his own money to the project to get the ball rolling.

Village of Merici
Photos (c) 2023 Charles Justin Sicking
2024-04-11 Cincy and Indy Hats Merici

Karras has been a longtime supporter of Village of Merici, its mission and the people it serves. The organization provides direct support services, learning opportunities, and independent living through partnerships with various developers. Village of Merici currently supports more than 75 people throughout Indianapolis with a goal of self-reliance.

Matt Renie, longtime friend of Karras and partner in The Cincy Hat project said with the explosion of sales, it seemed only natural to add an Indy hat to the mix. The month of May is the best month of the year for many Indianapolis residents due to the Indy 500. With that being top of mind, Renie says they decided to design The Indy Hat. The hat features the iconic checkered flag race fans know and love. Sales of The Indy Hat began April 6 and have sold about $20K in revenue so far. There are also polo shirts with the same logo available.

“My family is a big Indy 500 family, and it’s always top of mind this time of year,” Renie says. “The Indy Hat project is more of a grassroots effort than The Cincy Hat. So, we knew it wouldn’t be an explosion of sales like The Cincy Hat, but I’m proud of what we’ve already accomplished.”

Karyl Davis, Director of Development for Village of Merici, says The Cincy Hat has been instrumental to the organization’s success. The funds raised from the sales of the hats and donations will help to finish a third building full of affordable housing for individuals with disabilities.

“Ted’s passion for our mission and his involvement has been transformational for the organization as a whole but also the people we support,” Davis says. “They love when he comes to visit. It’s been so much fun, and we’re so grateful he’s shining a light on what we do and giving the people we support a purpose.”

To purchase The Indy Hat, visit theindyhat.com. For more information on Village of Merici and the services offered, visit villageofmerici.org.

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