Rev Indy Celebrates 10 Years With Record-Breaking Success

Writer & Photographer / Stephanie Duncan

It’s timed to get revved up for May, Indy! Race season is quickly approaching, and the Indianapolis 500 is already on the minds of Hoosiers and race fans. But before the Indy 500 comes the much-anticipated annual Indiana University Health Foundation fundraising event, Rev Indy.Rev Indy

Over the years it has become a popular event to kick off race season, where you can meet and mingle with IndyCar drivers and celebrity chefs while enjoying food, drinks and entertainment at the track. This is the 10th anniversary of the event, and tickets for Rev Indy sold out in record time. While the response to this event has been well-received in the past, this year it sold out in less than a day, much to the surprise of Carol Howard, Rev executive director. “It was a huge surprise,” she says. “We went on sale at 8 a.m. that morning and by 1 p.m. we were done.”

Even though the main event isn’t until May 6, Rev Indy started its celebrations early and announced this year’s celebrity chef Kelsey Murphy on March 16 at the Gucci store in the Fashion Mall. The fundraising started early, with Gucci donating 10% of its proceeds raised that night to the IU Health Foundation. Murphy addressed the packed room and expressed excitement for this year’s event. “We don’t get recognized very often as a food city, and this is our time to shine and demonstrate what we have to offer and really get our name out there,” Murphy explains.

This year, Rev will feature a record 89 chefs from central Indiana’s favorite restaurants, plus over 20 artists and entertainment acts. “This is not only the start of the race season, but it’s an amazing representation of what our state has to offer to the rest of the country,” Murphy says. Winner of the 100th Indianapolis 500, Alexander Rossi, was also in attendance and joined in congratulating Murphy. Both Rossi and Murphy were gifted custom Gucci shoes hand-painted by local artist Leah Pinney. Even though she wasn’t in the spotlight, Howard, the event founder, was busy behind the scenes ensuring everything was running smoothly. She plays a crucial role in Rev’s overwhelming success.

Rev IndyRev Indy is a fundraising party that supports IU Health trauma and critical-care facilities across Indiana, including the IU Health Emergency Medical Center located at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). “It started as an opportunity to showcase the beautiful Indianapolis Motor Speedway property without cars going around the track,” Howard explains. “IU Health has had a relationship with the IMS since 1910, and at the time, the IMS was interested in finding ways to bring the community to the track, outside of race day.”

The idea to focus an event on the trauma center and critical-care needs of IU Health is because of the IU Health Emergency Medical Center’s location at the IMS. Any time anyone needs medical care out at the track, there is a staff of physicians who provide care, free of charge. “It’s the busiest medical center in the entire nation on race day, and it’s also the only track hospital that has a blood refrigerator, so they have blood on-site in case there’s a horrible accident so they can do blood transfusions on the track,” Howard says.

Rev has raised more than $6 million since its inception in 2014. Howard is proud of the reach and impact that the fundraising efforts by Rev have had on the state of Indiana. “It’s an amazing event from not only an experience standpoint, but it also touches so many people without them even knowing,” Howard says. Proceeds from the Rev Indy event have benefitted IU Health emergency transport, LifeLine, trauma education and training, physical therapy teams, and nurse training, all of which serve the entire state.

All tickets and volunteer positions are filled for this year, but there are a lot of ways to get involved with Rev Indy next year. Tickets go on sale on December 1 every year, so mark your calendars. Want to volunteer? Rev Indy accepts up to 350 volunteer positions. Registration for volunteers opens online in mid-February. To learn more about Rev or to join the wait list for thisRev Indy year’s event, visit

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