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National FFA makes donation to hospitality fund

FILE PHOTO: The national FFA leaders for the 2019-20 year gavel the convention to order. (Provided Photo/FFA)

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — The sea of blue jackets worn by National FFA members won’t be seen at the organization’s convention and frequenting restaurants in downtown Indianapolis this fall since the pandemic has prompted a change to a virtual convention, but it’s not stopping the organization from giving back to its host city.

The National FFA has announced it will make a $10,000 donation to the Indiana Hospitality Relief Fund through the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association. 

“The women and men in the Indianapolis hospitality industry always roll out the red carpet for our members and guests during our convention each October,” said National FFA Organization Chief Executive Officer Mark Poeschl. “This unprecedented time has created hardships for many, and while we won’t be able to see our friends across the city in-person this fall, we wanted to let them know that we are still thinking of them, that we want to support them and that we are looking forward to seeing them again in 2021.”

The convention and expo typically bring more than 65,000 visitors with an economic impact of around $35 million.

“Though we will miss welcoming National FFA visitors to Indy in person this year, we are extremely thankful their positive impact in our city will continue,” said Chris Gahl with Visit Indy. “With roughly half of the city’s 83,000 men and women who depend on tourism for a paycheck currently unemployed tied to COVID, we are thankful for the generous donation to support these families during this difficult time.”

The pandemic is also halting the typical National Days of Service where members volunteer throughout the city to help in various ways. Instead, this month they will begin a series of volunteer opportunities to have nationwide community engagement programs.

The convention will be held virtually from October 27-29 and can be seen on RFD-TV and the Cowboy Channel. You can learn about the convention here