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Sheriffs Buy Youth Ranch Property

Last updated on Sunday, April 8, 2018

(MARION) - Board members of the not-for-profit Indiana Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch today voted unanimously to move forward with the purchase of the 62 acres in West Central Indiana where they are developing a permanent home for their summer leadership camps.

For two years, the law enforcement charity had rented the property for $1 per year.

In late February, Tony and Sue Ardizzone, owners of Ardizzone Enterprises, Inc., a real estate investment and development company in Indianapolis, challenged the sheriffs to a major fundraising drive. The Ardizzone family pledged to match donations dollar-for-dollar, if sheriffs can raise $500,000 by Aug. 31, 2018. The Ardizzone match is to be used to forgive the mortgage note on the property.

"An influx of $1 million - $500,000 in donations being raised by sheriffs and $500,000 in the Ardizzone family's "Kick In For Kids" match - will eliminate the mortgage, run needed utilities and buy materials for many of our recreation facilities and smaller facilities," said Marion County Sheriff John Layton, who chairs the Youth Ranch board.

For 38 years, sheriffs and deputies have hosted summer leadership camps at other rented venues. The Youth Ranch will be the permanent home for these camps to mentor future deputies, police officers and troopers and bond with at-risk kids. By owning the Youth Ranch, sheriffs and deputies hope to expand the camps to more days per week and more weeks per year - effectively quadrupling the number of middle schoolers reached. Sheriffs also hope to expand programming to offer spring and fall weekend retreats for young witnesses, victims and survivors - including sons and daughters of fallen officers.

Personal, business, foundation and civic club checks may be dropped off at any local sheriff's office or mailed directly to the Indiana Sheriffs' Youth Ranch, 5401 S. East St., Suite 117, Indianapolis, IN 46227.

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