The Indianapolis Ambassadors, Inc. is an organization whose members support and encourage involvement in the community. While meeting and working with others, members learn more about the city and what it has to offer. Following the first meeting in August 1983, the Indianapolis Ambassadors have been involved in a wide range of educational opportunities, volunteer events, and social activities.
Prior to 1983, a group like the Ambassadors did not exist. Discussions at various city organizations, including the Indianapolis Growth Project, the Commission for Downtown, Inc., and the Downtown Promotional Council, had been held concerning the need for a group such as Ambassadors. The idea became a reality due to a fortuitous TWA flight. A delayed flight to St. Louis had two passengers assigned to the same seat forcing an introduction between Joe Hammer, founder and first president of Indianapolis Ambassadors, and Carolyn Blitz, executive director of the Commission for Downtown, Inc. currently known as Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. During a four-hour lay-over, the seeds of the group were planted. In August 1983, Joe Hammer called together a group of young professionals to discuss the possibility of forming such an organization. The meeting led to a number of discussions with representatives from the Indianapolis Growth Project, to the formation of a steering committee, and finally, to the organization of the Indianapolis Ambassadors.
In April of 1988, the group incorporated and members began serving on committees for the Commission for Downtown, Inc. The Ambassador president became a member of both the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the commission and plans were made to move ahead to meet the demands of the 1990’s. In February of 1990, the group won its first community service award, a CASPER, for its participation in the Riley Hospital Holiday Card Project.
Throughout the 1990s, the Ambassadors continued to work closely with the city, Indianapolis Downtown Inc., and the greater Indianapolis area community. During that time, they expanded their focus to include events ranging from black tie fund-raisers to sporting events; area festivals to community revitalization; grand openings to family outings.
As the 21st Century approached, Ambassadors was cut loose from IDI and was incorporated as a completely self-standing all-volunteer-run 501(c)4 organization. Today we continue to provide volunteers to various civic and not-for-profit events in the greater Indianapolis area, and we like to think Indianapolis is a better city for it.