ABOUT

MISSION STATEMENT

To build on Indianola’s reputation as a community committed to its youth by providing opportunities for kids to develop their personal best, make good choices, model positive behaviors, and build leadership skills.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

ICYF consists of an 11 member board and one Executive Director. These 12 individuals come from different backgrounds and skill sets, which help the foundation keep moving forward successfully. A few traits you’ll find in each board member are kindness, passion, and motivation. You are sure to witness these characteristics if you see any of our board members out and about in the community, whether it be cheering on the Indians, volunteering at a local event, or chatting you up for a donation to benefit the youth. For more information about our board members, click their photo to read their bios.

Founders of The Indianola Community Youth Foundation

Casey & Abbie Blake

Jon Fitzpatrick

Jeff Hartung

Kamie Haynes

Executive Director

Taylor Litchkey

Dixie McConnell

Larry McConnell

Jeff Petersen

Treasurer

Gina Piper

Nathan Seberg

Clint Welling

Founders of The Indianola Community Youth Foundation

Casey & Abbie Blake

Abbie and Casey founded ICYF with the intention of more practice space in Indianola. The original sketch of the Blake Fieldhouse was done on a napkin and after matching the million, the vision was brought to life and has grown into so much more than a practice facility.

Casey and Abbie both graduated from Indianola High School. They were married in 1999 and have six children; Bailey, Lauren, Dana, George, Mady, and Quinn.

Casey attended Wichita State University. In 1996, Casey began his professional baseball career. Casey retired from baseball in 2012. In his spare time, Casey enjoys hunting and giving back to the community. “My favorite part about ICYF is the positive impact that is made on the youth in Indianola.”

Favorite healthy snack: Celery with peanut butter

Abbie attended Simpson College and earned a degree in Elementary Education. Abbie enjoyed raising her children, working as a stay-at-home mom. In her spare time, you can find Abbie volunteering at the YMCA or substitute teaching.

Abbie said, “I enjoy being part of ICYF and watching the young people in the town benefit from the opportunities the foundation has provided over the years.”

Favorite healthy snack: peanut butter/banana toast with honey.

Jon Fitzpatrick

Jon earned his Bachelor’s degree from Simpson College and his Master’s from Iowa State University. Jon is the Assistant Activities Director for the Indianola High School. Jon and his wife, Christina, have three children, Owen, Lucas, and Lauren. Jon enjoys running and participates in various marathons throughout the year. In his spare time, you can find Jon at sporting events or reading.

Jon joined the ICYF board in 2021 as an advocate and partner within the school district. Jon says, “I support ICYF because ICYF provides opportunities for the Indianola youth to live active and healthy lifestyles.”

Favorite healthy snack: Strawberries

Jeff Hartung

Jeff earned his education at Simpson College. He then attended Des Moines University where he became a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Jeff is an Emergency Medicine Physician at Pella Regional Health Center. Jeff and his wife, Pam, live in Indianola with their sons, Kam, Kade, and Kye. In Jeff’s spare time you can find him watching his sons play sports or running.

Jeff was part of the original team and helped implement the vision Casey had. Jeff has been on the ICYF board ever since. Jeff says, “I am amazed by the support the community has given to the foundation. Casey and Abbie have shown tremendous generosity in starting this vision.”

Favorite healthy snack: Strawberries

Kamie Haynes

Kamie received her Communications degree from Simpson College. Kamie owns and operates Lula Belle Designs, a local shop on the Indianola square. Kamie serves on the Simpson College Board of Trustees and the Kiya Koda Human Society Board. She is also a youth group leader at her church and volunteers for Pi Beta Phi Sorority. Kamie and her husband, Gary, enjoy spending time with their children; Grady, Gaby, and Maren. As a family, the Haynes’ like to spend time outdoors hot-air ballooning and walking their dogs.

Kamie got involved with ICYF when Larry McConnell sought her out for her love for the community. Kamie says, “I believe in the ICYF mission its motto of “it is all about the youth” I think it is very cool that Casey and Abbie wanted to build a safe place for kids to play ball and practice their skills. The Blake Fieldhouse has proven to be a real asset to our community and I find it fun and challenging to keep their mission going and seek out other ways we can be of service to Indianola youth. I’m honored to serve on this working board and to play a part in helping make a difference.”

Favorite healthy snack: Grilled pineapple and blueberries

Executive Director

Taylor Litchkey

Taylor earned a degree in English and Human Resources from Simpson College. Taylor lives on an acreage with her husband Tyler, daughter Teagan, and many animals. Taylor currently volunteers as Secretary for the Warren County Leadership Institute Board and Treasurer for the Milo Country Christmas Committee. In her spare time, she can be found reading and crafting.

Taylor has been involved with ICYF in small ways since the beginning. Back in 2010 she volunteered as part of the Impulse dance team and handed out Casey Blake bobbleheads at an event. Taylor’s high school class was the first to hold graduation in the Blake Fieldhouse and her signature is on the jersey that was donated to document the occasion. In 2019, Taylor was named the Director for ICYF and considers herself blessed to be part of the foundation. Taylor says, “ I encourage you to support ICYF. Your contribution will help make a difference in the lives of community youth. If you cannot contribute financially, consider liking/sharing our posts on social media to help share our mission with others. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to taylorn@icyf.org.”

Favorite healthy snack: Apples

Dixie McConnell

Dixie graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Business Administration and a certificate in Entrepreneurship. Dixie and her husband, Ross, have two children, Cooper and Collins. Dixie has worked at Wells Fargo for 14 years and currently supports risk oversight activities for vendor management. In her spare time, Dixie can be found training for sprint triathlons, traveling, reading, and spending time in the kitchen cooking.

Dixie and her family have been supporters of ICYF since it was founded in 2009 and consider their favorite event thus far, the pickleball tournament that was held in 2019. Dixie joined the ICYF board in 2021. Dixie said, “I believe in the mission of ICYF. Giving youth a strong foundation that will guide them through the rest of their life starts with providing positive opportunities and modeling positive behaviors. Continuing to build on that culture in our schools and community is everyone’s responsibility and to support ICYF helps make that happen!”

Favorite healthy snack: Apples or bananas with peanut butter

Larry McConnell

Larry lives in Indianola but spends his time as a concessioner, traveling around the nation. Larry has been a concessioner for 44 years and has several stands at the Iowa State Fair. Larry kept his family legacy going as the owner of the Indianola A&W from 1985 to 2020. In his spare time, Larry can be found enjoying time with his family; children, Anna, James, Gracie and grandchildren.

Larry has been a part of the ICYF board since day one and makes a huge impact on ICYF’s fundraising efforts. Larry said “I’m inspired by Casey and Abbie’s willingness to give back to the community they grew up in. I love Indianola and I love kids…ICYF is all about caring for both.”

Favorite healthy snack: Steamed vegetables

Jeff Petersen

Jeff graduated from North Iowa Area Community College and then earned a degree in Mortuary Science from Worsham College. Jeff and his wife, Mary, purchased Overton Funeral Home in 2007. Jeff and Mary have three children, Alex, Megan, and Nicholas. Jeff is a proud grandfather as well. In his spare time, you can find him riding his bike and relaxing in Clear Lake.

Jeff joined the ICYF board during the initial fundraising efforts as part of “Match the Million.” He started showing up to meetings and hasn’t ever left. Jeff says, “The main reason for my involvement is because this is all about kids and trying to make a difference. It’s something local and has people involved that truly believe in what is being done.”

Favorite healthy snack: Fruit, specifically strawberries, melons, and blueberries

Treasurer

Gina Piper

Gina pursued an education from Creighton University with a double major in Finance/Marketing and minor in Economics. Gina and her husband, Rich, own DDVI, Inc. a construction business and family legacy, located here in Indianola. Gina dedicates her time to her three sons, Tyler, Nicholas, & Logan. You can find her watching the boys on the ball field, court, and track. In her free time, Gina likes to cheer on the Hawkeyes, bake, and give back to the community.

Gina joined the ICYF board when Darcy Moeller sought her out for her other activity in the community. Gina continues to support ICYF because the slogan, “It’s all about the youth”, is something she grew up knowing and she wants to carry on those traditions here. Gina says, “Kids today are so driven by electronics and social media so it’s important to keep them active and connected with the community.”

Favorite healthy snack: Strawberries

Nathan Seberg

Nate graduated from Simpson College with a degree in Sports Administration and Management. Nate recently started a business that creates alternative wastewater solutions for rural Iowa communities. Nate lives in Indianola with his wife, Jenny, and children; Trenton, Kellan, and Elyse. In his spare time, Nate can be found building his new business, spending time with family, or watching his sons play sports.

Nate joined the ICYF board after volunteering at the ICYF Haunted House for a few years. Nate says, “It is an organization that truly practices what it preaches. Decisions and directions are made based on the principle of youth betterment, and it is great to see lives impacted from open gym, to community engagements, and the Helping Hand food pantry expansion.”

Favorite healthy snack: Fresh fruit and vegetables

Clint Welling

Clint attended the University of Iowa and graduated with a degree in Economics. Clint has worked for TruBank since 2008 and is currently the Executive Vice President. Clint and his wife, Dawn, enjoy their free time watching their sons, Owen and Samuel, play baseball, basketball, and soccer. When time allows, the Welling family enjoys boating and cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Clint has supported ICYF since the beginning and most recently joined the ICYF board in 2021. Clint says he supports ICYF because, “ICYF has been a great organization for the community and the vision that they have for continued involvement is tremendous. You can see the difference ICYF has made within our community with the food pantry expansion at Helping Hand and the Blake Fieldhouse.”

Favorite healthy snack: Oranges

FAQS

The schedule varies due to activities and events hosted in the Blake Fieldhouse. Weekly hours are posted every Monday on Facebook and Instagram. A hard copy of the calendar can also be found outside the Fieldhouse doors. Don’t forget to text ICYF to 1-888-912-4594 to join our text alert system. Messages are sent out about cancellations, events, and more.  Message and data rates may apply.

In general, we have the following schedule–

During the school year (traditional calendar): Monday through Thursday 6-9 pm // Sundays 1-4 pm

During the summer: Afternoons 1-4 pm // when events are in the Fieldhouse (basketball camps, for example) there is no open gym that day

The Blake Fieldhouse closes for 2-3 weeks during the summer for maintenance and cleaning. Those dates are announced closer to the summer season.

Open Gym is free to the community and is always supervised. Children 13 and under need to accompanied by an adult. During Open Gym times, equipment can be checked out for use. Equipment available includes basketballs, soccer balls, volleyballs, and footballs. Equipment check out is first come, first serve. Feel free to bring your own equipment but know that ICYF is not responsible for lost or stolen items. The walking track is also available.

Yes, it is possible to rent the Blake Fieldhouse. You can reserve the entire Fieldhouse, or individual court space. The Fieldhouse hosts a variety of events throughout the year, and is growing in popularity. Your first step should be to check our calendar page for availability. The Indianola School District holds the rental agreement for the Blake Fieldhouse, and has a more detailed calendar for future months. If the date you wish to use the Fieldhouse appears open, contact the Activities Office (515-961-9510) or email lee.nelson@indianola.k12.ia.us for the rental policy and payment information.

We get many requests, and we love to help out; we want to make sure our resources are going directly back to those who give back to our community. Please send ICYF a written request explaining what items you are interested in, and explain your group or organization supports Indianola. You can email our Executive Director, or mail the document to our PO Box. We are unable to respond to requests on short notice. Please give us at least 30 days in advance to decide on a donation request.

Yes, ICYF has been approved by the IRS as a 501(c)3 Foundation. You can donate online through our website, by attending one of our fundraisers throughout the year, or mailing a check to the ICYF address (PO Box 423, Indianola, IA 50125).

To build on Indianola’s reputation as a community committed to its youth by providing opportunities for kids to develop their personal best, make good choices, model positive behaviors, and build leadership skills.

Major League Baseball player and Indianola natives Casey Blake and his wife Abbie initiated the Indianola Community Youth Foundation to fund efforts that will benefit Indianola kids. The foundation was created as a way for the Blakes to give back to their community and to build on Indianola’s reputation as a community committed to its youth.

Our Executive Board currently has 11 members. The Board is: Abbie Blake, Casey Blake, Jon Fitzpatrick, Jeff Hartung, Kamie Haynes, Dixie McConnell, Larry McConnell, Jeff Petersen, Gina Piper, Nathan Seberg, and Clint Welling.

No. The effort to provide additional athletic facilities for the youth of our community was the first goal of the ICYF. The ICYF was created to support efforts that benefit the youth of Indianola. We are developing more programs to reach more youth, and will roll them out gradually.

ICYF is known for reoccurring events like weekly open gym hours, Back to School Bash, and Trunk or Treat. We also have our annual Eat Well, Play Well nutrition campaign going each year. Currently, we are improving our mentorship program and are looking for new ways to promote nutrition and wellness. ICYF is always trying to find new ways to benefit the youth in our community. Make sure to follow us on social media to stay up to date with our latest projects and programming.

Contact Taylor at taylorn@icyf.org or call 515-961-9500 ext. 3174