Community News

Donation made to HVAF from Veteran's Day event at Horseshoe Indianapolis

Horseshoe Indianapolis made a delivery to Helping Veterans and Families of Indiana (HVAF) Friday, December 16 from the special Veteran’s Day event held during live racing.


A special Veteran’s Day Challenge Handicapping Contest was held featuring 11 top handicappers from across the nation who placed wagers on the Pick 5. A total of $1,517.50 was raised through the promotion along with the delivery of 210 pounds of peanut butter collected by the jockeys at Horseshoe Indianapolis.


“Serving the veterans in our area has become an annual focal point for us and HVAF does a tremendous job in reaching and aiding those who have served our country,” said Eric Halstrom, Vice President and General Manager of Racing. “This is the second year we have held the special Veteran’s Day event featuring the Pick 5. Handicappers are more than willing to donate their time to assist us in supporting such a worthy cause.”


The Pick 5 Challenge included Steve Byk of “At the Races” Sirius Radio Show, Nick Hines, former veteran known as “Sarge” and Matt Carothers of Fanduel TV, Sara Elbadwi and Ed DeRosa of Horse Racing Nation, Gene McLean of “The Pressbox” podcast, Ellis Starr of Equibase, Anthony Stabile of New York Racing Association (NYRA) Bets, Scott Ehlers of Daily Racing Form, Dan Tordjman of America’s Best Racing, and Louis Rabaut of Horseplayers Now/Green Sheet. Each handicapper placed a $250 wager, courtesy of Horseshoe Indianapolis, on the Pick 5 Friday, Nov. 11. Byk, Ehlers, Starr, McLean, and Rabaut hit the wager for $252 each totaling $1,517.50. All proceeds were earmarked to HVAF.


“We are currently serving 250 veterans per month from our food pantry,” said Ashlee Walls-Pierce, Vice President for Advancement. “We have served 1,230 veterans through November and distributed 56,000 pounds of food, clothing, and personal hygiene items through our pantry. We serve any veteran in our pantry and are gearing up for our organization’s 30th anniversary next year.”


Walls noted peanut butter and canned meat are the two most requested items from the pantry. The headquarters are located in downtown Indianapolis with a total of 18 different housing properties managed by HVAF scattered around the area.


“In addition to our pantry, we have more than 350 individuals from our Christmas Outreach program receiving special Christmas items this year,” added Andrea Carlile, Community Engagement Coordinator. “Donations were made to these veterans and their families for needed items on special lists they submitted to us. Items ranged from pots and pans to a bicycle. Homelessness for veterans has gone down 35 percent over last year. During Covid it increased by 16 percent. A lot of our programs are preventative, so we are glad to see those percentages trending down.”


HVAF of Indiana, Inc. is the largest non-profit for veterans in the state of Indiana. They work tirelessly to end homelessness among veterans, offering additional solutions such as housing and re-integration services to prevent at-risk veterans from reaching that stage. For more information or to donate, visit the website at:


The 21st season of live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing resumes Tuesday, April 18 and concludes Friday, Nov. 17. Racing will be held during the week beginning at 2:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday with Thursday post times set at 2:10 p.m. Saturday racing will be offered on 16 dates in 2023 with six of those dates reserved for all-Quarter Horse action.


For more information on live racing at Horseshoe Indianapolis, visit