Charitable causes and special events highlight 2009 Annual Meeting


Vicky Oddi
Communications Coordinator
USA Track & Field

INDIANAPOLIS - USA Track & Field is reaching out to the Indianapolis community by partnering with Herron High School and Samaritan's Feet during the 2009 USATF Annual Meeting held in Indianapolis, Ind., December 2-6.

Members of USATF can commemorate the Sport of Historic Performance, the theme of this year's Annual Meeting, by taking home an original piece of artwork while giving back to the community. Local students from Herron High School, an Indianapolis public charter school, were commissioned to create artwork that gives their unique perspective on motion, running, and the sport of track and field.

USATF members will help fund the school's curriculum by bidding on their authentic art. The highest bidders will take home original art with all proceeds, less shipping costs, benefitting Herron High School.

Samaritan's Feet (, is a humanitarian relief organization that puts shoes on kids feet all around the world. Its team of ambassadors demonstrates servant leadership by washing the feet of all the people receiving the shoes and they share with each recipient a message of hope. There are over 300 million children who wake up every morning without shoes. They suffer from diseases, infection and many other ailments because they do not have shoes to wear.

USA Track & Field encourages its members, athletes, media partners, fans and the Indianapolis community to support this shoe drive and help provide hope to children in need.

There are two ways to donate:

1) Bring a new pair (or pairs) of shoes to the 2009 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis and drop them in the collection bins located near Annual Meeting Registration located at the Westin hotel.


2) Text the keyword SHOES to #85944.You will receive a text back asking if you would like to donate $5 to Samaritan's Feet.A simple confirmation reply will complete your transaction (or a chance to opt out if you change your mind), and the $5 donation will be added to your next cell phone bill.This is a one-time donation that can be repeated five times each month (up to $25, changing the lives of five children!)

Other special events to be held during the Annual Meeting include:

Opening Session presented by Hershey's Track & Field Games

On Thursday, December 3 at 9:00am, Chairman and President Stephanie Hightower will officially call the meeting to order and welcome all participants to Indianapolis. Attendees will also be treated to National Track & Field Hall of Famer and Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner delivering the keynote speech.

Welcome Reception hosted by2010 Annual Meeting host Virginia Beach, Va.

That same night at 7:00pm, Virginia Beach is hosting a welcome reception. They are excited and honored to be hosting the USATF Annual Meeting in 2010 and what better way to get ready than by attending a "Beach Party?" Join our 2010 Annual Meeting Hosts for a fun opportunity to socialize with other meeting goers while enjoying hors d'oeuvres and drinks. Make plans to catch up with old friends and have an enjoyable evening before the next day's meetings.

High Performance Expo Presented by St. Vincent Sports Performance

St. Vincent Sports Performance and USA Track & Field will be showcasing aspects of their joint initiative, Elite Athlete Medical Support Program, with trainer demonstrations, video elements, and PowerPoint presentations.

Other USA Track & Field partners like Nike and Gill Athletics, in conjunction with RGN Track Supplies, will also present their latest products and innovations. It is a new and interactive Expo that promises to be informative, lively, educational, and fun!

On Friday, December 4 from 8:00-10:00am in the Capital Ballroom at the Westin, members can listen to the sounds of the Herron High School Choir, a public charter school in downtown Indianapolis, as they sing holiday carols for the first hour of the complimentary expo breakfast.

Conducting a Safe Event: Minimizing Mishaps, Injures and Lawsuits

On Friday, December 4 from 2:30-5:30pm, a free seminar is open to all Annual Meeting Attendees, as well as community members, coaches and event directors. This seminar will be led by risk management expert Mike Price of Entertainment and Sports Insurance Experts (ESIX) and will cover areas such as risk avoidance, risk transfer, risk acceptance, and insurance coverage options. A dynamic exchange of information, insights and ideas among the presenters and participants is expected.

Jesse Owens Hall of Fame Dinner

Starting at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 5, USATF will host their annual gala to celebrate the best of The Sport of Historic Performances. The evening starts with a reception, features a seated dinner and culminates with the presentation of USATF's most prestigious awards. The Jesse Owens Award is presented to the top male and female athletes of the year as voted on by members of the media, and for the first time ever, the fans. Finally, recognizing our stars of the past and their historic performances, the 2009 class of the National Track and Field Hall of Fame will be inducted. An autograph session with the Jesse Owens award winners and Hall of Famers will follow.

Please note that tickets are required for the Jesse Owens/Hall of Fame Banquet. Tickets are available for purchase during the registration process and on-site. You may purchase seats individually for $60, or buy table (10 seats) for $600.

For more information on the 2009 USATF Annual Meeting, visit