So it was a big deal Wednesday, June 20, for the youth-driven Y-Press news gathering organization in Indianapolis when it did just that. Y-Press, in operation since 1990, held "The Big Why," the title of its first-ever fundraiser in a converted downtown Indianapolis school building that is now home to the advertising agency Young & Laramore, and Colts and Pacers coaches Chuck Pagano and Frank Vogel were featured guests.
Through its history, staffers of Y-Press -- formerly known as Children's Express -- made a point of reporting and conducting interviews without adult supervision. It's been a hallmark of the group's mission -- to learn by doing. They made an exception for Wednesday's fundraiser; the point, in fact, was to publicly display what they did to generate the support they were hoping to get through the fundraising mechanism.
Attendees paid $100 per ticket to watch as five Y-Press staffers questioned Pagano and Vogel. The youths' research for their questions was so solid, they somehow learned about when Vogel, as a 13-year-old, appeared on the "Stupid Human Tricks" segment of the "Late Night With David Letterman" program to show how he could spin a basketball on a toothbrush -- while brushing his teeth. So the youths asked Vogel to reprise the trick for the crowd, and the impressed coach remarked, "You guys did your research!" before complying and giving the delighted crowd a show.
Afterward, the coaches met attendees, signed autographs and posed for pictures with them. Y-Press asked me if I would photograph the event for their promotional needs, and today's post features some of the shots from that shoot.
If you weren't able to attend "The Big Why" but would like to donate or contribute to the Y-Press endeavor, you can do so online at this page of the Y-Press website.
WTHR-TV asked Y-Press staffer Isaiah Treadwell to conduct a brief interview of Pagano for a live segment on Channel 13's 6 p.m. news broadcast. Afterward, WTHR's Dave Calabro asked Isaiah if he had any time to work for the station this summer.
Above: Vogel, the coaches wives, Pacers' director of media relations David Benner, Young & Laramore president Tom Denari, other Y-Press staffers and Y-Press bureau director Lynn Sygiel (woman seated) watched Isaiah's interview on live TV in the green room.
Above: Y-Press interviewers (from left) Isaiah Treadwell, Hrishi Deshpande, Naomi Farahan, Glen Schroering and Aine Montgomery.
Above and below: Vogel reprising his teenage "Stupid Human Trick" on the "Late Night With David Letterman" show.
Above: Vogel posing with Y-Press staffer Greta Herbertz, who emceed Wednesday's program.