News Release: From: The Indiana Coalition on Housing and Homeless Issues (ICHHI) Lucas Family to Support Indiana Homeless Walks Indianapolis. The Indiana Coalition on Housing and Homeless Issues (ICHHI) is pleased to announce that Forrest and Charlotte Lucas, the founders and owners of Lucas Oil Products, and their son Morgan have agreed to be the 2008 Honorary Statewide Chairpersons of Homeward Bound - Indianas 5K Walk series to provide housing and fight homelessness. Homeward Bound, a project of ICHHI, is an annual series of walks in communities throughout the state during the month of April. Since its inception in 2003, Homeward Bound has raised nearly $2,000,000 for over 90 affordable housing and homeless service providers around the state, making it Indianas largest grassroots fundraiser with the ultimate goal of ending homelessness. In 2007 alone, Homeward Bound raised nearly $540,000. Overcoming poverty is something that the Lucas family knows a great deal about. Less than 20 years ago, before the success of Lucas Oil Products, there were times when Forrest and Charlotte skipped meals to save money. "I remember when our son, Morgan, would get lunch and we would wait until dinner time to eat," Charlotte says. "We had just moved to California and were living in an efficiency motel at first. After the first month Forrest went home for our furniture and I went looking for an apartment or a house - whichever one we could afford." Charlotte was born in Huntingburg, Indiana but spent her formative years in Birdseye, Indiana. Her father, Thomas, worked road construction for Olinger Construction Company of Huntingburg and her mother, Ruth, worked re-upholstering furniture and car seats and made artificial flower arrangements, starting after an accident put their 13 year old son (Charlottes brother) in the hospital for close to nine months. Her parents taught Charlotte the difference between right and wrong and to go out and work for what she wanted to achieve. Forrests family moved around between Jackson, Brown and Bartholomew counties when he was small, living without electricity until he was eight or nine years old. He has three wonderful sisters - Carol Diane, Connie Joann, and Brenda Kay. His father, Raymond, was a hard working concrete mason, and his mother, Marie, was a nurse at the Columbus, Indiana hospital. Raymond and Marie, especially Marie, were the people responsible for starting Forrest off on the right foot in life as a young man with his eyes on the future. He was an entrepreneur at a very early age just as he is at this time! While the Lucas family has come a long way since their humble southern Indiana beginnings, they clearly havent forgotten where they came from. "The Lucas family has received unprecedented acclaim and notoriety since Lucas Oil bought the naming rights to the new Indianapolis Colts stadium. It is our hope that they receive equal or greater acclaim and notoriety for their willingness to help ICHHI ensure that every Hoosier has a safe place to call home, a safety net of social services and a path to self-sufficiency," says Steve Midkiff, ICHHIs Executive Director. "We are truly honored to have the Lucas family serve as the Honorary Chairs of our 2008 walks." Forrest Lucas says, "When Steve Midkiff mentioned the Homeward Bound walks and ICHHI to us Im sorry to say that we hadnt ever heard of them before. It didnt take Steve long to bring us up to speed on what both of these programs are about. We ourselves have talked about the creative financing that has been going on in the mortgaging industry, knowing that sometime in the near future that Murphys Law would prevail. Entire families would be without their homes, not necessarily through any fault of their own. This is a terrible travesty that shouldnt be happening - and this is on top of the, for lack of a better word, normal number of people that are homeless." "Over the years Ive had family members that have availed themselves of the services of homeless shelters across this country - not a lot of times - but they have done so," says Charlotte Lucas. "Im thankful that these shelters and food kitchens were there when my family needed them. Now its our turn to be able to give back and were proud to be affiliated with ICHHI, Homeward Bound and Steve Midkiff. I truly appreciate them asking my family to get involved." Forrest Lucas says, "When I first heard that the average age of a homeless person in Indiana was "9", as much as I didnt want to believe it, I knew it was true. I knew that Charlotte and I wanted to make a difference, we wanted to support an organization that not only houses those in need, but at the same time educates, trains and empowers those individuals to create a better life for themselves and their families. Through ICHHI and the Homeward Bound program I think weve done just that." Lt. Governor Becky Skillman, who chaired the Homeward Bound walks the past three years, says, "In my role as Lt. Governor, few opportunities have been as rewarding as working with Homeward Bound. I commend the Lucas family for choosing to partner with ICHHI and Im sure they will get as much out of their time with Homeward Bound as I did. I look forward to watching Homeward Bound reach even greater heights in bringing awareness to this important cause." This years Homeward Bound Walks will take place in the following locations: Site Walk Date Registration Begins Walk Venue South Central (Bloomington) 4/6/2008 12:00pm 3rd Street Park Southwestern (Evansville) 4/12/2008 8:30am Garvin Park La Porte County (Michigan City) 4/12/2008 8:00am Washington Park West Central (Lafayette) 4/20/2008 12:00pm Howarth Center East Central (Chesterfield) 4/27/2008 12:00pm Millcreek Civic Center Central (Indianapolis) 4/27/2008 12:00pm University Park North Central (South Bend) 4/27/2008 12:00pm College Football Hall of Fame Northeastern (Fort Wayne) 4/27/2008 12:00pm Headwaters Park For more information on a Homeward Bound Walk near you, please visit http://www.HomewardBoundIndiana.org.