Thirteen years ago, Joe Tiller, Purdue's head football coach at the time, presented a challenge of forming one of the largest chapters in the National Football Foundation here in Northwest Indiana. Since receiving its charter in Tippecanoe County, the Northwest Indiana Chapter (which was renamed in 2007 the Joe Tiller Chapter of Northwest Indiana) has enlisted more than 700 members, becoming the largest chapter in the state and the second largest in the nation at one point.
As a group of football-loving enthusiasts with the purpose of advancing amateur football at the local, state and national levels, the Joe Tiller Chapter of the NFF provides grassroots support in a many ways.
As a non-profit organization, this chapter has awarded more than $275,000 in grants, scholarships, honorariums and donations since receiving its charter in 2004.
Through out first 13 years as a chapter, we have honored 334 individuals for their accomplishments, including 242 scholar-athletes who have been awarded a total of more than $210,000 in scholarships and honorariums for college.
This chapter offers scholarship opportunities for scholar athletes at 70 high schools in 17 Northwest Indiana counties (Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Fountain, Fulton, Howard, Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Miami, Newton, Porter, Pulaski, Tippecanoe, Warren and White). Selection of the Scholar Athlete of the Year is based 40% on academic achievement, 40% football performance and attitude, and 20% leadership and citizenship. In addition to seeking donations and sponsorships to support the scholarship program, the chapter also receives money ($500 for every 50 dues-paying members in the local chapter) from the national office in Irving, Tex.
In addition to the scholarships, the local chapter has been involved with youth programs such as the Dream Season (providing experiences for kids and young adults with disabilities) and the Lafayette 56ers, Attica Youth Football, Little Gridiron, and West Side Flag Football, helping to provide opportunities for elementary school-aged players in the area. The chapter also helps to support the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.
The NFF chapter is one of 120 nation-wide. Other Indiana chapters are in South Bend, Fort Wayne, Evansville and Indianapolis. Nationally, the NFF has more than 12,000 members and awards more than $1.3 million in scholarships each year.
A record number of 52 people, ranging in age from 18 to 87, were recognized for their achievements at the 2018 edition of the National Football Foundation’s Honors Dinner on June 10 at the Four Points by Sheraton Grand Ballroom in West Lafayette.
The event definitely had a “quarterback” flair as the Purdue University community celebrated the inductions of two former Boilermaker QBs into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame
and the recognition of two current Boilermaker QBs as award winners.
The Lafayette Journal & Courier and the Indiana Football Coaches Association assisted the NFF’s Joe Tiller Chapter of
Northwest Indiana at this “Celebrating Our Legends XIV” Dinner.
The new Indiana Football Hall of Fame members are a pair of former Purdue quarterbacks from the 1950’s, Dale Samuels and Len Dawson, while current Purdue QBs David Blough and Elijah Sindelar received two of the chapter’s top annual awards, the Citizenship
Award and the Drew Brees Mental Toughness Award, respectively.
The chapter awards presented this year were:
For more information about the event, click the link below.
Jack DeGroot of Winamac High School was the recipient of the 2017 NFF Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.
They have made their families, their schools and our chapter members and supporters proud.
Our Scholar-Athletes of the Year are chosen using this criteria:
A few highlights of our scholarship program:
That’s what we call a touchdown! The money has come from chapter revenues, member contributions and sponsorships. Now, we’d like that score to reach even higher, and we’d like to ensure the permanence of our scholarship program.
To do that, our chapter is kicking off a campaign to raise funds for a scholarship endowment. We need your help. Money raised will be placed in the endowment and held forever, making your gift a lasting one, indeed. The money will be wisely invested by our national organization, and proceeds earned will help fund chapter scholarships. This way, we create an ongoing source for scholarship assistance.
Please consider making a lasting investment in our student-athletes. You believe in them, and helping them achieve their potential is a big win—for them, for our communities, for you as a donor and for our chapter.
Questions? Email or call President Kelly Kitchel (firstname.lastname@example.org; 765-412-7215) or Executive Director Jim Vruggink (email@example.com; 765/427-3303).
Please send your most generous contribution today. Make your check payable to the National Football Foundation, noting in the memo line: NFF Tiller/NW Indiana Chapter Endowment. Mail it to: