TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – It’s game time in Terre Haute. As the clock counts down until Sycamore tip-off, Hulman Center is home to those who are true to blue.
“Matt was involved in a lot of things,” said Katie Shane, “He had a lot of passions and ISU basketball was definitely one of them.”
It’s been only a few months since Matt Luecking’s death. Many remember him as a popular local DJ, but to those who knew him personally, he was a man with a big heart and a proud ISU alum.
“He never met a stranger, he always had jokes, fun things to talk about and he was just so well-loved by really everyone in the community,” Shane said, “He really loved everything and everyone really loved Matt.”
Shane is also part of the Matt Luecking Foundation. The foundation, made up of about 20-25 members, is an endowment focused on giving back and contributing to projects and causes that Luecking was passionate about.
On Wednesday, foundation members took to Hulman Center to collect donations. The location took on a special meaning as it was one of Luecking’s favorite places to be watching his Sycamores play ball.
“When we were putting together events, we thought what better feeling than to pay tribute to him here,” Shane said.
Shane says they’ve raised about $14,000 so far for the Matt Luecking Foundation. She says members picked out three causes for the foundation to donate to, including the Vigo County Education Foundation, Terre Haute City Parks and the Terre Haute Children’s Museum.
“Donating to our community is the only way that we can make our community better,” Shane said, “whether it’s your time, your funds, whatever, but we have to believe in Terre Haute and our community and Matt was a person that really did that.”
For a man who truly loved his community, Shane says this is just one piece of the great impact Luecking had on many.
“We are doing just a small part of something that he did for so many people,” she said, “We can really pass Matt’s legacy, his passion for our community, and we can pass that on for years to come. It feels good, a little bittersweet, but I really feel that Matt is smiling down on us and excited about it.”
During halftime, ISU and the Matt Luecking Foundation honored Luecking through a video tribute.