2015 Mad Anthonys Red Coat Dinner Honors Chuck Surack


Brought to you by Mad Anthonys Children’s Hope House.

Mad Anthonys held its 58th annual Red Coat dinner on September 9th, an annual fundraising event for Mad Anthonys Children’s Hope House. The Red Coat, an honor awarded to a person who has made a positive impact on Indiana or the Fort Wayne region, was given to Chuck Surack of Sweetwater Sound.

From a young age, Surack’s entrepreneurial spirit was obvious. In his early years, he spent time making and selling pot holders and managing his paper route — small business endeavors that would one day lead him to where he is today. He’s always had a passion for all things musical, so it was no surprise that his dream was to open a recording studio. He first made that dream a reality by opening a studio inside a VW bus, a far cry from his current position as founder and owner of Sweetwater Sound (the largest online retailer of music instruments and audio gear in the U.S.). In addition to Sweetwater, he’s founded 10 other businesses, including Sweet Aviation, Sweet Cars, and Longe Optical. Surack and his wife are leading philanthropists in Fort Wayne, actively involved in the community they firmly believe in giving back whenever they can. They are both heavily involved with The Lutheran Health Network and Lutheran Hospital.


“Personally and professionally, Chuck’s passion for making Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana a better place has inspired everything he does,” said Don Banowetz, chair of the Mad Anthonys board of directors in a statement. “Just as importantly, his focus on helping others, giving back and making his community better embodies what Mad Anthonys is all about, which is why we are honored to recognize him as our 2015 Red Coat recipient.”

Funds raised through the annual Red Coat Dinner are given to Mad Anthonys Children’s Hope House, an organization that provides temporary housing for families with a hospitalized child at any hospital in the Fort Wayne area.

Donations to Children’s Hope House help families be close to their child during an especially difficult time, and allows them to have peace about day to day activities, like where they will do their laundry, and cook their food. The Children’s Hope House serves as a second home to the families in need while providing emotional support. They never turn away a family because of inability to pay thanks to the Mad Anthonys Foundation.

You can make a donation to Mad Anthonys Children’s Foundation here.

Photos from the Red Coat Dinner:

Governor Mike Pence

Governor Mike Pence

Chuck Surack, winner of this year's Red Coat.

Chuck Surack, winner of this year's Red Coat.


Enjoy this? See photos from last year's event: