It was a great day for a good old-fashioned dunk tank. I had never experienced one before and when I found out it was to benefit active military members and their families, I was all in! The water was cold but the day was warm.

Wish for Our Heroes (W4OH) is a much needed non-profit organization that assists members of the armed forces and their families on a daily basis. They supply needs ranging from fixing a family vehicle to just spending time over a cup of coffee with those adjusting to life at home after a tour of duty. It is an all-volunteer organization that consists mostly of veterans or active military members. W4OH maintains a presence at Indianapolis Colts and Indy Eleven games, as well as, at the Indianapolis 500. Their booth in the fan village of Indianapolis Motor Speedway was complete with climbing wall and miniature obstacle course for your little ones to roam through.

Seeing the faces of children, and adults alike, light up as they attempted to dunk me, along with knowing I was helping bring awareness to W4OH, made falling in that chilly water all worth while. By the end of my turn in the tank, the cool water was actually quite refreshing on what became a pretty warm day. It was honor to band together with my fellow Loopers and work with those supporting our own American heroes here at home.

To learn more about W4OH and see myself and my fellow co-hosts face the frigid waters of the dunk tank, check out the video below!  And don’t forget to watch us, Jade, Erica, Jon and Kaylyn, every Sunday night at 11:30 on WISH-TV 8.  Keeping you IN the Loop of everything that is Indianapolis.

Written by Erica Stikeleather

Erica Stikeleather was born and raised in Indiana. Her studies brought her to Ohio where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Media from Cedarville University. She then interned in Washington, D.C. as a communications assistant with the civic education non-profit, Presidential Classroom, and also at Heartland Truly Moving Pictures, right here in Indianapolis. Erica has spent the last 3 years in Los Angeles, working in the entertainment industry, both in front of and behind the camera. While in LA, she walked in several fashion shows during LA Fashion week, for Macy’s on the RMS Queen Mary, and also in the Powertec Model & Fitness Competition for Elisabetta Rogiani at the W Hotel, Hollywood. She is a SAG-AFTRA actress with a passion for independent filmmaking. Some of her independent film work, Freerunner and Proxy, can be found on Netflix. She has acted in music videos with Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Chris Brown as well as in numerous television commercials. She can also be seen in the film, Gangster Squad, with Sean Penn. Erica’s studies have brought her back to her home state where she is currently enrolled at IUPUI as she prepares for veterinary school. She plans to combine her experience in filmmaking with veterinary medicine to create interactive documentaries about veterinary medicine around the world. Erica is thrilled to join IN The Loop and to show the world what the great city of Indianapolis has to offer. She loves fall in Indiana, farmer’s markets in the summer, horse-back riding, and seeing as many sporting events, live music, and museums as possible. If you see her out and about, come say hello, and let her know what you love about Indianapolis!