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Foundation awards $67,000 for local youth programs, fight against hunger

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By Vince Luecke

TELL CITY - The Perry County Community Foundation handed out checks totaling more than $67,000 Thursday evening, giving financial support to a variety of education, youth and outreach programs serving a cross-section of the county.

The yearly event hosted by the foundation in the Evangelical United Church of Christ's Fellowship Hall, recognizes donors to the foundation and the accomplishments made possible through their generosity.

"Any individual or business who has been a donor to the foundation has helped build the endowments that allow for our grants program," Grants Committee Chairman Joe Malone said. "It is through our donors that we are successful."

Joe Kress and Steve Upmeyer, current and incoming board president, respectively, said the foundation's leaders look forward to the annual check presentations and acknowledged the hard work community groups now face. "Our work ends tonight and your hard work begins," Kress said.

Funding for these grants was made possible by the Friends of Perry County Fund and the TCB Bank-Fifth Third Bank Fund, both of which are unrestricted. Donors who contribute to or create unrestricted funds give grant-making discretion to the foundation, allowing grants to be awarded based on the greatest needs in the community.

Four field-of-interest funds also contributed to this year's grant-making: the Crippled Children's Fund, which supports projects that serve disabled children; the Goble-Kleeman Fund for Young Children, which supports early childhood education and child care projects; the Ewing Environmental Fund, which supports environmental projects: and the Perry County Arts Fund, which supports arts-related programs and activities. Field-of-interest funds allow donors to direct support to a broader area of importance to them, like the environment, or to a specific geographic area, like Tell City.

The following organizations were awarded grants.

Cannelton Public Library, $4,196 to purchase computers and related equipment.

Cannelton Public Schools, $700 to continue support of a Learning to Give philanthropy program.

City of Tell City, $14,016 to purchase handicapped-accessible benches, picnic tables and concrete pads to enhance a planned RiverWalk walking-biking trail along the river.

Widow's Barrel Food Pantry, $4,000 for the Backpack Food for Kids Program, which provides food for children in need to take home over the weekend.

Evansville Philharmonic Orchestral Group, $200 from the Perry County Arts Fund to provide free concerts.

Perry Central Schools, $3,850 for the Anchor Bookstore program, which teaches students about entrepreneurship by being responsible for an in-school store from marketing to inventory to accounting.

Perry Central Schools, $2,500 from the Crippled Children's Fund for a Fluent Readers-Future Leaders Program, which supports early intervention for children with special learning needs. A separate $1,000 grant will support a school-philanthropy program.

Perry County Food Coalition, $3,000 to relocate the Cannelton Food Pantry into an unused area of the Perry County Council on Aging building.

Perry County Learning Partnership, $3,200 to expand a manufacturing-skills program and to support a customer-service skills program.

Perry County Parks and Recreation Department, $11,430 to purchase picnic shelters, picnic tables and concrete slabs for the shelters at Eagles Bluff Park.

Perry County Probation Department, $7,000 to increase the department's capacity to conduct random alcohol testing among Perry County probationers.

Perry County Red Cross Service Center, $1,000 to assist the local volunteer group in their work for emergency preparedness.

Perry County Substance Abuse Court, $7,000 to provide counseling services and drug-testing supplies for nonviolent offenders with addiction problems.

SonShine Early Learning Ministry and Childcare, $1,055 from the Goble-Kleeman Fund for Young Children to purchase materials to renovate infant and toddler rooms.

Perry County Women for Women Fund, $2,200 to assist women who are taking part in parenting programs to regain custody of their children. One of the largest barriers for these women is providing shelter so this money will be used for deposits for rent and other necessities.

Tell City-Troy Township Schools, $1,000 to continue supporting the Learning to Give philanthropy program at the school.

The foundation's ability to serve these and other nonprofit organizations rests on its ability to maintain and strengthen gifts to unrestricted funds.

For more information, contact foundation director Kim Embrey at 547-3176 or e-mail commfound@psci.net.