Archive for Saturday, April 3, 2004

Agencies benefit from grant awards

Community Foundation gives to groups helping children, families

April 3, 2004


Grants totaling $146,815 are going out to 32 nonprofit and community organizations, courtesy of the Douglas County Community Foundation.

Most of the grants will benefit children and families from Lawrence, Baldwin and Eudora.

A $10,750 grant will go to Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Assn. to purchase new hearing screening technology and equipment for newborns. The more sophisticated equipment will allow technicians to assess hearing loss in newborns with increased accuracy and thoroughness.

"Accurate screenings can reduce unnecessary repeat testing, relieving anxiety that parents often experience relative to the health of their newborn children," said Kathy Clausing, the hospital endowment's vice president and chief development officer. "We are very grateful to the Douglas County Community Foundation for helping us purchase this new equipment."

In 2003, 1,117 babies were born at LMH. Of those, 1,072 had a hearing screening performed before they were discharged from the hospital.

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received $10,000 to help sustain Pinckney and Woodlawn schools' after-school programs, while Douglas County 4-H will receive $4,000 to continue an after-school program at New York School.

Lawrence after-school programs have been in financial trouble since 2002, when federal grant money dwindled. That money runs out at the end of the year.

Trudy Rice, director of Douglas County K-State Research and Extension and chairwoman of the after-school alliance, said it cost about $84,000 to run the after-school program at each school. She said the extra funding would help the program get by in the short-term, although it would take more money to sustain the program at full strength in the future.

"Every dollar we can get of community support is very beneficial to keeping the sites open," Rice said. "The $10,000 will definitely be a huge benefit for us, however we need other dollars to package with that. If we can't assemble enough money to support the whole program, some decisions would have to be made. Cutting the program would be a bit strong to say, but the number of students we could serve in the program would definitely be limited.

"We really hope that with the money from the community foundation, the community will identify that there is a need for additional money so we can spread the funding across multiple sources."

The Baldwin school district's Parents and Teachers program was granted $4,200 to extend its preschooler readiness program.

The foundation was created in 2000 with a gift of $5 million from philanthropist Hortense Oldfather, of Lawrence. The widow of former Kansas University law professor Charles Oldfather set up the nonprofit corporation to attract donations in Douglas County for children, education and health service programs.

The foundation has awarded more than $683,000 in grants since its inception, executive director Sara Corless said.

For more information on grants or donations, call 843-8727.

The 32 agencies sharing in $146,815 in grants from the Douglas County Community Foundation:American Red Cross, Douglas County chapter; Baldwin school district's Parents as Teachers; Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence; Brookcreek Learning Center; Community Children's Center; Concerts for Young People; Cordley PTA; Douglas County Dental Clinic; Douglas County 4-H; Douglas County Historical Society; Douglas County Infant-Toddler Coordinating Council; East Lawrence Neighborhood Assn.; Elizabeth G. Ballard Community Center; Emergency Service Council; GFWC Lawrence Classics; Housing and Credit Counseling; Jubilee Cafe; Lawrence Children's Choir; Lawrence Community Theatre; Lawrence Junior Achievement; Lawrence Memorial Hospital; Lawrence Schools Foundation; Peggy Bowman Second Chance Fund; Rainbow Experience Preschool; Salvation Army; Sancta Maria Montessori School; Social Service League; Tenants to Homeowners; The Shelter; The Villages; Trinity Respite Care; and Van Go Mobile Arts.

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