The luck of the Irish was with two local charitable organizations Thursday afternoon.
The Social Service League and County Fair Swim Club were announced as beneficiaries for the 2008 Lawrence St. Patrick's Day Parade.
"It's always a big job," said Roger Browning, spokesman for the St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee, of the selection process. "There were a lot of good proposals."
The Lawrence St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee received about 30 applications from charitable groups. Four finalists gave short presentations before committee members Tuesday night. On Wednesday morning, the two winning organizations received the good news.
"I'm really thrilled," said Jean Ann Pike, store manager at the Social Service League. "I'm just so excited I don't know what to do."
Established in 1861, the Social Service League is Lawrence's longest-running social service agency. The league primarily serves economically disadvantaged families in the area and hopes to use money from the St. Patrick's Day Parade for its shoe and eyeglass fund. Besides the purchase of shoes and glasses, the fund provides eye examinations for local children.
The County Fair Swim Club has been a fixture in East Lawrence for nearly 50 years. Some of the projects considered for the funding include building a new toddler pool, installing new fencing and replacing the pool house.
"They see the need for what it is we're trying to do and keep the tradition alive," said Missi Pfeifer, president of the County Fair Swim Club, which is near Maple Lane and Clare Road, behind Kennedy School.
Both beneficiaries now begin fundraising work with the St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee. The charities are expected to actively participate in promoting the event, attend related functions and assist in finding potential sponsors.
The committee has raised more than $435,000 since the first St. Patrick's Day Parade in 1988. The parade takes place annually on March 17.