The green raised from St. Patrick's Day fundraisers will be felt in Lawrence for months to come.
On Thursday, the Lawrence St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee presented a total of $44,000 to this year's beneficiaries, the Social Service League and the County Fair Swim Club.
The money was raised through several fundraisers, such as the 5K Shamrock Shuffle and Dart Tourney.
"This is a dream for the Social Service League," said Jean Ann Pike, director of the nonprofit agency that provides eye exams and eyeglasses to children from low-income families in the school district. It also provides new shoes to children in need.
For Missi Pfeifer, president of the County Fair Swim Club, and the few hundred children who swim at the pool every summer it means "everything." The neighborhood pool is at 2117 Maple Lane in east Lawrence.
"I mean we're just a community-owned swimming pool," she said. "It's all run by volunteers. Our hardest job is raising money to make repairs that a 50-year-old pool needs. We always raise enough money to keep us in business, but it's really hard to raise this kind of money and actually make repairs that are going to help keep us open."
She said the current repair list includes the baby pool, a fence and plumbing. The club also needs to purchase new chairs.
"They are just going to love it," Pfeifer said of the young swimmers. "It's just totally going to improve their summer hangout."
Besides receiving the money, Pike said she learned fundraising skills from the volunteers on the St. Patrick's Day Committee.
"This is the most hard-working bunch of people I've ever seen," she said. "This is a great service organization. They just go out and they know how to have a good time and do good things for their community."
Since 1988, the St. Patrick's Day Committee has raised more than $479,000 for numerous local organizations.