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Archive for Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Six charities chosen to benefit from 2012 St. Patrick’s Day Parade

October 18, 2011, 4:00 p.m. Updated October 18, 2011, 4:35 p.m.

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Six charities will share proceeds from the 2012 Lawrence St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Three organizations each will receive 25 percent of event proceeds, parade organizers announced Tuesday:

• Headquarters Counseling Center, which plans to use the money to increase the scope and effectiveness of its Children’s Safety Programs, led by Marcia Epstein and Brian Runk.

• Just Food, which fights hunger among children and their families in Douglas County. The program is led by Jeremy Farmer.

• The Lawrence Police Blue Santa Program, which will provide holiday gifts and food for people living in Lawrence who are less fortunate.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled,” said Laurie Scott, a school resource officer at West Middle School, who is organizing the inaugural Blue Santa effort this year and is looking forward to the parade’s donation boosting the program for 2012. “Kids love Christmas, and they love wearing green — two things they’ll be able to remember good things about.”

These three organizations will share the remaining 25 percent:

• tiny-k Early Intervention, which will use the money to provide adaptive equipment for infants with developmental disabilities from birth to age 3.

• Homegrown Lawrence, to support development and expansion of garden projects at area schools.

• Theatre Lawrence, to provide scholarships and materials for the organization’s Youth Education Program.

The parade, entering its 25th year, and its associated events have provided a total of $645,621 for local groups since 1988.

Last year, three organizations each received $22,000: Junior Achievement, Cooper’s Cause Foundation and Imagine Drop-In Childcare. The parade committee originally presented proceeds to one organization a year, but has been making multiple donations annually since 2005.

Organizers are striving to generate a record total of $75,000 in proceeds, to be shared by the six charities.

“There is more need,” said Roger Browning, who joins Gene Shaughnessy as executive co-chairman of the parade and associated events. “More of the organizations have taken funding cuts, and we want to try to make up the difference.”

The parade is set for March 17, beginning at South Park. Other upcoming events include a Texas Hold ’Em tournament Nov. 6, a benefit auction Feb. 25, and the Shamrock Shuffle 5K/Fun Run on March 10.

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