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Foundation grants exceed $275,000

By Leanne Fuller lfuller@paducahsun.com

The Community Foundation of West Kentucky awarded more than $275,000 in grants Monday to area nonprofit organizations at the Market House Theatre.

Tony Watkins, the foundation's executive director, announced grant awards from four of the foundation's permanent endowments and five $1,000 grants from the foundation's Philanthropy 360 program.

From the Marilyn and Edward Tilford Endowment, Southland Baptist Temple was awarded $71,150, and the church's Hope for the World program was awarded $15,790. Paducah Cooperative Ministry was awarded $40,657. Child Watch was awarded $31,580. Through the Tilford endowment, $20,000 in scholarships to Heath High School students were awarded as well.

Through the Buck Lay Endowment, Immanuel Baptist Church and the River Discovery Center were each awarded $11,975.

Through the McCracken County Community Career Endowment, $41,054  in scholarships were awarded among 20 students.

The Lanelle Phelps Boyles Endowment awarded a grant of $38,181 to the city of Paducah for the Clyde F. Boyles Greenway Trail.

Watkins said all the endowment funds were planned gifts, and that all except for the McCracken County Community Career Endowment - which was set up by the late Fred Paxton and his wife, Peggy Paxton - came from will bequests.

"And all that took was a stroke of a pen on a will... and you can see the effect that it has on those nonprofit organizations," Watkins said to the nonprofit representatives in attendance.

"You have the same capability to do that as we do with your donors," he added. "You have a much more intimate relationship with your donors than what we do. So the possibilities are limitless... so I challenge you to... get involved with planned giving."

Recipients of Philanthropy 360 grants were the United Way, the American Red Cross, Child Watch, Paducah Day Nursery and Baptist Health Paducah.

Watkins said that, to be eligible for the competitive grant program, a nonprofit must visit the grant program's website, fill out an application, send the foundation a copy of the nonprofit's Internal Revenue Service 501(c)(3) ruling and a current list of its board of directors, and send a representative to the event at Market House Theatre. If an organization chosen for a grant doesn't send a representative, the foundation awards the grant to an alternate organization with a representative in attendance.

"The purpose of this is... we want to show you the bases you have to touch to be able to get a grant," Watkins said. "Because if you'll do it right for a $1,000 grant, you might do it right for a $250,000 grant. That's the method to this madness."

Watkins also commended the nonprofit organizations in attendance on the work they do in the community.

"We encourage you to keep doing (good work). We hope we get more and more money, so we can give more grants out, so you can be more successful so you can fulfill your vision." Watkins said. "Because if you're a success, we're a success. And the community benefits from it."

Contact Leanne Fuller, a Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8653.

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