The Community Foundation of West Kentucky awarded nearly $300,000 in community grants -- and another $12,000 in micro-grants -- to nonprofit organizations in the region Tuesday at its fifth annual Philanthropy 360 event.

The awards, presented at the Market House Theatre Annex, included grants from a number of philanthropic endowments administered by the Community Foundation and competitive grants of $1,000 awarded to nonprofits in six categories.

The endowment awards, ranging from about $12,000 to $62,000, were presented to Southland Baptist Temple, Hope for the World, Child Watch, Paducah Cooperative Ministry, McCracken County Career Endowment, Broadway United Methodist Church, Immanuel Baptist Church and River Discovery Center.

According to Tony Watkins, Community Foundation CEO, there were 40 applicants this year for the micro-grants. In their applications, participating nonprofits had to demonstrate either an urgent, emergency or unexpected need of up to $1,000 or present projects that needed $1,000 or less.

Micro-grant recipients included:

Community Arts - Murray Art Guild, Market House Theatre; Educational Attainment - United Way of Paducah and McCracken County, Marshall County Exceptional Center; Health Awareness - Paducah Rotary Club, Family Service Society; Children's Programs - Purchase Area Sexual Assault Center, Idols Aside; Social Services - Heartland Cares, Sunrise Children's Services; Community Improvement - Paducah/McCracken County Habitat for Humanity, River Discovery Center.

The Community Foundation has total assets of over $26 million. Last year, it administered grants totaling $1.6 million and a total of $1.4 million in scholarship awards.

The awards not only help nonprofits fulfill their mission, Watkins said, they help the foundation fulfill its mission.

"That's our role as a grant-maker, so it's really an unspoken partnership that we're forming with you," he said.

"One of our hopes and dreams is that we can always increase this every year," Watkins said, of the micro-grant program.

"We're very interested in making your dollars stretch to help people in the community. That's what it's all about ... making our community better."

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