The Children's Charity Fund of the Bluegrass doled out nearly $375,000 on Monday to 33 area non-profits that support children's needs.
The announcement came during an event at Andover Country Club to kick off the organization's annual fund-raising week — now in its 32nd year — which will culminate in the pay-to-play celebrity golf classic Friday and Saturday at Andover and Greenbrier country clubs.
The fund's executive board accepts applications for funding through February, said the board's allocations chair, Donna Rhodus. The nine-member board of community volunteers then reviews the applications and makes the final decisions in April.
Rhodus said the fund typically supports charities that directly benefit children. The fund looks for programs that provide shelter, food and clothing; it steers away from covering administrative costs and construction of facilities.
Heather Henry, enrollment director for the Child Development Center, said her organization was the first charity ever to receive money from the fund. The center operates a preschool for developmentally challenged children to learn alongside children who don't have any disorders.
"The money allows us to continue to provide therapy services and provide equipment for the kids that need those services," Henry said.
Joe Gomes, CEO Gateway Children's Services in of Mount Sterling, said that as state support has declined steadily for many children's organizations, grant funding becomes increasingly important.
"It's not about growing and getting huge raises," Gomes said. "Funding from the charity fund is vital to our existence."
The fund does not release the exact amount of the allocations, board chairwoman Kim Sweazy said, to curb competition among the agencies as much as possible.
"The main reason we're here is to invest in our greatest resource, which is our children," Sweazy said.