Op-Ed

Celebrating 50 years of community generosity

A bike rider crossed one of the bridges on the Legacy Trail in 2013. Fund-raising for the 16-mile bike/walk trail was led by the Bluegrass Community Foundation.
A bike rider crossed one of the bridges on the Legacy Trail in 2013. Fund-raising for the 16-mile bike/walk trail was led by the Bluegrass Community Foundation. Herald-Leader file photo

On Saturday, Blue Grass Community Foundation kicked off a celebration of 50 years of inspiring generosity across the Bluegrass and Appalachia.

Community foundations are publicly supported charities dedicated to making a particular region better and stronger. At their heart, they’re people working together to make the world a better place — one community at a time.

That has certainly been the case at Blue Grass Community Foundation.

In 1967, several Lexington philanthropists came together to establish the Blue Grass Foundation (as it was known then), to encourage charitable giving and to support local causes. In 1968, grants totaling $500 were awarded. Today, thanks to thousands of generous donors, the Community Foundation has cumulatively awarded $77.5 million in grants and scholarships — largely for the benefit of Central and Eastern Kentucky.

In addition, the foundation has been a leader on transformative projects like the Legacy Trail, a 16-mile bike/walk trail connecting Lexington’s urban core to the Kentucky Horse Park; On the Table, an event on March 15 that brought together over 11,000 citizens to discuss Lexington’s future; the GoodGiving Challenge, an online giving campaign that raises over $1 million every year for nonprofits; and many other initiatives.

The anniversary is a wonderful opportunity to honor our founders, recognize our donors, celebrate our accomplishments and, most importantly, look forward to what we can accomplish in the next 50 years.

We believe in the power of an individual to make an exponential impact. We see it happen every day, as one person’s passion inspires another’s and creates an unstoppable ripple of generosity. At the foundation, there is an opportunity for everyone to give to help create a more generous, vibrant and engaged community for us all.

To learn how you can give today, as well as leave a meaningful, lasting legacy, contact Lisa Adkins, foundation president/CEO, at ladkins@bgcf.org or 859-225-3343.

Madonna Turner is chair of the Blue Grass Community Foundation.

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