2009-12-09 / People

New Beginnings, Old Fella chosen for community grants

Two Burke County organizations will receive more than $20,000 in grants from the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area.

The foundation is distributing more than $400,000 to organizations who are "meeting pressing and changing community needs and are improving the quality of life for the individuals they serve."

Among the 34 agencies selected by the board were the Center for New Beginnings and the Old Fella Burke County Rescue.

The Center for New Beginnings was tapped for a $15,000 grant to provide individual counseling, shadowing services, respite and tutoring to children and adolescents with special needs, as well as their families. The center, which is currently housed inside First Baptist Church of Waynesboro, provides therapy for children with a spectrum of disabilities, including a large number with autism and other sensory disorders.

Old Fella will get a nice check toward their cause, as well. The Community Foundation is putting $5,575 into the organization's ongoing spay/neuter program. Besides taking in abandoned animals and finding homes through fostering and adoption programs, the rescue group provides educational programs at area schools and recently offered free spaying and neutering to nearly 100 pets.

In addition to the two local organizations, a number of agencies that serve Burke County were also on this year's list of recipients. The Augusta Judicial Circuit Drug Court will get $15,000 for its substance abuse treatment program. Nearly $9,700 was awarded to the Augusta Technical College Foundation to provide tuition, book and uniform fee assistance to students enrolling in the college's new associate degree nursing program, and the Lydia Project will receive $9,644 to help with living expenses for female cancer patients who are in financial crisis because of their illnesses.

All the grants will be administered through Community Foundation's unrestricted fund, which is primarily supported by the Augusta National Golf Club/Masters Tournament and provides tremendous flexibility in how the monies may be used.

Seventeen community volunteer panels of more than 123 area leaders reviewed and analyzed the applications and made recommendations.

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