News and Tribune

Clark County

June 26, 2008

Caesars hands out $350,000 to area organizations

While the voters of Floyd County didn’t want Caesars Indiana in their own back yard a decade ago, they have been affected by the riverboat casino.

Some may argue the benefit has been a negative one, but to the 36 smiling faces Wednesday afternoon, the riverboat’s presence has been a pure blessing.

The Caesars Foundation of Floyd County handed out its spring grants to nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and government agencies Wednesday afternoon at the Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany. In the last eight years, the foundation has awarded $15 million to groups in Southern Indiana.

Grant amounts were handed out in various sums — the lowest being $1,975 to eight $20,000 grants.

“It’s really amazing to think they give out over $300,000 twice a year. Just think of the number of kids and people these grants benefit,” said Ray Day, former director of development at Providence High School, who now serves as the school’s Webmaster.

Providence picked up one of the $20,000 matching grants to provide educational tools and design space to help students with learning differences.

“We couldn’t do it without this money,” Day said.

Other groups to receive $20,000 were: Southern Indiana Asset Building; Family Health Center of Floyd County Inc.; New Albany High School; Georgetown Optimist Club; Youth Count; Floyd County 4-H Corp.; and the Indiana University Southeast School of Nursing. The money will be used for everything from new bleachers and support beams for the 4-H Fairgrounds, to providing financial counseling sessions to 100 low income families in Floyd County.

Caesars Foundation of Floyd County Executive Director Jerry Finn said the grants’ committee received 60 applications for the spring cycle. He said that was the largest amount of grant applications ever received.

He also said the committee members go through the applications and make site visits before making their recommendation to the foundation board.

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