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January 17, 2013

MORRIS: Horseshoe Foundation is Floyd County's rich uncle

It’s always nice to have a rich uncle living down the street. If something breaks or you need a little spending money, all you have to do is ask the nice, wealthy uncle. 

He always says yes, right? 

The Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County has been New Albany and Floyd County’s rich uncle for the past 13 years. When municipalities, organizations, nonprofits and educational institutions need something, they can always ask the foundation. And many times, their wishes are granted. 

To date, the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County has awarded more than $28.1 million to local organizations that includes $3.65 million in scholarships for more that 500 high school students.

Without the Horseshoe Southern Indiana or the foundation, New Albany would not have a YMCA branch. The foundation committed $20 million to that project.

Other major grants include $900,000 to Providence Retirement Home, $400,000 to the Indiana University Southeast Library and $500,000 to Hosparus, according to the foundation’s website. But those are just four examples. There are hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals who have benefited from the generosity of the casino and foundation.

Now, New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan has his hand out hoping the foundation helps fund a new aquatic center and Little League complex for the city. And why not, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

However, there is only so much to go around and the foundation has commitments it must fulfill like to the YMCA. It has to spend wisely because there are no guarantees the boat will still be in Harrison County five or 10 years from now. 

Also, with gaming revenue down at Horseshoe Southern Indiana, the foundation will receive less money to hand out. Whether the city receives help for the proposed projects is still unknown. However, if I was a betting man, I would say the mayor won’t get everything he wants, but still may receive a little help from the county’s rich uncle.

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