BGCF365 Grants $25,000 to Lexington Youth Programs
BGCF365, a giving circle at Blue Grass Community Foundation for emerging philanthropists, held its annual grantmaking event, The Finals, on April 20th in Downtown Lexington’s Base249. During the event, three local nonprofits pitched innovative projects and competed for $25,000 in grants.
In late January, the BGCF365 membership selected the 2022-2023 grant theme of “Youth Development and Wellness” to highlight programs that foster the resiliency, safety, connectedness, physical health, mental health, and overall wellbeing of children and youth (birth to age 22) in Fayette County.
After the BGCF365 Advisory Committee reviewed 40 amazing project proposals, they selected three finalists to present their programs at The Finals: The African American Ballet Troupe, Operation Making a Change and Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth. After each nonprofit gave a 10 minute presentation, the BGCF365 members voted live on how to award $25,000 total in grants. Those grant amounts and winners are:
First Place $15,000 Grant Winner: Operation Making A Change
Operation Making A Change (OMAC) offers a 12-week violence prevention/intervention program for Fayette County Public School students in grades 3-12. In addition to violence prevention (with an emphasis on gun violence), the program addresses other critical issues such as substance abuse and mental health and reinforces positive behaviors and decision-making.
Second Place $7,500 Grant Winner: African American Ballet Troupe
The African American Ballet Troupe provides free ballet classes to traditionally underserved youth, including children of diverse races and those experiencing financial hardship, to increase the diversity of the Lexington ballet community. Students benefit from the regular physical activity, and experience positive changes to their confidence levels and mental health by connecting with a community of dancers and performing in dance productions.
Third Place $2,500 Grant Winner: Specialized Alternatives For Families and Youth
Through SAFY of KY’s Older Youth Services Pathways to Success Skill Building Program, youth aging out of foster care (ages 18-21) receive monthly independent living skill building programming from a SAFY case manager. In addition to hands-on life skills, such as cooking, cleaning and financial planning, the youth will also receive trauma-informed mental health care.
BGCF365 is an initiative of Blue Grass Community Foundation which unites and informs emerging philanthropists to make a collective impact on Fayette County. BGCF365 is for givers of all ages who want to be more engaged with their giving to make Lexington a better place to work, live and play for all! Members commit to giving $1 a day ($365 a year) to the BGCF365 Fund at the Community Foundation. Half of this contribution goes toward immediate grantmaking, while the other half is added to a permanent endowment fund that will produce an annual charitable payout for the group, in perpetuity.
Social and networking events are held quarterly and to date, BGCF365 has awarded $150,000 to the Lexington nonprofit community!
Lexingtonians who want to make a bigger impact with their charitable giving can learn more about BGCF365 and sign up for a 2023-2024 membership online at www.bgcf.org/bgcf365. Monthly payment plans are available. All contributions are tax deductible.