Harrison County Community Fund Creates and Supports Local Relief Efforts

July 27, 2020Impact Stories

No one knows a community better than the people who call it home. That’s what makes local community funds so effective—they leverage this knowledge to make tangible differences in the lives of their neighbors.


The Harrison County Community Fund is dedicated to progress and long-term prosperity. A volunteer Fund Advisory Committee works actively to increase charitable giving and award grants to local worthy causes and projects that are addressing emerging needs and future opportunities in our community.


Why does our community need the Harrison County Endowed Community Fund? It’s not just important for civic projects, like the Veteran’s Run Lighted Walking Trail, Walking Dead Mural or other needed community efforts. Our Community Foundation also plays a critical role in times of crisis by supporting the nonprofits and businesses who serve all citizens in Harrison County.


 “In trying times, we need our community more than ever. That’s why we are blessed to have the Harrison County Community Fund,” said Mayor James D. Smith. “Not only are they investing in Cynthiana and making our community a better place to live, they step up in times of need like we’ve seen in this tough year.”


At the onset of COVID-19, the Harrison County Community Fund established the Harrison County Relief Fund to help support nonprofits providing critical services during the pandemic. In collaboration with the James Graham Brown Foundation, the fund has raised $23,000 and has granted $22,500 to Senior Citizens, Food Bank, Food Pantry, Roh’s Theatre, The Harrison County Museum, Harrison County Hospital, and Blue Grass Navigators.


Small Business Innovation Fund

As the downtown started to reopen, the Harrison County Community Fund quickly mobilized again to establish a fund for the small businesses in Downtown Cynthiana. By partnering with CEDIK at the University of Kentucky, Cynthiana Main Street and the Mayor of Cynthiana, we were able to move forward with a program to help the businesses not just reopen, but also create a safe, social and inviting downtown for the people of Cynthiana and those visiting from other cities.


The committee awarded 10 businesses over $17,000 to help with everything from website development, outdoor seating, improved signage, and upgrades to dressing rooms and display cases to create a safe and inviting space for customers. Several businesses will have an opportunity to work with engineers and landscape architects as they work toward creating an exceptional customer experience. Case studies will be developed so that the businesses can be role models for other communities as they navigate through this “new normal.” In addition, the Cynthiana Main Street program was awarded $2,500 to support efforts to unify downtown businesses and their reopening plans.


 “This was an exciting opportunity to support a variety of innovations business owners identified as a way to make the customer feel safe and welcome,” said Alison Davis, CEDIK executive director. “This is the first community where we pivoted from relief efforts to focusing on reopening and innovation. Other communities around the state and country are watching to see how Cynthiana responds.”

Small Business Innovation Fund Grants:

  • Molly B’s Boutique
  • A Little Bit Personal
  • JJs Sweets
  • Simply Vintage
  • Emerson Steel Boutique
  • Simply Hair
  • Flower Depot
  • Roh’s Opera House
  • Maiden City Brewing
  • Frames & Christian Things


We want to thank all those who have supported the Harrison County Community Fund Relief efforts. Contributing to your local community fund is one important way to invest together for the good of Harrison County.


There is still an opportunity to support your local businesses and the Main Street project.  The Harrison County Community Fund has issued a Community Challenge. Your donation will be matched dollar for dollar up to $2,500. 


To contribute visit:


Please contact any of the Harrison County Community Foundation Board of Advisors:

Dave Melcher, Matt Harney, Rose Clifford, Dr. Brett Hines, Doug Hampton, John Sorrell, Mark Trachsel.


Dr. Gregory Cooper, Ralph Deitemeyer and Jenny Lynn Varner Hatter- Emeritus



Do your part, stay apart but let’s all work together to help those who need it the most.

– The Harrison County Community Foundation