The Augusta Exchange Club awarded more than $140,000 to 40 local nonprofit organizations Thursday. The money came from the 2013 Georgia-Carolina State Fair and the Augusta Charity Classic golf tournament.
“This is the day we pass out the fruits of our labors,” said the exchange club’s past president, Tat Thompson.
Augusta’s devastating ice storm underscored the importance of charitable organizations that help the community not only during disasters but year-round, Thompson said.
“The recipients of these awards that we are going to give out today, they serve people that need help 365 days a year,” he said.
A range of charitable organizations was represented, including homeless shelters, health clinics, food pantries and community centers that tutor children and provide services to the elderly.
The Family Y of Augusta was selected for the Sheriff Strength Award, which was created last year by the exchange club to honor former Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength. Current Sheriff Richard Roundtree selected the organization for the award.
Brad Means, anchorman for television station WJBF, who emceed Thursday’s event at First Baptist Church of Augusta, said the exchange club members’ hard work made possible the donations funded by the annual golf tournament and fair.
“Those are fun, but this is fulfilling,” Means said. “Every time I walk in those fairgrounds and see those crowds, I say, “Thank you, Jesus, this is another dollar in y’all’s pockets.”