Augusta Exchange Club awards donations to 31 area nonprofits

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Turns on the merry-go-round delivered much-needed donations to serve Augusta’s homeless, abused, hungry, elderly and sick.

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WJBF anchor Brad Means acted as the master of ceremonies during the Exchange Club of Augusta luncheon at First Baptist Church of Augusta.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
WJBF anchor Brad Means acted as the master of ceremonies during the Exchange Club of Augusta luncheon at First Baptist Church of Augusta.

The Augusta Exchange Club awarded more than $130,000 to 31 area nonprofits Thursday. The money, $10,000 more than last year, was proceeds from the 2012 Georgia-Carolina State Fair and the Augusta Charity Classic golf tournament.

“Today is a great day for me because this has eased my guilt,” said Jill Brown, the executive director of First Tee of Augusta. “I feel much better about eating all the greasy food at the fair because I know how many causes it goes to support.”

Also at the luncheon at First Baptist Church of Au­gusta, the club presented its inaugural Ronnie Strength Award, named for the former sheriff of Richmond County, who is a longtime member of the exchange club.

Strength chose to award $5,000 to the Augusta Warrior Project.

Each year, the current sheriff will select a charity to receive the extra donation. Sheriff Richard Roundtree attended the luncheon.

Representatives from several nonprofit organizations thanked the club for the donations that will sustain or expand their operations.

“We survive totally on donations from our community,” said Rayonta Whitfield, the director of the Augusta Boxing Club. “With this donation, I plan to strengthen my after-school program getting new computers and updating old computers and getting new equipment for our gym.”

Tat Thompson, the exchange club’s president, said the donation money resulted from the hard work of club members and their dedication to important causes in the community.

“When you’re standing up here and looking at this room and you see what goes on, you see the fabric of how all this is woven together,” Thompson said.


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