Women's group hands out $60,000 in grants

A $19,500 grant couldn't have come at a better time for Child Enrichment, Inc.

It was one of three nonprofit organizations that received grants Thursday totaling $60,000 from Women in Philanthropy of the CSRA during a ceremony at the Augusta Country Club.

"We have cut costs by $90,000 and we are still not in the black," said Dan Hillman, executive director. "So financially, this has been a really tough year with reductions in other grants we have gotten in the past and haven't gotten this year, and reductions in individual donations. Our special events have come in pretty well, but overall, our funding is down."

The grants were awarded to organizations with goals to benefit the lives of women and girls.

Child Enrichment will use the grant to fund additional resources for its therapy and Court Appointed Special Advocates programs, Mr. Hillman said.

Another recipient, The Lydia Project, was presented with a $33,000 grant that will help cancer patients pay for rent and utilities and, in addition to a partnership with Barney's, help pay for prescriptions, said Michele Canchola, executive director.

A $7,500 grant was presented to Augusta Technical College Foundation for its special populations services program.

The program assists students -- most of whom are women -- with emergency child care and transportation; provide supplements for those who don't qualify for traditional financial aid; and help students obtain books when they are financially unable to, said Beverly Peltier, director of institutional advancement.

The grant presentation was a milestone for Women in Philanthropy, which was organized last year, said co-chair Beth Evans.

"We had to build this organization from scratch so it's truly amazing how smoothly and quickly everything came together," she said.

The organization currently has 100 members, each of whom paid a $1,000 annual membership fee.

The money received from the membership fee funded the grants. Five percent of each grant will be held in escrow until the receiving organization completes its project, Mrs. Evans said. The remainder has been placed in an endowment fund for future philanthropy efforts, she added.

For more information about Women in Philanthropy of the CSRA, visit www.wipcsra.org.

Reach Nikasha Dicks at (706) 823-3336 or nikasha.dicks@augustachronicle.com.