by Linda Austin –
Seeds of Strength members came together at the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, May 2, to vote on the new grantees for 2019-20. Our first sight after walking in was a festive Cinco de Mayo themed table laden with sumptuous food and a bounty of flowers. The Events Committee dazzled us, again!
The meeting began with Chair Lexi Elliott welcoming us to a night of celebrations – the 10th Anniversary Voting Night and the night we would be granting a record $182,000 to deserving nonprofits. Membership Chair Karron Wilson wowed us with the new SoS membership count: 274 women! Joanne Hoover, Grants Chair, explained the diligence and careful work of her committee in vetting the grant applications. Emcee Chet Garner introducing the 11 finalist nonprofit organizations, and each of the finalists gave a brief presentation to persuade our individual votes to come her/his way.
The parade of stories tugged at two heartstrings: the one that makes you want to hug and help and the one that makes you proud to belong to a community where such meaningful work is being done for those in need. It was difficult to decide for which organization to cast your vote! But we cast our votes, then while they were being counted, we raised glasses of champagne to the decade of SoS’ success.
Finally, the results were announced:
Austin Sunshine Camps – serving 40 Georgetown youth – $20,000 grant
Georgetown Family YMCA – serving 40 Georgetown youth – $15,000 grant
Girls Empowerment Network (GEN) – serving 150 Georgetown youth – $20,000 grant
Kids in a New Groove (KING) – serving 10 Georgetown youth – $20,000 grant
Samaritan Center – serving 28 Georgetown adults and youths – $24,000 grant
Southwestern University in collaboration with First United Methodist Church Georgetown – serving 30 Georgetown middle school students – $23,000 grant
The Caring Place – serving 600 seniors, including 75 case-managed seniors – $24,000 grant
The Dog Alliance – serving 2000 Georgetown residents – $10,000 grant
Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center (WCCAC) – serving 40 Georgetown youth – $25,000 grant
Both Hope Alliance and Ride on Center for Kids (ROCK) received a $500 merit grant.
We wish we could have given every organization the amount of their grant request, but at least everyone got something. Maybe next year we will grow SoS membership to be able to grant every request! In the meantime, we have much to celebrate and much to be thankful for – women coming together to benefit our community.