By GRACE GADDY
PALESTINE — Board members of The Action Fund awarded $30,000 in grants to organizations benefitting the community during a presentation held Thursday at the Ben E. Keith Community Room, located at 2019 W. Oak St.
Grant chairs Allyson Mitchell and Carolyn Booker presented awards to recipients in the following order: ICEE Success Foundation, $2,000; Family Outreach Resources, $3,000; Women's Health Clinic, $25,000.
The ICEE Success Foundation, started locally by Lucinda Presley, works with Texas, national and international partners to empower education through an integration of the arts and innovation thinking in science, math and language arts classes in K-12 schools.
Family Outreach and Resource Inc., under direction of Patricia Davis, is a private agency in Palestine that provides support services and care for adults during the day.
The Women's Health Clinic in Anderson County, under leadership by John and Shirley Shaddock, provides medical care to men, women and children who are uninsured, indigent or who just can’t afford health care (such as those with large families). It is run completely by volunteers, including physicians.
Executive Committee Chair Ahnise Summers congratulated members for giving more than $30,000, which will in turn give back to the community.
“Your partnership in The Action Fund will grow and sustain the philanthropic spirit in our community; it will also enrich and empower our future,” Summers said – a point Mitchell echoed.
“We had a lot of applications this year, and I think that says a lot about our community, and that there are needs in this community,” Mitchell said.
Summers called The Action Fund a “giving circle” of philanthropic individuals, which was formed in response to community focus groups expressing concerns over needs and solutions.
In accordance, the fund aims to make improvements in education, health and human services, art and culture, and preservation and beautification. It is a program of the Texas Area Fund Foundation, which promotes philanthropic spirit and community service, and responding to charitable needs.
Board member David Barnard called it a “seed fund,” explaining that the goal is to award “one-time donations” to organizations in order to meet needs and kickstart community-based efforts.
“I can see a vision that is just unbelievable, what we can do in this community,” Barnard said.
Mitchell and Booker presented the grants for Freta Parks, head of the grant committee, who was not able to attend.