Keeneland Announces Community Contributions

At its annual holiday luncheon Dec. 5, Keeneland announced it has given $705,260 in contributions to nearly 80 charitable organizations in 2003. With this year's contributions, Keeneland's charitable giving through the years totals more than $12 million.

Recipient organizations provide vital services to the central Kentucky community and to the Thoroughbred industry. Keeneland's charitable grants program is supported primarily by profits generated by Keeneland's racing, simulcasting, and Thoroughbred sales.

"It has become a holiday tradition for us to recognize those who serve our community," said Fran Taylor, executive director of the Keeneland Foundation. "Because of their efforts, thousands of central Kentuckians are able to improve their lives through these outreach programs. This is an
opportunity to show that their efforts are appreciated."

The primary categories of funding for Keeneland's contributions program are health and human services, research, higher education, arts and culture, animal welfare and historic preservation.

This year, more than $230,000 was contributed to 49 organizations that specialize in health and human services. Among the recipients in this category were the Family Care Center Volunteer Board which received $10,000 to renovate and expand its pediatric health clinic; $11,500 for various outreach programs aimed at assisting central Kentucky's growing Hispanic population; $1,500 to purchase a lawn tractor for Quest Farm, a Georgetown-based program for mentally challenged adults who grow and sell produce; and $2,000 to the Manchester Center to purchase a commercial oven to prepare meals for students in its preschool program.

More than $213,000 was contributed to Thoroughbred organizations, the bulk of which was generated via Keeneland's ambitious partnership with Maker's Mark Distillery to construct a landmark retraining and adoption facility at the Kentucky Horse Park for retired Thoroughbreds. The project and its funding efforts are being spearheaded by the Keeneland Foundation. Through the foundation, Maker's Mark is contributing $100,000 from the sale of this year's commemorative bottle and Castleton-Lyons, a Lexington-based horse farm, also contributed $100,000.

Arts and cultural organizations received $49,000, including $25,000 to the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation for its All the Queen's Horses exhibit and $7,500 to the Lexington Arts and Cultural Council to support its annual campaign.

Educational organizations received $59,500 including $5,000 for the Fayette County Farm Bureau Education Foundation for its four-year scholarship program; $5,000 to the Pritchard Committee for Academic Excellence to fund a program to help parents become more involved in
schools; $9,000 in scholarships to the Kentucky Independent College Foundation and $20,000 to Transylvania University for scholarship endowment.

The Henry Clay Memorial Foundation received $5,000 to replace trees at the Ashland Estate lost to the February ice storm. Other preservation organizations receiving funds included $10,000 for the Hopewell Museum in Bourbon County and $5,000 to the Nature Conservancy for the restoration of
native grasslands that will be used for hay and seed production.

"The Keeneland Foundation strives to fund projects that are going to have a strong, positive impact on the community," Taylor said. "Usually we try to fund specific projects, not an organization's operational expenses. We feel we can be most effective when we can help an organization get that extra financial boost they need to accomplish a specific goal."